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Good Place to Camp Around Indian Rock?

Discussion of camping and road-accessible campgrounds in and near Yosemite National Park

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Good Place to Camp Around Indian Rock?

Postby jgriff251 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:31 am

Hey everyone! My first trip in yosemites back country is all planned out and set, I just have a few questions.

We will be starting our hike at the yosemite falls trailhead and hiking up behind north dome, and down the snow creek trail our first day. We are looking to camp around indian rock, anywhere between the yosemite falls / snow creek junction, and the footbridge over snow creek falls. A nearby water source is my biggest concern, a firepit would be nice, and shade is a luxury!

I have heard different things such as the flats above snow creek falls is good to camp, but that makes for a LONG first day, so back towards the curve around indian rock is more preferable, possibly where the snow creek trail skims next to porcupine creek looks promising?

Any input from past EXP or knowledge about a comfy camping spot in that area is appreciated!!
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Re: Good Place to Camp Around Indian Rock?

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:19 pm

jgriff251 wrote:Hey everyone! My first trip in yosemites back country is all planned out and set, I just have a few questions.

We will be starting our hike at the yosemite falls trailhead and hiking up behind north dome, and down the snow creek trail our first day.


I'm having a little difficulty with this - it sounds like a death wish as written. I think there must be a second and third day from the rest of your post?

The rangers may tell you not to camp in a certain area at the top of Snow Creek, because a bear that flings bear canisters off cliffs may be in the area. "Firepits" don't exist, but fire rings are legion and if you listen to the ranger when you get your permit, you'll know better which ones are legal to use. You'll likely find plenty of campsites near water.

Likely, if you have not hiked very steep trails such as upper Yosemite Falls trail before, you'll plop down in the first available flat spot and spend the night there. Don't fall for "it's only 3 miles." The rest of the sentence is "up a very steep, rocky, HOT trail crawling with people to the rim of the valley with the full sun beating down on me all day while I'm carrying a backpack." I doubt you'll feel like hiking uphill any more that day.

Hike up to the creek, the next day to North Dome area, and then over to Snow Creek the third day. Be nice to yourself and enjoy the scenery.
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Re: Good Place to Camp Around Indian Rock?

Postby WanderingJim » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:16 pm

You won't make it to Snow Creek on the first day to camp there (unless someone packs your gear for you up Snow Creek while you take the long route).

Best place to camp is on top of North Dome.

Might I suggest this:

Hike up Yosemite Falls trail, freak out by looking over the edge of the top of the falls :) , camp in the meadows to the west of the falls or at Eagle Peak. (You can't camp in the area around the Falls)
Day 2 go over to the top of El Capitan (leave your gear behind) for a look at the climbers appearing over the edge as if by magic. Then collect your gear and head for the top of North Dome to camp. Sunset and sunrise are amazing from here.
Day 3 go to see the arch and Indian Rock (Indian Rock is not the arch you see first) on your way to Snow Creek. Not sure where best to recommending camping around here. The best spot is the area closed to camping due to a bear that is smarter than the average bear canister. :)
Day 4 return to the valley

I did this route in 3 days (hopefully it won't hail on you at the top of the falls like it did me.) :)
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Re: Good Place to Camp Around Indian Rock?

Postby jgriff251 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:06 am

Thanks for the answers everyone! We are doing an extended weekend in the valley, our second night is at Little Yosemite Valley campground, originally i had us doing 2 10 mile days to get there but it sounds like climbing out of the valley our first day is harder than I thought lol. We are all accustomed to 10+ mile days but those switchbacks look like death! I think we will stop our first day somewhere around north dome assuming we can locate a nearby water source. I'll just make our second day a long one trekking over to the campground behind half dome. If that wasn't enough, the third day we are hiking up to glacier point and extincting the 4 mile trail. Not expecting it to be easy, but as long as we can get a decent campground our first night we should be set finishing the last days!!
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Re: Good Place to Camp Around Indian Rock?

Postby WanderingJim » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:31 pm

jgriff251 wrote:Thanks for the answers everyone! We are doing an extended weekend in the valley, our second night is at Little Yosemite Valley campground, originally i had us doing 2 10 mile days to get there but it sounds like climbing out of the valley our first day is harder than I thought lol. We are all accustomed to 10+ mile days but those switchbacks look like death! I think we will stop our first day somewhere around north dome assuming we can locate a nearby water source. I'll just make our second day a long one trekking over to the campground behind half dome. If that wasn't enough, the third day we are hiking up to glacier point and extincting the 4 mile trail. Not expecting it to be easy, but as long as we can get a decent campground our first night we should be set finishing the last days!!


North Dome to Little Yosemite Valley? That's a VERY long haul up to Olmsted Point and down to LYV.

Unless you were thinking of dropping down into the Valley and then up to LYV? On a single Wilderness permit, that wouldn't work. They consider returning to the Valley as leaving the wilderness and don't allow you to then go up another trailhead on the same permit. Otherwise, everyone would ask for a Tunnel View permit and go up Happy Isles instead. :)
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Re: Good Place to Camp Around Indian Rock?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:42 pm

So you want to do from Happy Isles to Glacier Point and down the 4 mile? Make sure you don't attempt when it is 100F.... Heat stroke, cardiac arrest, and other such issues are on the upswing in the park, up to 140% of the previous average, because people are insisting on doing things anyway and not taking care of themselves. Really is not worth your life. Drive or shuttle up to Glacier Point if it's really hot. It's every bit as enjoyable and there is a nice short walk to the top of Sentinel Dome at a higher, cooler elevation.
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Re: Good Place to Camp Around Indian Rock?

Postby jgriff251 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:01 am

UPDATE!!

The total trip was originally set out to be 30 miles over 3 full days, with 8k gained and lost in elevation, which I THINK me friends and I are all capable of doing. HOWEVER after overwhelming cautions about far far / were going I shortened our trip to about 15 miles...

NEW ITINERARY:
Start yosemite falls trail head and find a good place to call home fro the night around north dome. Second day hike to and down snow creek falls, camp somewhere past the boundary line, maybe around snow creek falls? Last day would be an easy 4 mile trek back to the backpackers campground taking or time to swim / check things out.

Although we are covering a lot less distance, It seems like we will have the time and energy to have fun and take in our surroundings. I just now need to find a good camping spot in the valley around snow creek falls.
Thank you everyone who contributed to help me with this trip, plans will probably change again but I feel very confident with what we have planed for now!
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