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.
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!