Heat to Reach Yosemite This Weekend

Hikers will be facing temperatures of 100 degrees or so
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2021 5:05 PM CDT
Heat to Reach Yosemite This Weekend
Hikers headed to Yosemite Falls are advised to carry at least four liters of drinking water.   (Getty/James Cross)

As a heat wave settles in on the West Coast this weekend, Yosemite National Park might sound like an attractive escape. But temperatures at Yosemite are expected to hit 100 or 111 degrees over the weekend, SFGate reports. "Because there's a lot of exposed granite in the park … that granite, once it sees those suns rays, it heats up like the Central Valley," a forecaster said. The all-time record for Yosemite, set in 1915, is 115 degrees. This heat wave is expected to last through Monday, with Saturday and Sunday the hottest days. Ocean breezes and the marine layer will keep the California coast cooler, but it will be hot inland, especially in the Central Valley, forecasters said. California won't quite be facing the historic extremes that the Pacific Northwest has recently, a climate scientist posted online. "But that's perhaps an unrealistically high bar," he wrote.

For those determined to hike in Yosemite anyway, the Sierra Sun Times offers localized suggestions:

  • Start at 6 or 7am, and don't do anything strenuous after about 10.
  • Hydrate, of course, but bring food also to keep your body functioning. For the Half Dome and Upper Yosemite Falls hikes, figure on at least four liters of water per person.
  • Be open to turning around on the trail before you have to, before heat illness begins.
  • Don't expect to come across water fountains on the trails. Refill water bottles at the Yosemite Valley visitor center, Degnan's Deli, or Yosemite Valley Lodge.
  • Bring enough food and water for your pets, too, keeping in mind how much hotter paved paths are—as much as 50 degrees higher than the air temperature.
(More Yosemite National Park stories.)

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