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Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

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Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

We were chatting with friends about some of her misconceptions about Yosemite and thought it would make a good top 10 list:

TOP TEN MISCONCEPTIONS

10. Minutes from Yosemite park border means I can roll out of my hotel bed and see Yosemite Falls in 8 minutes. The main sights are in Yosemite Valley. The park is large so reaching the border does not mean you're close to the Valley.

9. I can drive up from LA to Tuolumne Meadows and climb Mt Dana that same afternoon. Hmmm.. If you do, watch out for altitude sickness. www.ohranger.com/yosemite/effects-altitude

8. The waterfalls at Yosemite only run from April - July. Not true. While there are many waterfalls that only last a few days or weeks, there are waterfalls that run all year round (Bridalveil, Vernal and Nevada, etc). www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm

7. It's only 30 miles away, so that means I'll get there in 1/2 hour. Maps don't show elevation so 30 miles uphill may mean 1+ hour of driving.

6. If I can't book lodging a year in advance, don't even bother. Don't give up. There are many last minute cancellations so it is worthwhile to keep checking. …latimes.com/1987-11-08/travel/tr-21261_1_yo…

5. Camping in Yosemite Valley means peace and quiet. Unfortunately, not always so. Though the one time I had real peace and quiet (and too spooky for me!), I stayed in Lower Pines campsite the week-end before it closed for the season and there were only 4 other campsites occupied in the entire place!

4 The Tenaya Lodge is located within the park and owned by the National Park Service. The same company that has the NPS contract also manages the Tenaya Lodge. As a result, when people go to the official site to book lodging in Yosemite and see the Tenaya Lodge, they think that the lodge is within the park. Not true. It's still a nice place to stay, but it's not part of the national park.

3. "Merced: Gateway to Yosemite" means it is a good base for visiting Yosemite. http://www.yosemite-gateway.org "Gateway" is a marketing term for "we're far away and if we didn't mention Yosemite, no way you're going to even consider staying here". Doesn't mean that no-one should stay in Merced. But know where Merced is before you do.

2. My cooler is safe in the car overnight. Don't find out the hard way. www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/bears.htm

1. The water looks so shallow and calm - the signs can't be right. Don't. usatoday.com/story/…

Did I miss any?

Edited: 12:23 pm, July 05, 2013
Redlands, California
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1. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

11. The only things worth seeing are in the Valley. :-(

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2. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

I love your list. Very true.

Several pet peeves of mine:

1. People who feed the deer, thinking that it is a benign activity

2. People who hike on a trail, especially the trail to Half Dome, who don't know what they are in for or are not carrying enough water.

3. People who light fires in the woods, for cooking, when it is prohibited, but insist it's an OK thing to do.

Edited: 5:03 pm, July 05, 2013
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3. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

1. I can see it all in two days, right?

2. You should definitely stay in the valley - it's the only way to experience Yosemite.

3. Don't bother staying in the valley - there are too many people and it's a total rip-off.

:-)

Oregon Coast
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4. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

"If I can't get a campsite in the valley, I can't visit Yosemite."

Not true - there are privately owned RV parks and campgrounds outside the park. You'll just have to drive farther there and back each day.

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5. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

Crikey! I've just read the link about the bears and mountain lions - yikes!

Just say, for example, on one of our drives we see something nice or want a picnic (or need a wee behind a tree)! Is it dangerous to do? I'm meaning in a remote place - obviously!

Seattle
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6. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

What link did you read about bears and mountain lions? It is hard to allay your fears unless we know what they are.

Bears in Yosemite and the Sierras in general are after your food. Mthey are not likely to frequent picnic spots in the daytime, even remote one. However, at night and early morning, they may come right into the campgrounds and parking lots in search of food. Which they will find only if someone has ignored the regulations. Mthey do not approach people to get food; they wait until the food is left unattended.

As for mountain lions, again we need to know what you have read. They are present in the California mountains, but in general they stay to remote secluded areas. In some 45 years of hiking and camping throughout the Sierras, I have never seen one, or even heard of one being seen in the area.

(up here in Washington, OTOH, we see news stories about them,mand I have spotted a family of lions myself. Fortunately from the safety of a car).

So no worries about the wee behind the tree,mor the picnic.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

I think the revised version of the list will include the misconception that everything worthwhile is centered in Yosemite Valley. And many people enjoy visits when based outside the park.

I was based in Millerton Lake for my very first visit to Yosemite.. And despite the 4 hour round trip drive each day, i quite enjoyed it. Ah to be young and in love again.

Bears are mostly a problem at night when food is left overnight -- hence the misconception about the cooler. My friend had run iut if space in the bear licker and left his cooler by the tent. The cooler still has the claw mark today. But as Enzian noted, people are not likely to be attacked on a busy trail.

Oregon Coast
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8. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

Groov, black bear and cougars (mountain lions, puma) are in two different categories.

Bears are a night time nuisance in heavily trafficked camping areas such as Yosemite, as they get *into* stuff looking for food. You'll know if there is one nearby during the day, though, by the crowds of people stopped alongside the road taking photos! (And the patient Rangers keeping the idiots back...)

There are sections of the western USA that have occasional cougar problems. They tend to be in rural areas where people live. Usually, if the authorities are able to locate the cat, it gets "dispatched" - nearly all troublesome cougars are young males (you know kind of like 18-22 year old male humans? lol)

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9. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

Just for the record (in case my DW is reading), I'm old and still in love :-)

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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10. Re: Top 10 misconceptions for Yosemite visitors

Here's the recent post about mountain lions. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k66437…