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[Yosemite]

Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby J.IM » Sun May 29, 2011 6:46 pm

Hi,

I am looking to secure a first come, first serve site in Yosemite in mid July. I understand that I should arrive early. From what I have read (and please correct me if I am wrong), I would wait for someone to leave and then take their site.

I was wondering if this is an organized process? For instance, do people wait in a line at the campground and as people leave the next person in line takes the next available site?

Or is it more of a "free-for-all" where you have people scattered everywhere asking people if/when they are leaving? I would hope it is not the latter. I would not want to be enjoying my morning only to have people asking me if I am leaving every few minutes - or having people "camped" out waiting for me to vacate.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby Wickett » Mon May 30, 2011 8:59 pm

The only first come first serve for Valley camping is camp 4. You do not take someones site, you line up at the kiosk and wait until it opens and they will assign you a site depending on who is leaving/at the 7 day limit. If there is an opening in a specific site you can request it but it is all dependent on if someone gets assigned there first. The line length/time depends on the day of the week, the weather, etc... You can also check the pines campgrounds for cancellations, a line forms at the kiosk there too, it's tucked away in the back corner of the Curry Village apple orchard parking lot. With both the earlier you show the better your chances.

Keep checking www.recreation.gov for cancellations if you want a guaranteed reservation. The campsites in the Valley are Upper Pines, Lower Pines, and North Pines.
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby J.IM » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:28 pm

Thanks for the info. What about the first come, first serve sites outside the valley?

From what I have read, most of them are not staffed by a ranger. What would the procedure be at these campgrounds?
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby dan » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:03 pm

J.IM wrote:Thanks for the info. What about the first come, first serve sites outside the valley?
From what I have read, most of them are not staffed by a ranger. What would the procedure be at these campgrounds?


Tuolumne Meadows campground is staffed and sometimes Wawona Campground. Others may have camp hosts.

Basically the non-staffed campgrounds have what are called "Iron Rangers" where you check-in yourself. You write the campground number and dates on a payment envelope (containing the payment or proof of payment, of course), and insert the payment in an iron post anchored to the grown (the Iron Ranger).

The best time to grab a campsite, if it's popular, is in the morning when people are getting ready to leave--say around 9-11am.
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby hotrod4x5 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:14 am

J.IM wrote:Hi,

I am looking to secure a first come, first serve site in Yosemite in mid July. I understand that I should arrive early. From what I have read (and please correct me if I am wrong), I would wait for someone to leave and then take their site.

I was wondering if this is an organized process? For instance, do people wait in a line at the campground and as people leave the next person in line takes the next available site?

Or is it more of a "free-for-all" where you have people scattered everywhere asking people if/when they are leaving? I would hope it is not the latter. I would not want to be enjoying my morning only to have people asking me if I am leaving every few minutes - or having people "camped" out waiting for me to vacate.

Thanks in advance for any help.
I haven't done it, but plan to in mid July as well. From my research, you drive around looking for someone leaving. Sit there and wait for them to leave, then snag their site. Have someone from your party go up and register the site while you secure the site.
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:55 pm

hotrod4x5 wrote:I haven't done it, but plan to in mid July as well. From my research, you drive around looking for someone leaving. Sit there and wait for them to leave, then snag their site. Have someone from your party go up and register the site while you secure the site.


and then be embarrassed when the person who reserved the site actually shows up?

First come first serve sites exist - 50% of the Tuolumne Meadows campground and 100% of Bridalveil campground are FCFS. there are also FCFS sites in Hogdon. Show up in the morning on a weekday and you're fine.
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby hotrod4x5 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:36 pm

AlmostThere wrote:
hotrod4x5 wrote:I haven't done it, but plan to in mid July as well. From my research, you drive around looking for someone leaving. Sit there and wait for them to leave, then snag their site. Have someone from your party go up and register the site while you secure the site.


and then be embarrassed when the person who reserved the site actually shows up?

First come first serve sites exist - 50% of the Tuolumne Meadows campground and 100% of Bridalveil campground are FCFS. there are also FCFS sites in Hogdon. Show up in the morning on a weekday and you're fine.

I thought it was obvious I was talking about the first come first serve sites, since that is what his topic title says.
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:00 pm

hotrod4x5 wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:
hotrod4x5 wrote:I haven't done it, but plan to in mid July as well. From my research, you drive around looking for someone leaving. Sit there and wait for them to leave, then snag their site. Have someone from your party go up and register the site while you secure the site.


and then be embarrassed when the person who reserved the site actually shows up?

First come first serve sites exist - 50% of the Tuolumne Meadows campground and 100% of Bridalveil campground are FCFS. there are also FCFS sites in Hogdon. Show up in the morning on a weekday and you're fine.

I thought it was obvious I was talking about the first come first serve sites, since that is what his topic title says.


Then I guess I'm doing it wrong. I've shown up on a Friday morning, got in line, talked to the ranger and got a site. They don't let you drive around the campground until you talk to them.
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby hotrod4x5 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:19 pm

AlmostThere wrote:
Then I guess I'm doing it wrong. I've shown up on a Friday morning, got in line, talked to the ranger and got a site. They don't let you drive around the campground until you talk to them.
I was told on another forum that is how you do it. maybe they were talking about non manned campgrounds. Not sure.
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby Tetonman714 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:31 pm

I feel like I'm asking a guy for the location of his favorite fishing hole but....
Does anyone have opinions on the best weekday to obtain a FCFS site at Tuolumne Meadows? Thanks.
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Re: Process for obtaining first come, first serve site

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:32 pm

Probably Wednesday. Equidistant from the weekend days.
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