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First time camping in Yosemite

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:56 am
by rhydarr
I made my first visit to Yosemite 25 years ago, but it certainly wasn't my last. Next month I am finally fulfilling a desire to camp in Yosemite. As we are going in late October, that narrowed down the choices. Originally we were only going to spend one night in Yosemite, so we had booked a reservation in Upper Pines. When I went to add a second night, later, the same camp spot was not available on the night before (nor any reservable spot), so we ended up with our first night being one of the Curry Village unheated tent cabins, and one night for a regular tent reservation. Our plan is after our 2 nights camping to head east over the Tioga Pass and head up to Tahoe, but we realize the pass is a 50/50 possibility that late into the autumn.

A couple questions that I have not been able to find answers for:

1. Bear lockers - I'm assuming they're lockable? If they are lockable, how small/large a lock do they take? Not that we'd really have much food-wise to worry about, but since all the sites say put ANYTHING that a bear MIGHT think = food (lotions, etc) into them, I'd prefer being able to lock it. I have a variety of padlocks around the house but obviously don't want to carry any heavier than necessary items with me.

2. How much do the Curry Village showers currently cost (I've read anywhere from $1-5)?

3. How much do the Curry Villages buffets cost? Our Curry Village tent apparently includes breakfast, but we'll need to pay for it on our second morning so we just want to be prepared. Is the dinner buffet any good? (Breakfast being "great" is less of a concern... really hard to screw up scrambled eggs and pancakes).

4. What should we expect for weather conditions in late October on the valley floor? (In other words, should we be prepared for 20 degrees and snow as possibility?)

5. You would think they would have this info somewhere on the camping info pages for Yosemite - for camping sites, how late in the morning are you allowed to vacate them? (How late can we sleep in, ha ha). What's the earliest you can check in for reserved spots?

6. I know there's a ranger stationed at the entrance to the Upper Pines camp area, but how late is he/she there to be able to check in? (ie. if we cannot move directly from Curry to our camping spot in the morning)

Thank you very much for any information, it's much appreciated.

Curry Village/Campground Questions

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:39 pm
by dan
1. The bear lockers in Curry Village come with a lock. You get the key when you check in. The bear boxes in the campground do not come with a lock. They have a latch where you can put a regular gym-locker type lock on it. Theft is not a big concern in campgrounds.

2. The showers are free for guests--bring your room key. If you're not a guest, you can get in free if there's nobody at the towel booth (usually mid-day). Otherwise, $5 I think, which includes soap and towel. If you're a guest you can ask for more towels and soap at the Curry check-in office.

3. Curry Breakfast is a little under $10 I believe. It's all you can eat. I prefer the a la carte food court in Yosemite Lodge though--better food (quality over quantity). There's also a coffee stand where you can buy coffee, other hot drinks, and pastries.

4. Here's a climate chart:
Basically, it could be mild or cold and windy. It could get down to freezing, but usually not in Oct. Snow--very unlikely--that's not until the end of Dec. in the Valley, same with 20F lows.

5. Campground information in Yosemite National Park:
I seem to remember the checkout time being 11am, but I'm not sure. Checkin is in the afternoon, don't know the time. If there's a spot, you can probably get it right away.

6. The campground checkin ranger leaves around 5, I think. If you're later, look at the whiteboard for your site number.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:03 pm
by Wickett
The checkin/out at the campsite is 12 noon. If the site is vacated early I have never had a problem checking in early.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:46 pm
by rhydarr
Is the check-in for Curry Village hotel-style and open later than the check in for the Upper Pines? Since it says 'bellhop available til 10pm', I'm assuming that means later check in ease? (We'll have our gear in backpacks so we will not need assistance there.)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:17 pm
by dan
The check in for Curry Village and the other hotels is open 24-hours a day. They never close. At least it has been that way for several years.

For campgrounds, if you arrive after the campground ranger leaves, and you have a reseration, your name is written on a whiteboard with your campsite number.