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Selecting the best campground for our trip

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:17 pm
by elirarey
We're visiting Yosemite in April, and I want to choose the best campground for us. There are three things we're looking for in our trip:

1) Some privacy and quiet.
2) Seeing wildflowers and wildlife
3) Hiking, preferably to see a waterfall, but moderately strenuous.

My impression is that I will get less of the first two on the valley floor, but more waterfalls to hike to. We're only going to be there for a weekend, and we've never been to Yosemite before. We might bring a big crew of people and get a group site, but not sure yet.

Any info much appreciated.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:31 pm
by AlmostThere
I can't say any of those will be private or quiet. Campgrounds in Yosemite tend to resemble parking lots. Bridalveil (a first come/first serve campground on Glacier Point Road) at least has more trees and foliage between the sites. Wawona is all open and barren of foliage. The Pines (never camped there, only walked through them) are huge, full of RVs and have some tree cover but not much. You will see wildflowers and wildlife if you walk away from them.... I don't personally count the ground squirrels and opportunistic nuisance bears as "wildlife."

From the Pines campgrounds, you can walk to Happy Isles and up the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls. And Half Dome if you want to go more miles.... You could also walk a few miles around the valley floor to Yosemite Falls (Lower). Walk the other way on the valley floor and go another mile up a trail, and you're at the bottom of Bridalveil Falls.

From Wawona you can head for Chilnualna Falls, which is a long stroll through cabins to the trailhead and then a four mile uphill to the falls. You can also walk into Wawona proper and walk around the meadows/golf course, which tend to be full of very placid deer.

In April, I would visit the valley and/or Hetch Hetchy. Glacier Point Road and Tioga will still be closed due to snow and the cables won't be up on Half Dome - Mist Trail is potentially icy. But, the falls will all be raging high.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:01 pm
by Wickett
So where did you wind up booking?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:29 pm
by elirarey
I booked three contiguous Lower Pines campsites. If it's too crowded, we'll camp somewhere else next time. But I imagine we'll have a good time.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:59 am
by Wickett
I have 2 in lower pines for the last week in April. We always go this time of year to beat a little bit of the crowds and for my birthday. What dates will you be there?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:25 am
by elirarey
We're there the weekend of the 23rd, staying until Monday. Look for us in sites 5 and 7!

It's heartening to hear that you've been before at this time of year and think that's a good spot.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:05 am
by Wickett
I am arriving on the 24th and will be there a week. I will be in sites 68 and 69. Stop on by if you want any info on places to go. I have been all over the Valley and done a lot of backpacking.