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  1. Default April weather in the Southwest?

    Hi All,

    I'm looking for some advice on road tripping in April/May......originally my husband and I had planned to spend 6 weeks starting in mid May travelling around California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, then head up to Yellowstone and finish up in San Fransico. Obviously, the plan didn't have too much detail yet, but the idea was to visit as many national parks as we could, do some camping and enjoy the outdoors.

    However, now due to work commitments, it looks like we will have to bring the whole thing forward a month and start the trip in mid my question is - how much do you think our planned trip will be hampered by the weather by going a month earlier?

    I realise some areas will still be inaccessable due to snow, but will it be too cold to camp? Or too rainey to do things outdoors?

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-07-2008 at 02:16 PM. Reason: added link to the first trip planning thread

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Less weather in April than in May/June!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tay View Post
    how much do you think our planned trip will be hampered by the weather by going a month earlier? I realise some areas will still be inaccessable due to snow, but will it be too cold to camp? Or too rainey to do things outdoors
    Most of the weather patterns in the southwest (with respect to rain) are influenced by the monsoonal storms that start in late May, June and July, so there is actually less chance of meaningful rain in April than there would be later. Snow at the higher elevations is still likely in Arizona, Utah and California.

    But for the most part, I think you will have more favorable opportunities for camping in April than later in the spring.


  3. Default NW Wyoming in May & June

    (WE live in Grand Teton NP)

    The very best wildlife viewing in Wyoming’s Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks is in May and June! Certainly, you’ll see more wild critters in these National Parks at this time than any other time or place – including Canada & Alaska! More like Africa then America. This is when the babies are born so it can be absolutely spectacular!

    Lots of bears & wolves to be seen in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley. As well as elk and bison, which is why the predators are there. In Yellowstone the critters will be across the north from West Yellowstone to Gardner to Cooke City, but especially in the Lamar Valley (in the NE area).

    In Grand Teton the elk will be leaving the refuge by the thousands and you’ll see tons of Bison and some Moose. Plus, hopefully bears and wolves.

    Unfortunately, camping is very limited. Forget about boondock camping due to remaining snow. Check with the Park Svc as to when the various campgrounds open in the Parks. The Gros Ventyre Campground in Grand Teton, and Slough Creek in Yellowstone are perfect - if open.

    Also, check when the roads open. The road from Jackson Hole to the south entrance of Yellowstone opens late.

    Whether can be absolutely AWFUL (snow, cold, rain), but beautiful too. Think of it as more late winter than spring. Actually, Spring might last a day or two. We’ve seen 18” of new snow in a night during late May around the NE Entrance to Yellowstone.

    If you are tough enough this is a terrific time to see this amazing area! We are there several times each spring for many years! You’ll remember it forever!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Thanks Bob

    Hi Bob and welcome to the R.T.A forums.

    Thanks for the "locals knowledge", it's always nice when a first time poster jumps on board and helps out with some good info, it's much appreciated.


  5. #5

    Default April in CA

    My husband & I toured CA for the 1st time last April with our tent camping gear. We experienced all weather (except rain). Depending on where you're going, it could be too cold or too hot to camp.

    We started on April 8 at Palm Springs where it was tropically hot. Less than three hours later we had driven up to Big Bear Lake, and although there was still snow on the slopes it was pretty much melted everywhere else, but still chilly at night. The next day we were in Death Valley and it was a sweltering 96 degrees. Too hot to camp. The next day we were in Mammoth, where we skied and there were 10 ft. snow banks beside blooming daffodil beds - surreal.

    On the east & west side of the Sierras, most campgrounds weren't even open yet. Passes were still blocked with snow. Yosemite had campers, but it was pretty chilly at night.

    As soon as we got away from the mountains and headed for the coast, the snow disappeared and it became comfortably warm for camping.

    Extremes of weather due to topography was certainly characteristic for CA - we loved it.

    This year we're road-tripping Arizona in April, where I hear we can look forward to similar weather extremes - can't wait.

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