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Can you camp Tuol Meadows WITHOUT a car?

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Re: Can you camp Tuol Meadows WITHOUT a car?

Postby whiteout » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:54 pm

tim wrote:I'd say your chances of getting a regular campsite at TM any evening in the middle of summer are somewhere between zero and non-existent.


Thanks.

tim wrote: If you really want to comply with the strict letter of the rules then get a permit and hike somewhere a couple of miles off the TM shuttle route the first night. You should be easily able to hike back to the trailhead and get the free shuttle bus to the permit station by 11am.


Good idea, but I was aiming for the more certain 4am time I've been hearing. I'm going to put this joyless phase behind me and use the Mono/Parker rez 8/21. Once the JMT is hiked, and off my nephew's bucket list, I'm going to go back to visiting Yosemite when I normally do: only in winter! :)
Last edited by whiteout on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Can you camp Tuol Meadows WITHOUT a car?

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:54 pm

I'm going to restate - if you are riding a bus or biking in, you can stay in any of the backpacker campgrounds including the valley. They don't advertise that they do, but they do allow it. It's a not-so-secret secret.

Did anyone think to call and ask if it's true? I wouldn't trust someone answering the phone - I'd get a hold of the wilderness office. The general operators on the Yosemite line are prone to having less info than I do when I call.
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Re: Can you camp Tuol Meadows WITHOUT a car?

Postby whiteout » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:03 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Did anyone think to call and ask if it's true? I wouldn't trust someone answering the phone - I'd get a hold of the wilderness office. The general operators on the Yosemite line are prone to having less info than I do when I call.


Not phone, just by email. Since email correspondent doesn't sign as "Ranger," may have same authority level you cite above. That person still doesn't really get that my being in the valley before closing time won't solve anything. No way do I get a TM permit in the valley at 2pm, and without a permit I can't camp anywhere and have to leave, which I can't, really. In my case, if I hadn't started think and asking about all this, I would have just shown up and it all would have worked out, like you say. But I did and am done. Like noted above, I'm moving past the red-tape phase and into the bliss-management one.
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Re: Can you camp Tuol Meadows WITHOUT a car?

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:30 pm

Okay.

Go here: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/yoursafety.htm

Scroll down and download the Superintendent's Compendium.

Go to page 21.

At the top read the following: "Backpacker camps are intended for use by visitors in possession of an overnight wilderness permit or for visitors arriving in the park by foot, bicycle or bus.

Print the whole darned compendium to show anyone who tells you otherwise, if that's what it takes.
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Re: Can you camp Tuol Meadows WITHOUT a car?

Postby no2haven » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:13 pm

tim wrote:I'd say your chances of getting a regular campsite at TM any evening in the middle of summer are somewhere between zero and non-existent.


I disagree with this...its fairly easy to get a TM reservation on SHORT notice. I did it several times last summer (weekends in August) and a cowoker of mine (who I want to buy my lottery tickets) got several sites in TM and the Valley throughout the entire summer. People cancel reservations all the time - typically a week or so before they're supposed to show up, and usually in the afternoons.

Just check the online site starting about two weeks before the date you're looking for...and by check I mean refresh that page every 5-10 minutes. I've seen less desirable campground sites disappear in 5 minutes. Although its no guarantee, if you check back often enough I bet you'll find a place.
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Re: Can you camp Tuol Meadows WITHOUT a car?

Postby whiteout » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:39 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Okay.

Go here: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/yoursafety.htm

Scroll down and download the Superintendent's Compendium.

Go to page 21.

At the top read the following: "Backpacker camps are intended for use by visitors in possession of an overnight wilderness permit or for visitors arriving in the park by foot, bicycle or bus.

Print the whole darned compendium to show anyone who tells you otherwise, if that's what it takes.


EUREKA! So obvious, so sensible. These printed documents have a lot of great information, and all of it. Sometimes a "good website" is a bit of an illusion. I won't print it out to carry, but I will memorize the citation. ;)
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Re: Can you camp Tuol Meadows WITHOUT a car?

Postby oldranger » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:48 am

If I were in your position I would just take the Yarts bus to Tuolumne. Save your receipt or ticket, head for the BPer camp and when you get checked explain that you came in on Yarts and are going to try for a walk in permit the next AM. Perfectly reasonable scenario and it would take a complete A--hole of a ranger to deny you that night or issue you a citation.

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Re: Can you camp Tuol Meadows WITHOUT a car?

Postby snusmumriken » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:33 am

I take Amtrak to Merced and then the YARTS bus on to Yosemite frequently. This is my usual routine:

When I arrive in Yosemite Valley Village at 1:30 pm I head straight for the wilderness center and secure my Tuolomne Meadows walk-in permit for the next day. As next day permits are not released until 11 am, being at the wilderness center at 1:30 pm is actually pretty nice timing.

Next stop is lunch and a bit of hike on the valley floor.

Return to the visitors center in good time for the 5 pm YARTS bus to Tuolumne.

Walk in to the backpackers camp at Tuolomne and camp for the night.

Start on the trail bright and early the next morning.

My biggest issue with the YARTS bus is that there is a three and a half hour wait in Yosemite Valley for the bus to Tuolumne. The same is true for the return bus Tuolomne to Merced via Yosemite Valley, a three or four hour afternoon wait in the Valley. On the other hand there are worse places to waste three and a half hours ;)
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