Yosemite Fire Update – Should You Cancel Your Visit?

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UPDATE – August 12, 2018 – The Mariposa Grove and Wawona are expected to reopen on Monday August 13. Yosemite Valley is expected to reopen on Tuesday August 14. Highway 140 (through Arch Rock) and Highway 120 (through Big Oak Flats) will be the only roads that lead to the valley. There will be no access to Yosemite Valley from the South Entrance due to firefighting activity just west of Tunnel View. Conversely, the only way to access Wawona and the Mariposa Grove is from the South Entrance. Services in the park will be limited, and it’s still smoky.

UPDATE 8-7-18 –  Yosemite Valley is still closed and there is no date set for it to reopen. Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, Crane Flat, Big Oak Flat and Hetch Hetchy are also closed When these areas of park do reopen it’s expected that visitor services will be extremely limited there. The main objective now is firefighter safety.

The only park entrance that is open is the East Entrance. There is no access to the park from the west

Highway 140 to the Arch Rock entrance is now open (the entrance is closed).

Highway 120 from Groveland to Crane Flat should be open soon (they are doing a safety check and hope for it to open by noon today) but there will be no access to Yosemite Valley; however there will be access to Tioga Road.

The South Entrance will most likely be the last entrance to open.

UPDATE – 8/3/18: The ONLY park entrance open now is the East entrance off of Highway 395, north of Mammoth Lakes. I have had e-mails from many folks who had alternatively planned to stay on the west side near the park and then were going to try to enter the park at Big Oak Flats. THIS IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE. I strongly suggest basing yourself on the east side, (Mammoth Lakes) and enjoy Mono Lake, Bodie & Devils Postpile, and then check out Tenaya Lake (inside the park) on Tioga Pass Road. 

 

UPDATE – 7/24/18: Highway 41, Wawona and Yosemite Valley will be closed as of 8-25-18 at noon. Visitors will be asked to leave the park. This is being done in hopes of setting up a firebreak to stop the spread of the Ferguson Fire.

Since I live near Yosemite and write about the park often, I’ve gotten a lot of inquires lately about the Ferguson Fire, which is burning nearby. And the main question seems to be – “Should I cancel my Yosemite visit”? Continue reading

A Piece of the Rock in the SF Financial District

Up-close-and-personal at "Alcatraz; Life on the Rock".OK, I admit it, I’m a huge Alcatraz fan. I’ve seen every movie made about the island (the Birdman was the best), I love reading historical accounts about prison life, and I’m simply enthralled by the audio tour whenever I visit the old cell block. And on one visit to the Rock, I even got to chat with a former Alcatraz guard. Boy did he ever have some stories to tell. Continue reading

Five Free Wheelchair-Accessible Glass Installations in Tacoma

Chihuly at Tacoma’s Union Station

When you go to Tacoma, you have to visit the Museum of Glass. That’s a given. But that’s not the only glass in the city. It’s time to think outside the box a bit and take a little walking tour to explore some of the hidden glass treasures of Tacoma. The good news is, all these sites are free; and the even better news is that they are all wheelchair-accessible. Continue reading

Free Admission to Florida Aviation Museum

Those of you who know me know that I’m a absolute aircraft junkie. I grew up in a flying family, and air shows and fly-ins were standard fare at our house. I’ve been to many aircraft museums over my career, and to be honest I never tire of them. Continue reading

Road Trip Fun

There are plenty of fun things to do -- for the young and the not-so-young -- at Wall Drug.

Road trips are more than just going from Point A to Point B in a car. Although that’s certainly part of it, the other part is stopping at fun and quirky roadside attractions along the way. And that’s exactly what we did on our drive through South Dakota and Minnesota. Continue reading

The Right Attitude in Pensacola

Julee Cottage at Historic Pensacola Village.

In the course of my travels and editorial research, I talk to a lot of folks regarding access. Some folks really get it, while others are clueless. I’m glad to report that the former was the case today at Historic Pensacola Village in Pensacola, Florida. Continue reading

Free Star Party in Twin Falls

Rick Greenwald demonstrating the ARE — which makes a telescope wheelchair-accessible — at the Centennial Observatory in Twin Falls, Idaho.

If you happen to be in Twin Falls, Idaho on the second Saturday of the month, then head on over to the Herrett Center for Arts and Science for a free Star Party in the Centennial Observatory. Located on the College of Southern Idaho campus, this state of the art observatory boasts one of the world’s largest wheelchair-accessible telescopes, equipped with some cool technology that makes star gazing accessible to everyone. Continue reading

Free Sonoma Garden Tour

If you find yourself in Sonoma Valley, make sure and stop by Cornerstone Sonoma, for a great free self-guided tour of some very unusual gardens.

Billed as the first gallery-style garden exhibit in the United States, the gardens were created by a select group of landscape artists; who were each given 1,800 square feet and encouraged to showcase their new and innovative garden designs. Continue reading