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[Yosemite]

Getting acclimated

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Getting acclimated

Postby Alchemist » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:52 pm

I will be backpacking in Tuolumne in late July and want to get acclimated for 1-2 days before the hike. The problem is I couldn't get a campsite there and I won't be able to drive around to look for available first-come first-served campsites because I don't have a car. Can anyone give me some suggestions? I appreciate it!
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Re: Getting acclimated

Postby balzaccom » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:08 am

Not an easy situation, but give this some thought:

If you have a backpacking permit, you can camp the night before your permit starts in the backpackers campground at Tuolumne Meadows. So you could arrive one day early, early in the day, and put in a day of hiking around the meadows to help acclimatize yourself. Camp in the backpackers campground that night, and start the next morning.

Without a car, it's hard to count on any other option. There are some campgrounds, like Porcupine Flat, that often have sites available during the middle of the week, but that's quite a few miles from TM. Could you find someone at Porcupine Flat who would be willing to give you a ride to TM? Probably, but that's not a given. From Porcupine Flat, you can hike to North Dome, which is a great day hike, and would give you a full day above 7500 feet. Perfect spot for acclimatization.

And for that matter, even if the campground is full, as a single backpacking you might be able to find someone in the campground who would let you share their site for the night---particularly if you offered to pick up the fee...or bring a bottle of wine.

Of course, you could also try this tactic at the TM campground.
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Re: Getting acclimated

Postby Phil » Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:44 pm

How are you getting to Yosemite, and where will you be initially ending up when you get there? Tell me that and I'll tell you how to pull it off, one way or another. Backpacker's shuttles, and sometimes hitching/begging a ride, can do wonders if you work it correctly.
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Re: Getting acclimated

Postby Alchemist » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:21 pm

balzaccom wrote:
And for that matter, even if the campground is full, as a single backpacking you might be able to find someone in the campground who would let you share their site for the night---particularly if you offered to pick up the fee...or bring a bottle of wine.


I was thinking exactly the same thing as a solution but I cannot count on that. I know I can stay at the backpackers campground the night before my permit begins, but I won't be able to get to TM until mid afternoon. So I think I should arrive two days before I begin hiking. In terms of how I will get there, I will take the bus to Yosemite and then the TM Hikers Bus from the valley to TM. Thanks again.
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Re: Getting acclimated

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:57 am

Alchemist wrote:
balzaccom wrote:
And for that matter, even if the campground is full, as a single backpacking you might be able to find someone in the campground who would let you share their site for the night---particularly if you offered to pick up the fee...or bring a bottle of wine.


I was thinking exactly the same thing as a solution but I cannot count on that. I know I can stay at the backpackers campground the night before my permit begins, but I won't be able to get to TM until mid afternoon. So I think I should arrive two days before I begin hiking. In terms of how I will get there, I will take the bus to Yosemite and then the TM Hikers Bus from the valley to TM. Thanks again.


The backpacker camp just packs 'em in. There will be space. And arriving by bus is one of the ways you can legally stay in the backpacker camp without having that permit -- it's in the compendium, which is on the Yosemite website, that walking, biking or riding a bus into the park allows you a space in the backpacker camp. Rangers sometimes don't understand that, so go print a copy of the superintendent's compendium to take with you.

That said, the Tuolumne backpacker camp is the loose one -- thru hikers sometimes stay there multiple nights. It's a bit different atmosphere than the one in the valley.
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Re: Getting acclimated

Postby Alchemist » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:43 am

And arriving by bus is one of the ways you can legally stay in the backpacker camp without having that permit -- it's in the compendium, which is on the Yosemite website, that walking, biking or riding a bus into the park allows you a space in the backpacker camp. Rangers sometimes don't understand that, so go print a copy of the superintendent's compendium to take with you.


Thank you, AT! This is really helpful. I found the compendium. Here's what it says:
"Backpacker camps are intended for use by visitors in possession of an overnight Wilderness
Permit or for visitors arriving in the park by foot, bicycle, or bus.Wilderness permit holders
may stay in a backpacker camp the night prior to departure and the night after returning from
each overnightWilderness trip."
"Users arriving in the park by foot, bicycle, or bus may stay in each backpacker camp for a
limit of one night."

If I understand it correctly, that gives me two nights at the backpacker camp. Here's the link to the compendium if anyone needs it:
https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/manageme ... endium.pdf
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