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[Yosemite]

Likelyhood of getting first-come/first serve camping spot...

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

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Likelyhood of getting first-come/first serve camping spot...

Postby SAFNYC » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:19 am

This will be my first trip to Yosemite and I am concerned about campsites with first-come/first-serve reservation systems. I'm planning to arrive by 6AM at the Tuolemne Meadows camp site on Saturday morning, July 11; is this early enough? I'm thinking that if I can't get a spot I have two options:

1) Set up a tent at the backpacker's campsite behind loop A at Tuolumne campsite. The downside here is that I will need to bring my own bear box assuming the backpackers site does not offer these.

-OR-

2) Drive to Porcupine Creek/Flat campsite and try to get a first-come/first serve spot at that lcoation. The problem with this option is that I will end up arriving late at Porcupine Creek after wasting an 1 hour or 2 at Tuolumne, so I may end up losing a spot here as well.

Trying to figure out the best option, thanks
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Re: Likelyhood of getting first-come/first serve camping spo

Postby dan » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:52 pm

6AM--that's early enough, maybe too early. You can walk around looking for people leaving and ask if you can have their site (although 6AM is early, people take a few hours to wake up, have breakfast, pack up, and leave--you may need to wait).

The backpacker's campsite has bear boxes.

The Porcupine Creek Campground is at the end of a long, slow dirt road (the Old Big Oak Flat Road). I recommend trying Tuolumne.
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Re: Likelyhood of getting first-come/first serve camping spo

Postby SAFNYC » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:44 pm

dan wrote:6AM--that's early enough, maybe too early. You can walk around looking for people leaving and ask if you can have their site (although 6AM is early, people take a few hours to wake up, have breakfast, pack up, and leave--you may need to wait).

The backpacker's campsite has bear boxes.

The Porcupine Creek Campground is at the end of a long, slow dirt road (the Old Big Oak Flat Road). I recommend trying Tuolumne.


Unfortunately I'm not permitted to use the backpacker's campsite because all of my hikes are day hikes, and the backpacker's site is only open to hikers with wilderness permits (as a stop over)

I have to say, planning a vacation in a national park -- a place of simplicity -- is a bit complicated. From permit requirements to reservations 6 months in advance to panic over first-come/first-serve spots being available or not, it's enough to make a person question their trip and consider making alternate plans to just sit on a beach drinking pena colada's all day :)
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Postby bill-e-g » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:52 am

I prefer this beach:

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Postby SAFNYC » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:58 am

bill-e-g wrote:I prefer this beach:

Image


Where is that?
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Postby bill-e-g » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:09 am

The Riviera of the Sierra.
Benson Lake. Too far for a dayhike.
If I recall it's nearly 20 miles in by the shortest way.
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Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:12 pm

SAFNYC, not all areas are as impacted as Yosemite - it's the most popular national park by far. Well deserved, as it's that scenic and awe inspiring, but if you wanted fewer crowds, Sequoia and Kings Canyon are also scenic and awe inspiring with far fewer people. I took a bunch of dayhikers on the Redwood Canyon loop and they were awed by the sheer numbers of sequoias in the groves, and one of them compared it to Mariposa Grove and found Mariposa lacking - we got to walk among the trees without the hundreds of people walking around us or riding shuttle busses.

Yosemite is definitely worth doing - it's just not the only park around. I love Yosemite and will endure the crowds, but I'm also planning some trips out to Mineral King and up to Alta Peak, which has Half Dome beat for views and without cables up granite or thundering herds of people; we went to Alta last year and it literally takes your breath away (twice the elevation of Half Dome! also views of Whitney and miles of the Sierras) without the slog up the Mist Trail among tourists. We were a group of eight with about four or five other people at the top. Very different.

So don't give up on Yosemite, and when you're through check out the other parks in the Sierras. They're worth it, too.
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Postby hikehigh » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:05 pm

Early Sunday is a good day to arrive if looking for a first come first serve. At Tuolumne, you also have the option of the campgrounds just outside the park. Saddlebag, Ellery, Sawmill, Junction, and Tioga.
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Postby Hikin Mike » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:45 pm

Sawmill CG is a nice little spot. I've camped there twice in preparation to hike Mount Conness. :D
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Postby _Gabe_ » Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:53 pm

SAFNYC,

I think its going to be tough finding a spot. Since you are not allowed to stay at the backpackers campground in TM, I would start looking for a site immediately when you get on Tioga Pass starting with Tamarack Flat. On ocasion, I do see that people leave every morning even on weekends therefor freeing up a site or two. But you will have to be prepared to drive around and ask people if they are leaving.

But I know what you mean....its a big production trying to camp in Yosemite when you have no reservations.

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