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[Yosemite]

Backpacker Campsite Night Prior to Trip

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

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Backpacker Campsite Night Prior to Trip

Postby ErinJ86 » Wed May 18, 2016 6:45 am

I'm solidifying my plans for my June 8 trip starting at Sunrise Lakes. We're driving in from LA and would love to get started early on June 8. Our crew is looking to take advantage of staying at one of the backpacker campsites the night before our trip. Will we be able to stay at the Sunrise High Sierra Campground even though it's not scheduled to open until mid-July? We're not looking to use the facilities, we just want a place to stay the night we get to Yosemite.

Or will be limited to staying in the valley and then taking the bus to our trailhead on June 8?

As always, I'm grateful for all of the knowledge and guidance that comes out of this forum.
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Re: Backpacker Campsite Night Prior to Trip

Postby Phil » Wed May 18, 2016 7:19 am

Hi Erin,

So, first off, yes, you can stay in any of the High Sierra Camps, even if the facilities are closed. This includes Sunrise. Just to be clear, Sunrise is a HSC, and unless you've hiked about 5 miles into it already, it's not a "backpacker's camp" in the strict sense of being a before/after your trip option.

Secondly, unless the campground that they're associated with is open, the actual backpacker's camps where you can spend one night prior to and one after your trip aren't available yet. That would be White Wolf and Tuolumne Meadows. In that regard, the backpacker's camp in the Valley at North Pines is all you've got to work with for now. If you want something higher up on Tioga Rd, last I checked, the only regular (no backpacker's camp) drive-in campground scheduled to be open (06/07) is going to be Porcupine Flat. If it's somewhere you might consider, for the latest and best info, ask the ranger about it when you pick up your permit. And just so you know, even if Yosemite Creek or Tamarack Flat campgrounds do happen to be open early, both access roads are multiple miles long and usually hard drives into them, so your car is going to take a beating, whereas, Porcupine Flat is right next to the road.

Also, if you want to get an early start on the 8th, without any glitches or surprises, spend the time on the 7th to drive out to Sunrise and have a look at the crossing at Tenaya Creek in advance. You can make that crossing, but as I've told you before, it's going to at least make you think twice. Better to know what you're looking at ahead of time, and not when you're standing there with your packs on, ready to roll, but not willing to go forward. Having to wait for the shuttle back to the Valley for a new permit at a different trailhead is going to make for a lousy day and royally screw up your plans. So yeah, drive up there first to check it out.
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Re: Backpacker Campsite Night Prior to Trip

Postby ErinJ86 » Wed May 18, 2016 9:38 am

Thanks, Phil! That's exactly what I needed to know.
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