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[Yosemite]

Avoiding other campers

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

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Avoiding other campers

Postby CanadianCamper » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:41 am

Greetings,

My friends and I enjoy camping in the back country in remote locations. We would really like to camp for a week in Yosemite but are concerned about crowds and possibly sharing designated sites with other groups of campers.

Are there any routes that you might suggest that aren't used as frequently.

Even suggestions of the surrounding areas (Sierra, Sequoia, ElDorado) are welcome.

Thank you.
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Re: Avoiding other campers

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:39 pm

If you mean backpacking, not car camping, you can avoid the majority of the people by avoiding the very popular places around Half Dome, the high Sierra camps, and anything within one day's hike of the Valley floor. Northern Yosemite and the southeastern portion (the Buena Vista loop) are good choices.

You might also enjoy hiking out of the remote trailheads - Fernandez, Norris, or Quartz Mountain, or Clover Meadow - into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. It's a long drive to those trailheads on rough roads at times. Those will be permitted from the North Fork office of Sierra National Forest, or the Oakhurst office. Those will be contingent on snowmelt as the roads are not plowed. Likely to be late July before the high country really starts to open up.
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Re: Avoiding other campers

Postby MadDiver » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:05 pm

There aren't that many designated camping areas: The actual campgrounds you can drive to; the High Sierra camps; LYV (I'm probably missing 1 or 2). There are of course areas where camping is not allowed but should be marked on your map. The rest is pretty much camp where you will (look up the actual restrictions for distances from trails/water). Get as far from the Valley, Half Dome, the JMT and Tuolumne Meadows as possible if max solitude is your goal. With a week to work with, exploring the N/NW part of the park, possibly into the Hoover and/or Emigrant Wilderness might suit you well. Or the SW and the Ansel Adams Wilderness. I'll leave it to the more experienced regulars to suggest actual routes.
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Re: Avoiding other campers

Postby MadDiver » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:06 pm

Lol, AT, you beat me to it :)
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Re: Avoiding other campers

Postby CanadianCamper » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:37 pm

AlmostThere wrote:If you mean backpacking, not car camping, you can avoid the majority of the people by avoiding the very popular places around Half Dome, the high Sierra camps, and anything within one day's hike of the Valley floor. Northern Yosemite and the southeastern portion (the Buena Vista loop) are good choices.

You might also enjoy hiking out of the remote trailheads - Fernandez, Norris, or Quartz Mountain, or Clover Meadow - into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. It's a long drive to those trailheads on rough roads at times. Those will be permitted from the North Fork office of Sierra National Forest, or the Oakhurst office. Those will be contingent on snowmelt as the roads are not plowed. Likely to be late July before the high country really starts to open up.



I should have specified. I definitely mean backpacking. We'd be going in late August.

Are permits still difficult to get for these more remote trailheads?
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Re: Avoiding other campers

Postby balzaccom » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:23 pm

Permits for the remote trailheads are easier, and often start outside Yosemite National Park itself, so the rules are a bit different and usually less restrictive.

And if you really want to avoid people, go off trail. We've spent days in Yosemite without seeing another soul, but not in the John Muir Trail.

Our website (see my signature line) has lots of options and examples
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Avoiding other campers

Postby Dave_Ayers » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:53 pm

The number of permits can give an idea of how busy a trail and campsites are. For Yosemite, Look at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/trailheads.htm . Places like May Lakes (25 per day) and Ten Lakes (40 per day) are obviously going to be busy and have quite a few campers and you'll want to avoid them.

Also check out the Full Trailheads Report at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... lheads.pdf . Dates and trailheads listed have the full quota reserved.

Besides the southern access points that AT mentioned, trails in/near Yosemite I've been on with few or no others are the Parker Pass/Koip Pass/Gem Pass trail and the high trail from Lewis Creek to Isberg Pass. In addition, you can find more secluded campsites at places like Bernice Lake if you are willing to travel through a popular area and stretch for something more remote. Or better yet, head for something cross-country. For example, routes out of Devils Postpile are popular. But if you go cross-country to Beck Lakes or Holcomb Lake, you'll likely be the only party camped there.
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Re: Avoiding other campers

Postby bob13bob » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:45 pm

concentration of campsites will be about water. If there is limited water, people iwll camp around that. If your trails goes along a big river where u can camp anywhere along hte way, lots of options.
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Re: Avoiding other campers

Postby Phil » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:04 pm

Well, I guess this is covered.

Or, for about $20,000,000.00 you and your friends can rent the park for a week and have it all to yourselves. Or, you can see if the President of the US wants to come with, and they'll close off wherever you are too.

But really, find the trails, then don't go anywhere near them. If anyone shows up, make Bigfoot sounds and throw rocks at them while hiding in the trees.
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