We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Stars and Cones

Eatontown, New...
Level Contributor
26 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
Stars and Cones

Two quick questions:

Glacier point or other places to set up a tripod and photograph the stars and / or the Milky Way, do you need special passes, or just go up anytime you like?

Pine Cones, can you take them from the parks? My son says a friend came home with one, but, seems like it may not be allowed, so I thought I would ask.

Thanks all.

Lassen National...
Level Contributor
2,631 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Stars and Cones

It is not allowed in the National Park. It is fine in National forests, BLM, etc.. There are people who make a living collecting pine cones, just not in National Parks.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
10,487 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Stars and Cones

You can go to Glacier Point at any time, day or night. Obviously not in the winter, though, as the road is closed due to snow. At that time you can only get there by snowshoe hiking or cross-country skiing. No special pass or anything.

Glacier Point faces generally north, so the view to the northern sky is unobstructed. Washburn Point, near Glacier Point, faces in a more eastern direction. Sentinel Dome, also along Glacier Point Road, has a better view of the sky than Glacier Point, because there is a ridge to the south of Glacier Point that obscures a small part of the view. Sentinel Dome gives a virtually unobstructed 360-degree view of the sky.

However to get to the top of Sentinel Dome requires a hike of about 1 hour each way. If you were to go up there at night, you would need to bring flashlights, pillows and blankets as it will be cold up there at night even if the day was hot.

The Perseid meteor shower peaks on August 12, but to see it at its best requires viewing in the middle of the night, midnight is OK but the peak number of meteors will be in the early morning hours.

You are not allowed to take pine cones or redwood cones or anything else. There are 4 million visitors to Yosemite every year. If everyone took a cone, there would be no seeds left to become trees in the future. You are not permitted to take anything.

Lassen National...
Level Contributor
2,631 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Stars and Cones

Not many seed trees are needed to populate a forest. The cones are vital food for squirrels & chipmunks--especially the Sugar Pines. As a matter of tree reproduction, the forest easily gets too dense with the lack of fires.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
2,266 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Stars and Cones

Pine cones can't legally be taken, but I still jacked a giant one from Sequoia on my first trip years ago. I wish I could go back in time and slap the hell out of myself for doing it now.

Northern California
Level Contributor
195 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Stars and Cones

I was there end of July and did not take anything home except fun memories. I bet there are many people who sneak a cone or two home as souvenirs. But then what can you do with it at home? cook it and eat it? :-))))

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
60,845 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Stars and Cones

It's somewhat common to see folks selecting an illegal 'souvenir' from the forest at Mariposa Grove. Here is OhioHick's report:

"Another example of folks not abiding by the rules and we saw several folks carrying out the huge cones from the sugar pine. This was a common theme on all the popular trails through the groves. At one point we saw a group of Indian women, dressed in the colorful saris, each carrying one of the cones. I hope they ran into a Ranger on their way out." tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k56519…

There used to be a big plexiglass box near the trailhead to the Grizzly Giant where folks were supposed to drop the cones they had 'mistakenly' collected. Anyone know if it's still there?

Many many years ago we saw someone trap a ground squirrel in a cardboard box and drive away in their van with their 'treasure'. That was probably the worst illegal souvenir.

Here is the Rules & Safety page from the NPS nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/yoursafety.htm

Lassen National...
Level Contributor
2,631 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Stars and Cones

That is terrible PacificNW. Anyway, you'll drive in and out of National Forest land before getting to the National Park. It's fine to take a pine cone there. Just please don't leave anything behind! Trash!

LA
Level Contributor
10,061 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Stars and Cones

Pine cones will contaminate everything with residual sap and end up being left in some neglgected corner of the back yard. You won't want to have them on the mantlepiece because of the debris.

Just leave them lie.

Long Barn...
Level Contributor
4,717 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Stars and Cones

Pine cones seem to drop late summer- fall season. One time I had a pine cone drop into the bed of my truck while parked in the park. I drove home with it and did not discover the pine cone till I got home. I did not bring it back. I have also brought home countless pine needles the same way....I feel so much like a criminal.

I bet that squirrel was dinner for someone.

Eatontown, New...
Level Contributor
26 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Stars and Cones

YOu guys are great, too funny. I guess I'll get a pine cone outside the park as best I can. I already have a giant sequoia growing in a large planter outside, bought that online....didnt dig it up or anything. No worries, wont leave any garbage behind, just footprints.