Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Roseville (Gateway to the Sierras), CA, USA
April can be a bit early for Yosemite. It could be an awesome springtime experience with mild temperatures or you may not be able to get into the park due to snow conditions. There will be two or three entrances open to the park that time of year. I suggest you come in from the north on Hwy 120. It is rarely closed. Hwy 140 through El Portal is often closed in the winter and also has frequent mudslides. Hwy 41 from the south has the most traffic into the park. Due to the winter road closures you mentioned there is little riding you can do inside the park other than the valley floor. Most of the main attractions are there. Upper and lower Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Sentinal, Half Dome view, and the Merced River running through the valley meadows. More than likely you will be there during the beginning of the spring runoff. The main waterfalls will be spectacular but can be overpowering. I have seen Bridalveil all the way into the middle of the parking lot during early May! Check the weather but it can be unpredictable. Yosemite is in the Sierras and at high altitude surrounded by higher altitude. We seem to be having a late winter this year and it is not uncommon to get snow on the valley floor(4000+ ft) through mid-May. Daytime temps range 30-60 degrees. Below freezing or just above at night. Believe me, I am not trying to scare you off as I make at least one ride per year there myself. Two years ago I was snowed on during a ride in Yosemite Valley the first week of June. Last November it was sunny and 70 degrees. Just be prepared and make sure you have lodging reservations well in advance in or out of the park. April is not necessarily off-season and a number of school districts have April 9-13 off for Spring Break this year.
Your best riding will be getting to and from Yosemite. Not in the park. There are a number of creative, backroads routes and loops to get over and back from San Jose. San Antonio Road, J17, 132, J59, Hwy 49, etc. The local foothills in the Gold Country along Hwy 49 are full of great riding too!
Yosemite is a great destination full of natural beauty and just cruising the valley loop several times is quite enjoyable. Have a great time and remember no matter what the weather it will be a memorable experience!
Bob Morrow #4204
2014 K1600GTLE "Firefly" GTL 4 Two
2002 K1200LTE "Green Hornet" LT 4 Two (history)
"Kyrie Eleison down the road that I must travel"