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Camping In Yosemite Valley (in March)

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Camping In Yosemite Valley (in March)

Postby Robin » Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:48 am

Hey there....I am headed to Yosemite Valley for one night this Friday before we go to Dewey Point for a quick snowcamping trip. The website for Yosemite seems to indicate I need a reservation to camp there, but it is impossible to make one. Anyone know if it matters? And while you are at it, do you know which campgrounds are open for the winter??

Thanks in advance.



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Postby MountainMinstrel » Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:10 pm

SSSdave stayed at camp 4 last week. Here is the thread http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... php?t=1529

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Postby Randonnee » Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:46 am

Camp 4 is a walk-in campground which does not accept reservations. First come, first served is the rule. If you are traveling with backpacks this is a good choice (moving gear when set up for car camping is more difficult.) I have never had any trouble in Camp 4, it is where the rock climbers hang out and many of the merchants will bad mouth the campground for this reason.

If you are picking up your permit in the valley ask the ranger about the backpackers campground. I believe you are allowed 1 night after you have received your wilderness permit and/or 1 night at the end of your trip.
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Postby BSquared » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:15 am

Randonnee wrote:If you are picking up your permit in the valley ask the ranger about the backpackers campground. I believe you are allowed 1 night after you have received your wilderness permit and/or 1 night at the end of your trip.


Aha, this is "put it in the hopper" information for my potential JMT solo in '08. So maybe if I get a wilderness permit for the JMT trip, I can stay one night in the Valley? Where is the backpacker's campground? Easy walking distance of Happy Isles (you can tell it's been a while since I've wandered around in the Valley...)? Last time, we stayed at Camp Curry and got in too late to get the permit the night before, so we hit the trail at the crack of 9:00 AM or so :( not so great if you're trying to get a long way on the first day!

Just answered my own question:
Backpackers' Campgrounds

Walk-in campgrounds are available seasonally in the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, at Hetch Hetchy, and behind North Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley. Wilderness permit holders may spend one night before and one night after a wilderness trip in any one of these campgrounds. The cost is $5.00 per person per night. Reservations are not necessary.
That was from http://www.yosemite.national-park.com/camping.htm#bc. North Pines looks like it's about 1.5 mi from the trailhead, compared with 0.5 mi for the trailhead parking area, so it's easily walkable. I wonder how early the shuttle buses get up?
Last edited by BSquared on Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ozark Flip » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:00 am

As of last month, Yosemite camping reservation service is NNRS. (877)444-6777.

My daughter and I stay at Camp 4 ALOT.

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Postby markskor » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:32 am

Better is the "other" Valley backpacker campground...near the stables...a shuttle bus stop too. Park in the big Curry lot - Get off the free shuttle bus at Stables...walk into the campground at the immediate left - in past the entrance kiosk...stay on road. Keep right at the two forks...past the telephones and restrooms...about 1/8 mile until about campground site #330, then go off road to right - still north, and follow the river (on the right hand now) until you see a stone bridge on right. Cross the bridge...white stone restroom and sites for about 40 parties.
See red dot at: http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=37. ... &layer=DRG
Very nice campground and the wannabee climbers will not rip you off as fast. Same rules apply...one night only, (well maybe two). Wilderness permits required, but safe to leave a tent set up while you explore the Valley. Bear boxes here too.
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Postby Randonnee » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:26 pm

BSquared: Our Friend markskor has given a great description of the backpacker's campground. If you are planning more than one night the rangers may hassle you. Depending on who is patrolling you may get away with 2.

Camp 4 has the usual two week limit, but as I said earlier it is on a first come basis. The line usually starts forming about daylight during the summer. My preference is Camp 4, but most of the time I am in the valley to climb and it is a better place to get info on the climbs. At certain times it has a more international flair as climbers from around the world know about the campground's part in the history of Yosemite climbing and make it a point to spend time there.
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Postby Robin » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:47 am

Just back from a quick trip to Yosemite. Spent Friday night in the Valley, camped at Upper Pines. Turns out you do not have to have a reservation for winter camping there, and though there is a charge ($20) it's not right on the main drag like Camp 4. Not that many people there, say around 20, and most in campers. It was quiet, kinda chilly, and only a little snow remains on the ground.

The Valley is very spring like, especially compared to last year at this time. The falls are getting full, there is some green poking up, and along highway 140 wildflowers are starting to bloom. The crowds are in the medium range, not too bad really. Up at the trail head, the snow was still ok, pretty slushy mid-day, but froze a good crust once the sun went down. Dewey Point was spectacular. I'd been there once before but it was snowing so hard we couldn't see each other, much less the view. It's a popular place but most folks are only there for the day.
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Postby Hikin Mike » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:31 pm

Glad you had a great time!

I've been to Dewey Point in the wintertime, in fact my first snowshoe trip to Crocker Point.
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Postby MountainMinstrel » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:56 pm

Man I am blessed. I have very good friends that are assitant camp hosts at North Pines. No reservations, no cost, and no time limit.

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