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May car-camping in westside SEKI

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May car-camping in westside SEKI

Postby oleander » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:19 pm

We're going to go car-camping, for a change. Westside SEKI, either Cedar Grove or Grant Grove, or one of the small campgrounds not far south of Grant Grove (if open).

Here's our question. It looks like the vast majority of campgrounds in westside SEKI are first-come, first-serve. We might be able to swing a Fri night arrival, but more likely will not be able to arrive till Saturday. This will either be in early-mid-May, or on Memorial Day weekend.

What are the chances that the campgrounds will be full on our arrival and we'll be SOL?

Most likely we'd try Cedar Grove first, as we want to hang out near Roads End for sure, hike to Mist Falls, etc. And (especially in early May) the nights will be a little warmer down at 4500 feet. Prior to Memorial Day weekend, only one loop in one (Sentinel) of Cedar Grove's four campgrounds is open. That suggests the park will be pleasantly uncrowded; but it could also be worrisome in terms of snagging a site on a Saturday night, right?

- Elizabeth

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Re: May car-camping in westside SEKI

Postby tim » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:34 pm

We went to Cedar Grove in mid-May 2011 and it was very empty (say 25% full) all weekend. Back then there were facilities available in the valley, which is not the case now, and so I'd expect it to be even quieter this year.

We also went last Memorial Day weekend, arriving Friday night before a BPing trip. We got there at 7.30pm and were fine, but it was pretty full by 9pm. We were told later that we were lucky, because a lot of people had been put off coming due to uncertainty about whether it would be open at all (remember the budget cuts last spring). So I would say normally on Memorial Day weekend you would need to be there before dinnertime on Friday to be sure of a spot.

We were prepared to camp rough on the NF land between Grant Grove and Cedar Grove (it's easy to Google the good places) if there had been issues in finding a site, because we just wanted 1 night, but that may not be your cup of tea. Also note that they know at the entrance how many spaces are available, so you don't have to drive all the way down there to find out.
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Re: May car-camping in westside SEKI

Postby iHartMK » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:38 pm

You should be ok. Cedar Grove area campgrounds don't usually fill up.
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