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Winter is Here and It’s Time to Chain Up

| November 2, 2004

With winter in full swing in the Sierra and Mother Nature dumping snow at the higher elevations it’s a good time to point out that you’re required by law to carry tirechains in your vehicle at all times when entering Yosemite National Park and should know how to use them.

The State of California Department of Transportation has made available a PDF depicting proper placement of chains/cables on your vehicle.

From time to time there are chain installers available but only before you get to the park. Should you have to chain up once inside the park you’re on your own. It’s wise to also carry a basic tool kit to assist in chaining up. Suggestions include: screw drivers (long/short, standard/phillips), pliers, needle nose pliers, visegrips, and a pad of carpet (unless you like kneeling in the snow).

Follow your chain manufacturers specific directions for installing your chains as included in the package. It’s a good idea to practice a few times before leaving home to make sure you’ll be able to chain up in the snow.

Always be sure to care extra food, water, blankets, warm clothes, and signaling devices (road flares and whistles) in your car when traveling in winter at higher elevations. Also, leave an itinerary with friends and family detailing your route, lenght of stay, locations, and when they should expect you back.


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About Loyd: For over 30 years I've enjoyed hiking, backpacking, fishing, photographing and exploring Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. More About the Author. View author profile.

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