In the minds of many, Yosemite is the nation’s number one park. If you plan to stay anywhere in or near the park, whether in lodges or in the more popular campgrounds, you will need reservations. Even for day-users, the rangers sometimes turn people away after a certain number of cars have passed through the gates. At this writing, there is talk of reservations being required for day-users. Unless this reservation system comes into being, the way to avoid being turned away is to get there early in the morning. But if you have overnight reservations, you will be able to get in. Elevations range from 2,000 feet to 13,114 feet (Mount Lyell). Yosemite Valley lies at 4,000 feet, and temperatures can reach 95 or 100 degrees F in August. Tuolumne Meadows, however, is at 8,600 feet, and is cooler. Tioga Pass (the eastern entrance to the park) is at 9,945 feet, and lies in superb subalpine country. Mosquitoes can be a nuisance in the high country, but are seldom a problem in Yosemite Valley. Specialty birds: Resident—Northern Goshawk; Blue Grouse; Great Gray Owl; Williamson’s Sapsucker; White-headed and Black-backed Woodpeckers; Steller’s Jay; Mountain Chickadee; Canyon Wren; American Dipper; Townsend’s Solitaire; Cassin’s Finch. Summer—Black and White-throated Swifts; Calliope Hummingbird; Western Wood-Pewee; Hammond’s and Dusky Flycatchers; Cassin’s Vireo; Black-throated Gray, Hermit, and MacGillivray’s Warblers; Western Tanager; Black-headed Grosbeak. Migrant—Rufous Hummingbird. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information.
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