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Late October Crowds

Nj
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356 posts
32 reviews
14 helpful votes
Late October Crowds
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I am visiting for the first time in late October. What should my expectation be as far as traffic / driving and parking in the valley as well on the Glacier point road be at this time of year? At this time of year how long would it take to do a full loop in the valley from tunnel view and back without any stops? (of course I will stop - just trying to get an idea of the time so that I can budget accordingly).

I have 1.5 days and was hoping to do the valley twice, in afternoon and early morning to see the sights in different lighting. I would also want to see sunset from Glacier Point unless there is a better spot. I am staying overnight in Yosemite West.

Hoping to head out towards the 395 via the Tioga Pass if it will still be open. Any idea on how that is looking for mid next week?

Mariposa, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
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39 reviews
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1. Re: Late October Crowds
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Weather looks good, with no precipitation so Tioga should be fine.

Today was the first day in the valley that things seemed a tad quieter. It's still busy and the food areas are still packed,but parking on the weekdays this week has been more or less pm.

Saturday of this past weekend it was tough to find a parking space in the valley after 11,and the shuttles were stuck in traffic by about 1 or 2.

Nj
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356 posts
32 reviews
14 helpful votes
2. Re: Late October Crowds
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Tnx for the response! Glad to hear that Tioga is looking good - the Eastern Sierras have been on my bucket list for ages!! Does it look like Monday / Tuesday will be clear in the valley as well?

Good to know that crowds can still be expected. I intend to be up and out by dawn and on the road to Tioga by 10 AM or so on the day I head to Tioga so hoping that I will miss some of the traffic.

If I try to do drive around the valley the day before as well, to see the sights in the early afternoon (vs. just the morning) do I need to budget a lot of time for the actual driving of the circle from tunnel view and back? Easier to budget time knowing what to expect as far as the driving goes - google maps is telling me only 32 minutes which doesn't sound very realistic and I want to be by Glacier Point for sunset.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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89,347 posts
188 reviews
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3. Re: Late October Crowds
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Hi

I don't think that it's ever a good idea to try to drive around the Valley. The shuttle is a better choice, and it can actually go to the far eastern end of the Valley that is closed to cars. Will you be hiking / walking?

Tunnel View is not actually in the Valley. It's about 400' above the Valley to give you that great view.

If you want to take the shuttle around the loop, park at the Valley Visitor Center parking or park at the Yosemite Falls parking. Ride the shuttle all the way around. But I don't understand why you're not walking and experiencing the Valley.

Weather https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/weathermap.htm

Daylight https://www.sunrisesunset.com/USA/NationalParks/

NPS newspaper w/ map: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/yg19-8.pdf

Arizona
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2,998 posts
66 reviews
20 helpful votes
4. Re: Late October Crowds
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PNWF -

Your posts are a great source for info about Yosemite - thank you. It’s possible the OP would like to stop at the beaches, or at El Cap picnic area. The summer shuttle route on the west end of the valley stopped running for the season not quite 2 weeks ago. We arrived on the 15th, and it had stopped a day or 2 before that I think. We did an almost complete loop driving around the valley on our return from Glacier Point, to see a few different views in the later afternoon. Traffic was busy, but we always found parking at the pullouts. I wish that summer shuttle route was open later, would’ve made seeing that western end of the valley easier.

Edited: 1 year ago
Washington State
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5. Re: Late October Crowds
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Yup, driving around the western end of the Valley makes perfect sense. The current newspaper has a map. The El Capitan shuttle route does not have as many vehicles, so it can be awhile at a stop waiting for the next one. On a lightly busy day, it might be preferable to drive the western end, even if the shuttle is running. In summer, driving anywhere is a huge challenge.

Driving on the Valley Shuttle Route (well, at least the part where private vehicles are allowed) would be tough as there are so few places to actually stop & park. And the Valley Shuttle stops at all the best places. And the shuttle vehicles have huge windows.

Nj
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356 posts
32 reviews
14 helpful votes
6. Re: Late October Crowds
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Much tnx all for the detailed information re the shuttles and driving. The link to the weather was super informative. Are the fire warnings ( I am seeing all this in the news from the East Coast) something that I should think of for my trip this Monday / Tuesday? There seems to be a red flag warning in Tioga Pass.

Mariposa, California
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for Yosemite National Park
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3,159 posts
39 reviews
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7. Re: Late October Crowds
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The red flag warnings shouldn't impact your trip other than the fact it might be windy. And help the area out by being aware of any malfunctions in your car, any cigarette butts, etc since anything that starts around here in the next 48 hours will go really fast.

There are possible power outages (as a result of the forecasts) coming to some of the surrounding communities so depending on where you're staying, that might be the most obvious impact. Tonight more notifications have been going out regarding these outages. Will probably know more specifics in the morning.

Mariposa, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
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3,159 posts
39 reviews
67 helpful votes
8. Re: Late October Crowds
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Uhhh soooo no joke this wasn't in the forecast (I've been watching) but glacier point road closed this afternoon because of some snow and I'm wondering how Tioga is doing. I'm hoping the original reported did OK on their travels.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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89,347 posts
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9. Re: Late October Crowds
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Thanks for the updates.

Nj
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356 posts
32 reviews
14 helpful votes
10. Re: Late October Crowds
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Does this mean that Glacier Point Road is closed for the season or can it open tomorrow or Tuesday?

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