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First Timer - July 2018

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

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First Timer - July 2018

Postby DustyDingles » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:05 pm

My brother and I are planning to visit the park in mid to late July. In a perfect world we're able to hike to camp on the first day and then stay there for 2-3 nights. We're hoping for a campsite near several (good) trailheads so we can head out with little gear. Any suggestions for good campsites? If so which trailheads are nearby?
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Re: First Timer - July 2018

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:44 pm

Trailheads are all front country. You'll need to disambiguate a bit - do you mean you want a campsite in a campground in proximity to trailheads, or do you mean you want to hike in, camp in a spot and day hike from there to various destinations?
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Re: First Timer - July 2018

Postby DustyDingles » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:57 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Trailheads are all front country. You'll need to disambiguate a bit - do you mean you want a campsite in a campground in proximity to trailheads, or do you mean you want to hike in, camp in a spot and day hike from there to various destinations?


I was afraid my first post was too vague. And I think I might be using poor terminology as well.

Last year I went to Canyolands NP for 3 nights. We hiked into the Chesler Park area and posted up our camp after hiking in about 8 miles. We stayed at this same campsite for the 3 nights and spent the next few days venturing off on various day hikes...Chesler Park loop, Druid Arch trail and one other. The best part about this trip was not having to go on each hike with 40lbs of gear and water on our backs. That is what we're trying to accomplish here.

We're hoping to find a campsite in Yosemite that's several miles away from our car but near some good trails.

Hopefully that clears it up a bit.
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Re: First Timer - July 2018

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:07 pm

So you got a permit for backpacking and spent time hiking around while base camping. Which is totally possible in Yosemite - it's simply not going to involve a designated campsite or a zone, as it does in Canyonlands.

The information on the how and the don't and the must are here - https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/backpacking.htm

The competition for wilderness permits is absolutely fierce, but not hopeless. Pick a date you want to start hiking and go back 128 days, and fax your application as early as you can that day. With two people you have a good chance.

For your purposes Ten Lakes, Young Lakes, the lakes north of Hetch Hetchy (Laurel or Vernon) or Ostrander Lake are all good choices. You'll likely have the best shot at Hetch Hetchy -- it's not on Tioga Pass and you'd have to hike for days before you're even close to Half Dome, so you have a strong possibility of a reserved permit. Good fishing, plenty of granite and plenty of exploring to do up there.

Unless you are in Little Yosemite Valley the camping is dispersal type camping within certain limits. There are rules that the above website will provide -- things like staying a mile from a road, and two or four miles from the trailhead. The firm no-exceptions rule is to use a bear canister from their approved list. You can rent those at the park.
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Re: First Timer - July 2018

Postby Phil » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:00 pm

I'm a little late to the discussion, but I would fully agree that either Ten Lakes or Young Lakes fit the bill perfectly in what you're looking for.
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