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

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Postby Ddvo87 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:20 am

Hi! I'm new to this forum so I apologize if this discussion already exists. I booked a weekend campsite in Wawona in July and would like to know what are some great things to do while we are there. I will have a dog (American Bulldog) with me so something that is animal friendly. We love to fish and hike (so we are definitely in the right place). We won't have time to hike Half Dome unfortunately. Is there a hike where there is a swimming hole at the end of the hike? Or any great place to fish?

Also, I know the max occupancy is 6 people per campsite. Right now we have 7 people that want to come plus a dog. Are they strict on max occupancy?

Thanks in advance!!!
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Postby lmsteck » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:17 pm

We camp in Yosemite Valley when we can, I know they don't count how many people are in each site. I've seen as many as 12 people in one site in the valley during the summer. They camped for 5 nights with no complaints or visits from the ranger. I think the key is to be respectful of your neighbors. I also know dogs are not allowed on the trails so someone will have to stay with your pet. (My in-laws stay with ours or we just don't go anywhere she can't.) The exceptions that I know of are Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls. Pets can only go into "developed" areas.

Pets in Yosemite National Park

If you choose to bring your pet to Yosemite, please abide by these regulations:

Pets are only allowed
in developed areas
on fully paved trails and roads except trails signed as not allowing pets (pets are not allowed off the floor of Yosemite Valley, including the trail to Vernal Fall)
in campgrounds (except Tamarack Flat and walk-in campgrounds)
Pets are not allowed
on unpaved or poorly paved trails, or trails signed as not allowing pets (however, pets are allowed on the Wawona Meadow Loop)
on unplowed roads covered in snow
in Wilderness areas
on shuttle buses
in concessioner lodging areas
in Tamarack Flat and all walk-in and group campgrounds
in any group or horse camps
Pets must be restrained on a leash not more than six feet long or otherwise physically restrained
Leashed pets may not be left unattended
For the courtesy of other visitors, human companions are responsible for cleaning up and depositing pet feces in trash receptacles
Remember that pet food is also bear food: store pet food as if it were human food.
These regulations protect both pets and wildlife from disease and each other. The National Park Service has prohibited pets on trails for many years. In particular, dogs chase wildlife, pollute water sources, and can become defensive and dangerous in unfamiliar surroundings. Pet owners have the burden to assure their pet does not damage the park values for others in those areas where pets are allowed.

DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite operates a dog kennel in Yosemite Valley from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Written proof of immunizations (rabies, distemper, parvo, and Bordetella) must be provided. Dogs must be at least 20 pounds (smaller dogs may be considered if you provide a small kennel). You can get more information about the kennel by calling 209/372-8348.

There are a few additional (very obscure and unsigned) places where pets are allowed: Four Mile fire road in Wawona, on the Carlon Road, and on the Old Big Oak Flat Road between Hodgdon Meadow and Hazel Green Creek.
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Postby parktraveler » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:03 pm

We have caught some fish near Swinging Bridge in Wawona and there is a swimming hole near the bridge. By the way, the water is cold even in the summer. The directions to get there are on the trail map of the area that you can get at the Visitor Center next to the Wawona Hotel. You could also go on the Merced below Foresta Bridge in El Portal and Lyell and Dana forks on the Tuolumne River. If you want to hike, Buena Vista lake is supposed to be good.

As for the dog, not much is pet friendly in the park and you can't leave a dog unattended in your campsite or in your car so bringing your dog with you is going to limit what you can do.
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Postby AlmostThere » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:48 pm

You'll want to visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/fishing.htm to look at the fishing regulations in the park.

Probably would be good to know the difference between a brown and a rainbow, if you fish in the valley, as you won't be able to keep rainbows there. Normal bag limits per the state of California apply other than what is stated on the Yosemite page. You can see those regulations at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/
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