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Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

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Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby oleander » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:28 pm

I'm planning a stay at a Yosemite backpackers' campground this summer. I've stayed at one or another a few different times, always the night before a trip, but it's been a while.

I'm confused about their policies. Till I get a live Yos ranger on the phone, I wonder if you could share your experience:

1. I will be on a thru-hike coming through Toulumne. We might like to stay at that b-packer's campground on our thru. Can we stay there? We will have a thru-hiking permit, but not a specifically Yosemite permit.

2. Assume we are legal. Do the camps "fill" and are backpackers ever turned away? I stayed at an "already full" b-packer's campground two summers ago (White Wolf), but someone just let me pitch a tent at the periphery of their campsite. A ranger never came around that night. Would I have been kicked out?

3. What if it's full and I have a car, too? - are there particular backpacker's camps that truly will run out of parking after they are full.

4. Are the rules enforced more strictly at certain backpacker's camps than at others?

Cheers,
Elizabeth



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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:46 pm

1. If you walk in, you can stay in the backpacker camp. that includes thru hikers. Many PCT and JMT thrus stay in the TM backpacker camp for the night.

2. The campsites seem to fill up all right, but I haven't ever heard of anyone being turned away.

3. The backpacker camps don't have parking - the best you'll get is somewhere to park for 5 minutes to unload gear. You park in trailhead parking - wherever that may be relative to the backpacker camp - because you are a backpacker. You walk into the camp from there.

4. I have never stayed in a backpacker camp where there was NOT a ranger checking around - in White Wolf, I heard him making the rounds at midnight (he didn't come to my tent tho - we had the registration tags on the post in our site, but he did wake up someone else who was quite upset and loud about it). In TM, the camp host came around to make sure everyone was registered and paying the per person charges. In the valley, rangers check nightly to see that everyone's registered and paid, and has a wilderness permit. In other words, I can't say that one or the other has more enforcement than another, because I have never been in one that the ranger didn't show up.
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:00 pm

The Tuolumne backpackers camp is actually just a walk in camp. You do not need a permit to stay there. It costs 5 dollars a night and if I remember right is like most camp grounds where you have a 2 week limit.

It can certainly fill up but isn't too bad because of how big Tuolumne campground is.

It sure beats Reds Meadow walk in camp since it's still 20 dollars a night.

Yosemite Valley you need a permit and your allowed to stay one night before you leave and one night when you come back out. I think that one was 10 dollars a night.

As for enforcement I saw Rangers check tickets every day at Tuolumne and the valley.
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:10 pm

All the backpacker camps are 5 per night per person, as is Camp 4 (the other walk in camp in the valley). Including the valley backpacker camp.
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:12 pm

Yeah maybe I thought it was 10 because I paid 10 and stayed two nights. You have to sweet talk the Rangers to do that though. :whistle:
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:24 pm

Technically, once you have spent a night outside the wilderness, in a backpackers campground, you are supposed to get a new permit to continue. I doubt any ranger ever enforces that. I have only stayed at the Tuolumne campsite once and it did not fill up. I thought that the Tuolumne backpackers campsite required you to have a backpack permit. Camp 4 is the only open walk-in campground I know of in Yosemite. Since I have not been to the Tolumne campsite in years, that may have changed.

Did you know that you can get free showers at the Tuolumne Lodge? I used this 2 years ago. There are two sets of showers, one that is a fee shower and one that is free. You can also just go inside the lodge where there is free coffee. I leave a small "tip" when I use these facilities.
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:41 pm

There were no postings about a permit at Tuolumne and the Ranger never asked for one. Another guy had been there for weeks doing day climbs so it must have changed.

As for showers I have also never heard about that. I asked once in the store and they said they have nothing in the area that the public can use. The only thing I have heard of is allot of hikers will just walk over and use the showers where people stay in those tents like Curry Village. Your not supposed to use them though.
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby sparky » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:05 pm

Last summer...honestly I dont remember how getting shut out of backpackers camp went down. I just remember we left the park after discussing stealth camping. We ended up leaving the park. Was there a campground full sign?

I too have been in in a few squeezes there. People on top of people, and others use a jet engine for stoves to cook up midnight munchies three feetfrom your head. Can be a fun party too! Rangers do indeed check permits. One time he went from camp to camp asking for permits. He got to me, looked me up and down and just went on to the next camp!

WD, thanks for the tip on coffee and showers!! I have always used curry showers no problem.

They might give you a stern look, but I could be wrong on that. I can say with confidence there wouldnt be any ramifications even if that bends a rule. Get there early.
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:16 pm

WD, the TM backpacker camp operates on a little more leeway than the one in the valley. I have not had anyone ask for a permit in the TM backpacker camp, but they are a stickler for it in the valley. I've seen also folks who obviously have been there more than one night. As long as they pay fees it seems to be allowed.

Inyo permitting specifies that if you stay off trail for more than a 24 hour period you need another permit. I wonder if the permits thru hikers get have a similar stipulation. Permits gotten in Yosemite do stipulate that actions like crossing a road are permitted, but turning and walking down a road equates to exiting the wilderness.
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:21 pm

I wonder if the permits thru hikers get have a similar stipulation


The same rules apply to thru hikers but aren't enforced at all. More than one Ranger has told me that many of the permit rules aren't meant to apply to long distance hikers. They may technically apply but it's pretty much don't worry about it.
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby markskor » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:08 am

RoguePhotonic wrote:
I wonder if the permits thru hikers get have a similar stipulation


The same rules apply to thru hikers but aren't enforced at all. More than one Ranger has told me that many of the permit rules aren't meant to apply to long distance hikers. They may technically apply but it's pretty much don't worry about it.

Same with having to carry a bear can...Don't know why, but PCT thru hikers are somehow "exempted" from having to use them in Yosemite.
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Re: Yosemite backpackers' campgrounds

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:51 am

I hadn't heard that one. I knew that at places like Rae Lakes thru hikers don't have to carry them and that's the main reason there are bear boxes there. The thru hikers are supposed to use those while everyone else has their cans. I always thought in Yosemite you still had to have them though.
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