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[Yosemite]

Has Anyone Camped at Dirt Flat and Dry Gulch?

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

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Has Anyone Camped at Dirt Flat and Dry Gulch?

Postby flapjacksrule » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:35 pm

My Fiance are taking a 2 week road trip through the redwoods, San Francisco and Yosemite for our honeymoon in late August. Our plan is to attempt to get camping reservations within one of the Yosemite Valley pines campgrounds. But we also know how difficult obtaining said reservations can me. As such we plan on reserving a site at either Dirt Flat or Dry Gulch just outside the National Park as a plan B.

I have had difficulty finding any information beyond basics for these sites. Has anyone camped in this location before? and if so would you recommend this as an option? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Has Anyone Camped at Dirt Flat and Dry Gulch?

Postby dan » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:52 pm

No. I camped at Red Bud and Indian Flat campgrounds before the USFS turned them into picnic areas. The area in general is in foothill country, with mixed brush and trees. It's hot in summer (but so is Yosemite Valley). The USFS campgrounds are primitive--pit (or "vault") toilets, picnic table, fire ring, water pipe, and dirt road. If you don't need luxury, and bring everything you need, I find these campgrounds generally quiet and peaceful.

These campgrounds are on the NORTH side of Merced River. The highway is sometimes on the SOUTH side of the river, so follow the campground directions carefully.

Map of area:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sierra/publicat ... portal.htm

Dry Gulch Campground Picture:
http://mercedriverwatershed.org/Members ... a-camping/

Dirt Flat Campground mentioned in a blog:
http://mototrip.wordpress.com/2008/07/0 ... ampground/
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Postby flapjacksrule » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:43 pm

You say there is a water pipe. So there is access to running water at the camp sites? I was unsure based on the reservation website if 'water' meant the river near by or running water from a pipe.

Primitive campsites I can handle I was just wondering the overall appeal of the sites. According to my Moon Yosemite book they are nice ambience wise. I also used google maps to see how long the drive was to Yosemite Valley and it said 35 minutes. I figure I should expect a wait time at the Park entrance too, depending on the time of day. Speaking of which can you enter the park at anytime or are their operating hours at the entrances?
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Postby dan » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:15 am

When they say water, they mean piped water. Occasionally, they want you to boil the water, but they will have a sign for that. I doubt that will be the case.

The park is open 24/7. If there's nobody at the entrance booth, you pay on your way out (if someone is there). Usually the wait time is only a few minutes, unless it's a summer weekend, mid-day.

Edit: The Hetch Hetchy entrance at the northwest side of the park is only open daylight hours. The east (Tioga Pass, 9943') entrance is closed to cars in winter (of course!), although you can walk or ski in (for free).
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Re: Has Anyone Camped at Dirt Flat and Dry Gulch?

Postby Reanee » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:03 am

Thanks for warning about the working hours of different entrances, dan!
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