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[Yosemite]

Best way to handle gear, coming from east coast

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

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Best way to handle gear, coming from east coast

Postby gregor » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:06 pm

I'm in the very early planning of my first trip to Yosemite and have a ton of questions. My plan is to attempt to get a campsite somewhere in the valley for a week in late july, maybe early august. And trying to hit all of the major day hikes in the area. I'll be flying in to whatever major airport i can get the cheapest flight to from the NY area, and wonder about getting all of my gear out there with me. What's the easiest way to take care of this? If airlines weren't charging $25 bucks for your second bag, i'd probably have two 50 lbs bags per person (my girlfriend and I), but round trip that would cost us an extra 100 bucks. Is there an easier way, such as shipping to a local post office? Do they even allow that? I know out here on the east coast you can have mail drops when hiking the AT. Is there a popular town to have this shipped to?

Another question, is what is the best place to stock up on stuff that couldn't be shipped? Fuel canisters and food? I'm wondering about the availability of fresh food inside the park, are there grocery stores where we would be able to pick up meat/fruits and vegetables during our stay, or is it pretty much just what we bring in with us if we want to eat at our campsite?

I'm just at the very early stages of planning, but man i'm exicted. My girlfriend and I decided to skip our annual summer scuba diving trip for this one and i can tell already it's just going to be amazing. Now just to make sure i'm able to get a campsite in July, i guess i better be logged on first thing in the morning the day registrations open. I've read that the Valley campsites fill up within 5-10 minutes, is that true?
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Re: Best way to handle gear, coming from east coast

Postby dan » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:47 pm

Go to http://www.yosemitesites.com/ It's unofficial, but it will show you when reservations open up and how many sites are available for each day. Camp in the Valley if you can. The Valley campgrounds are crowded, but NOTHING beats waking up in Yosemite Valley! The official government website for Yosemite Campground reservations is http://www.recreation.gov/
There's also Housekeeping Camp, which provides rustic tent-cabins. Look at the photo gallery to get an idea if it's for you--it means less gear to ship with you:
http://www.yosemitepark.com/accommodati ... gcamp.aspx

You may be able to ship your stuff to General Delivery, Yosemite, California. There's a US Post Office in Yosemite Valley. Call them during office hours for General Delivery mail policy (I don't know if there's a wait limit, but they only keep it so many days I think).

Don't bring food---there's a small supermarket in Yosemite Valley with food. There's a smaller food store in Tuolumne Valley. If you're flying in (Fresno Airport, FAT), you can shop in a regular supermarket before taking off to Yosemite.

gregor wrote: I've read that the Valley campsites fill up within 5-10 minutes, is that true?

Yes it can--for popular days (weekends and holidays) and early Summer. Don't take a chance and figure out when the opening day is ahead of time.
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Postby Heybooboo » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:49 am

Gregor,
Are you renting a car and driving in? Flying to Fresno will probably be $100-200 more per ticket. The Yosemite valley floor @ 3660 ft. elev. is about a 2 hour drive from the Fresno airport (FAT) but called Fresno Yosemite International. Is your gear just camping gear or climbing gear? You could always send it Greyhound to your airport location. The grocery store in Yosemite Village is pretty well stocked with everything you'll need but any food you can buy outside of the park will be cheaper. There are two great markets in Oakhurst - Vons and Raley's. Oakhurst is about an hours drive from Yosemite Valley on Hwy. 41 between Fresno and Yosemite. Coming in on Hwy 140 from Merced your last chance for a decent market is Mariposa. When my wife and I travel out of state we buy a cheap foam ice chest for the week and if it survives the week we donate it to a local thrift store before we depart.

There are some great day hikes: 4 mile trail-Valley floor to Glacier Point you go from 3973 to 7214 in 4.6 miles; Happy Isles follows the Merced River to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall via the Mist Trail then into Little Yosemite Valley from there it's 3.5 miles to the top of Half Dome-this is climbable as the Park Service places cables to help hikers "pull" themselves to the top (a once in a life time experience) so women hikers even try to do this in their pumps though I've never seen stilettos on the trail; Snow Creek Trail is southern exposure with steep switchbacks, but in no time you're looking straight across a narrow canyon at the face of Half Dome; Yosemite Fall trail is one I've never done but plan to do this in the spring or fall, not summer. Hope this helps.
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Postby Heybooboo » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:10 pm

Gregor,
A must see, especially for people from out of state are the gians sequoias at the Mariposa Grove located near the southern entrance to the Park. These trees are largest in the world, averaging 30' or more in diameter! The branches of these trees are larger than most large trees east of the Mississippi.

A nice long day hike for Yosemite Valley would be to take the tram to the top of Glacier Point then hike the Pohono Trail back into the Valley, about 15 miles and you get the greatest views especially from Taft and Dewey Points. The trail ends at Tunnel View, from there you could bum a ride back to Curry Village or where ever you're staying.

Go to the yosemite. org virtual yosemite to see live webcams.
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