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National forest camping

Discussion of camping and road-accessible campgrounds in and near Yosemite National Park

Moderators: Wickett, dan

National forest camping

Postby wanderman » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:32 pm

I'm from Colorado and hope to hike in Yosemite the last 2 weeks in August. What are the rules about camping in the National Forests that are not Wilderness Areas that surround Yosemite. In Colorado, we can pretty much camp wherever we want as long as we stay 200 feet away from lakes and streams.

Thanks for any insights.
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Re: National forest camping

Postby dan » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:00 am

Rules vary by National Forest and location. Generally, it's allowed in more isolated areas, which do not include the popular approaches to Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is surrounded by 3 National Forests: Inyo National Forest to the east, Stanislaus National Forest to the north and northwest, and Sierra National Forest to the south and southwest. In all cases you need a Campfire Permit, available from a Forest Service office.

National Forest campgrounds are available along the approaches to Yosemite. Here's a clickable map:

Here's the relevant webpage quotes:

Inyo National Forest Camping
Most of the land in Inyo and Mono counties is publicly owned. Dispersed camping (camping outside of designated campgrounds) is allowed throughout much of the area. . . . Certain high-use recreation zones, including those along paved roads leading into the mountains, are not open to dispersed camping (see Inyo National Forest map).

Stanislaus National Forest
Camping on the Stanislaus National Forest is not limited to developed campgrounds. Most of the Forest is open to those who prefer the quiet and solitude of a completely undeveloped setting outside of developed campgrounds. This type of camping is called "dispersed camping," and visitors are asked to choose a fire safe camping spot and leave a minimal impact on the site.

Sierra National Forest Camping
Campfire permits are required when camping in undeveloped sites
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