Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm planning to climb a high mountain during end of May, beginning of June, in the Yosemite National Park. The mountain is around 3900 meters above sea level. In Switzerland, I would expect that there will be snow on the top, except maybe during July and August.

But what about the region around Yosemite National Park? Do I have to expect snow there? Is there any report that I could check to see if there is still snow?

share|improve this question
    
Which mountain, out of curiosity? –  Nate Eldredge Mar 20 '13 at 21:56
2  
I planned to go to Mount Dana –  RoflcoptrException Mar 20 '13 at 21:57
    
This question fits much better at The Great Outdoors. My question there is very similar and contains information relevant to this question, too. The only difference is that I'll be there two weeks earlier and on the other side of the mountains. –  gerrit Mar 21 '13 at 9:04
    
If you don't mind. I'll migrate this question to the Outdoors. –  VMAtm Mar 21 '13 at 9:33
    
I agree to migrate the other question, but here, I'm not so sure if it should be migrated. –  RoflcoptrException Mar 21 '13 at 10:08
show 1 more comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

At about mid summer in 2003 - the hottest summer ever recorded until then - we saw substantial quantities of snow on north facing slopes in Yosemite at around 3200 metres altitude. This was at the location shown by the + in the middle of this map looking South East across Ellery Lake.

As that was substantially lower than your 3900 metres, on a probably hotter year and close to midsummer, you'd be wise to allow for snow as a distinct possibility, but not a certainty.

In late June 2003, the then hottest year on record, we travelled by car from Mono Lake into Yosemite. The road rises to around 9600 feet at the highest point at Ellery lake, and the road then remains at about that level for some miles.

There was no snow immediately near the the road anywhere but when we got to Ellery Lake there were substantial amounts of snow on the slopes on the far side of the lake. These are more shadowed north side slopes rising to about 11,000 feet.

Your 3,900 metre road is at 12,800 feet (!) which is well above the level we saw snow at. Further into the park from Ellery lake the top map says "Closed winter" but the altitude is about the same as at Ellery Lake.


Location map here - viewpoint and direction of view about right. Snow may hav ebeen somewhat higher up slope than shown. Photos available.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
add comment

The exact answer will vary from year to year depending on the weather, both in terms of the volume of snowfall and how warm the weather is.

For the most part, the majority of snow in and around the Yosemite valley will have melted by the time you're talking about. The National Parks Yosemite website specifically states that :

The more moderate elevations, around 7,000 feet, typically melt by mid-May while the higher elevations, 10,000 feet and up, usually aren't accessible until mid-June or later.

Given that the majority of the park is below 7000 feet (Glacier Point is 7200 feet, El Capitan is 7500) that means that basically everywhere will be well clear of snow by the time you're there. Even Half-Dome at 8800 feet is generally clear of snow by the time they put up the 'cables' in mid/late May.

The best source of information about conditions is normally the NPS website linked above - and you can even check the conditions yourself for many of the locations on their Webcam page.

share|improve this answer
1  
3900 meters is 12,800 feet. Clearly this mountain is not part of the Yosemite valley, ,and I think this suggests there very likely will be snow on his mountain. –  Nate Eldredge Mar 20 '13 at 21:40
add comment

I would definitely come prepared for snow at that elevation in late May.

As a possibly useful guide, you could look at the historical closing dates for Tioga Road. Tioga Road, the only east-west thoroughfare through the park, is closed by snow during the winter, and typically does not reopen until May or June. (Note that the reopening date is not the day when all the snow had melted; it's the day they were finally able to finish plowing it.) The high point of Tioga Road is Tioga Pass at 3031 meters, and you will be 900 meters higher than this.

This is also important if you were planning to travel on Tioga Road to get to your trailhead; it won't necessarily be open in time for your trip.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.