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Car-camping on the west side

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Car-camping on the west side

Postby copeg » Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:00 pm

Anyone have any favorite campspots on the west side of the Sierra, mainly around entries of Yosemite and SEKI, they'd like to share? By campspots, I mean places where i can pull over, maybe (or maybe not) drive a mile down a road, park and camp (preferably not in a campsite, relatively remote, and free). I'm used to the abundance of places along 395 on the east side where I can do this, but not on the west. I'd like to have some nice spots I can drive to and camp, ariving late and leaving early, before departing on a b-ping trip...
Thx in advance...



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Postby SSSdave » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:42 pm

Anywhere on national forest or blm lands where it is not specifically prohibited you are allowed to disperse camp. Unfortunately such legal places to disperse camp are continually being removed in many areas. Of course communities peripheral to our public lands and especially lodging interests would like to see that continue and I suspect regularly try and influence policy makers to remove such camping so we cheapos can't escape their toll. Any place where cabins are being built for summer homes also do away with dispersed camping. The other alternative, public campgrounds also have a stake in removing dispersed camping in their areas and of course these days tent camping is quite pricy at rarely less than $15 a night. When I drive several hours to a trailhead on a Friday night, arrive at 11pm, and then wake up at sunrise to get on with whatever weekend activities, I hardly feel like spending $15 for sleeping a few hours next to my car in an often noisy car campground much less spend $60 at a motel. For several years dispersed camping anywhere along highways 41 or 140 has been el banno. Not too long ago one could do so along 140 beside the Merced but too many pigs leaving trash, especially some of the many urban visiting rafting customers, killed that forever.

So become familiar with the little spur roads between the South Fork of the Tuolumne River bridge and the Big Oak Flat entrance station for Yosemite on highway 120. Note there are definitely areas along those roads where you cannot camp so I'd advise anyone who is doing so to be discrete and especially don't make campfires or trash as that is certain to end such pull over and toss your bag down "camping".

....David
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Postby SteveB » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:33 pm

Not sure if you're talking about right now (winter/spring) or other times, but have you considered along the Western Divide Hwy and Sherman Pass Rd above Camp Nelson? Absolutely beautiful up there, especially in the fall. I don't know the condition of the road or where it's closed right now; maybe Sequoia or WindWalker could answer that question better.
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Postby giantbrookie » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:31 pm

Good camping spots can be found along the road to Big Meadows that branches eastward off of the main Seki hwy. Big Meadows is where the trailhead to Jennie Lakes Wilderness is located and a bit further on one gets to trailheads such as Horse Corral, etc. Before you get to Big Meadows itself where a campground is located the road goes over several rounded granitic spurs. These spurs have ample flat spots on top and make fine car camping spots with fine views (Great Western Divide can be seen to south). As of fall 2002 they were open to camping (was part of a large group that took advantage of this). This location is very convenient for camping prior to entry on any of the west side Seki trailheads.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby Allyn » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:47 pm

As far as 120 before Big Oak Flat entrance, you can find spots along the main highway (120) just after the Thousand Trails campground turnoff and the park entrance but most will be restricted or noisy from the highway. You can run down the Evergreen Road towards Heatch Hetchy for a couple of mile and find some nice turn offs and do an quick overnighter. Before, the bridge at old Italian Bar you can turn left on Sawmill Mtn. road and go down a couple of miles. 5 miles down and you are at the middle fork of the Tuolumne. If you want, turn right on Golden Arrow just before Hetch hetchy turn off and turn left up old 120 (Hardin or Harden Flat road) and camp at the old Rush Creek campground or right and camp at the old Soldier Creek campgrounds. The old stage coach station is left toward Rush Creek and was called Crocker Station. Just don't head too far down the road toward Berkeley Camp or the trailer park in Hardin Flat as it is too crowded.
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Postby copeg » Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:11 am

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.
When I drive several hours to a trailhead on a Friday night, arrive at 11pm, and then wake up at sunrise to get on with whatever weekend activities, I hardly feel like spending $15 for sleeping a few hours next to my car in an often noisy car campground much less spend $60 at a motel.

SSSdave, this is exactly how I feel. I also hate pulling into a campground late at night shining my headlights on all the campsites in confusion :retard: Good advice about campfires and trash.

SteveB: I should have specified both summer and winter. I'll look into the roads you mention.

Giantbrookie: never thought of camping there.

Allyn: Great suggestions :)
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Re: Car-camping on the west side

Postby cmon4day » Sat Apr 08, 2006 2:26 pm

trailblazer wrote:Anyone have any favorite campspots on the west side of the Sierra, mainly around entries of Yosemite and SEKI


Whats a SEKI???

Vic
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Re: Car-camping on the west side

Postby BSquared » Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:51 pm

cmon4day wrote:Whats a SEKI???

Vic


It's one of those little scooters with gyroscopic stabilization, isn't it?

Or, perhaps one of those little dogs with all the floppy skin hanging all around?

A brand of watch?

How about the abbreviation for "SEquoia-KIngs Canyon National Park?"

It's the semi-official government acronym for these parks, for example the website is http://www.nps.gov/seki/. We all like to sound like we're in the know, here at High Sierra Topix, so we use these "in" abbreviations ;)
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