Last Month in Yosemite: November 2018

Last Month in Yosemite: November 2018

Parks in Focus participants from Sequoia YMCA helped out on a stewardship project during the November camping trip in Yosemite. Photo: Courtesy of Udall Foundation

A monthly recap of what we saw, heard and did in the park. Here's what happened in November...

Screenshot from Yosemite Conservancy's High Sierra webcam on November 30, 2018.

Sierra snow

The Sierra Nevada lived up to its name in November, as a series of storms revived waterfalls, spread a wintry quilt over the mountains, and even left a few inches of snow on the Valley floor. The wet weather transformed familiar views, as snow softened peaks and ballooned tree boughs ... and also prompted a few fresh weather-related travel updates. The Tioga, Glacier Point and Mariposa Grove roads have all closed for the season, as are portions of the Mist Trail (between Mist/John Muir Trail junction and the top of Vernal Fall) and Four Mile Trail (above Union Point). 

If you're heading to Yosemite this season, be sure to call the park's public information line (209-372-0200) for the latest information about road closures and tire restrictions. 

Whether or not you're planning a winter trip to the park, you can keep an eye on the weather (and winter wonderland-ness) on our four Yosemite webcams, which feature views of Half Dome, the High Sierra, Yosemite Falls and El Capitan. 


As part of the final Parks in Focus Yosemite camping trip of the year, Sequoia YMCA students explored the park through digital photography. Photo: Courtesy of Udall Foundation

Focused on nature

The final Parks in Focus Yosemite trip of 2018 was rescheduled from the summer due to the Ferguson Fire, but the revised agenda didn't dampen the fun. In November, a group of middle-school students from the Sequoia YMCA in Redwood City, California, headed east to spend some time in their nearby national park.

In addition to camping and hiking, the kids got to learn about habitat restoration while pitching in on a stewardship project (pictured above), and captured seasonal sights on camera as they delved into digital photography. While exploring the Valley floor and rim, they observed colorful sunsets and golden meadows, insects and tree bark, and fallen leaves trapped in thin sheets of ice. Thanks to our supporters for making this program possible in the park!


A snowshoer takes in the view from the south rim of Yosemite Valley. Photo: Erin Hallett (February 2017)

Activity announcements

With 2019 right around the corner, we're getting ready for a fresh year of fun ways to connect with the park.  If you're planning a trip to Yosemite next year, take a peek at our recently announced art and adventure offerings to find an experience that fits your schedule. Our guided Outdoor Adventures run year-round, from winter snowshoe hikes to summer backpacking trips and autumn birding and basket-weaving programs. Art workshops start in early April, when Happy Isles Art and Nature Center opens for the year, and continue through October, with special classes for kids in late spring and summer.


Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving every year. Thank you to all who supported Yosemite Conservancy on Giving Tuesday, or any other day of the year! Photo: Casey Horner/Unsplash

Giving thanks

November 27 marked the seventh annual Giving Tuesday, and we're grateful to everyone who donated to support the Conservancy on that worldwide day of charitable giving this year! While Giving Tuesday falls but once a year (on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving), any day is a good day to support Yosemite. Thank you to all of our supporters, no matter when or how you give!

And with that, our November musings on the blog included just a few of the reasons we're thankful for people who love the park. Read that post for a quick introduction to the many ways our supporters make a difference, and stay tuned for a more in-depth synopsis of how our community helped Yosemite this year. 


A black bear looking out from behind a tree in the Yosemite Wilderness. Photo: Madison Smith, 2017

Bear necessities

As autumn ebbed, bears were active throughout the park in November, frequenting developed areas as they searched for pre-hibernation food. And they need a lot of food this time of year: up to 20,000 calories per day! As of late November, the park's bear team had recorded 22 bear-related incidents (when a bear causes monetary loss, such as by damaging property or taking food) in 2018, and at least 16 bears had been hit by vehicles on park roads. Help protect Yosemite's bears and other animals in autumn, and year-round, by remembering the "bear necessities": Drive slowly and alertly, store food in bear-proof lockers or canisters, and keep your distance. 


Coming up on our calendars: Our winter Outdoor Adventure lineup includes strolls among sequoias, snowshoe hikes, and a winter photography workshop. Plus, a new year means new grants to the park! Check back soon for news about projects you can support in 2019, including trail and habitat restoration, scientific research, and educational programs.

See you in the park!

Main image: Parks in Focus participants from Sequoia YMCA helped out on a stewardship project during the November camping trip in Yosemite. Photo: Courtesy of Udall Foundation

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