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trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

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trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby drembo » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:00 pm

We are planning a trip out of Yosemite starting a Mono Pass trail head. We will arrive the afternoon before and I was hoping someone could advise me on the best place to camp the night before starting out. It will be Sunday night at end of July. I don't really relish the idea of sleeping in my car in the parking lot.



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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:11 pm

the campsites up before you cross into the park along 120 from the Eastside? I love those places. Nice fishing as well as a chance to acclimate. Or were you looking for free? I think they are about 17 to 21/night. not bad at all. Gives you a chance to cull your gear as well.
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby LMBSGV » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:16 pm

Since getting a reservation or first come site at Tuolumne Meadows is probably not possible, you can try the first-come National Forest sites on the other side of Tioga Pass. (Check the Into National Forest website for the specifics on these.)

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/rec ... 6&actid=29

If (and if it's the afternoon, probably), all those are filled continue to the Mono County campgrounds further down the road. (Most of them are off the Poole Power Plant turnoff.) I've always been able to get a site at one of those, even at peak times and well past 6:00.
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby gbrown09 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:31 pm

The Tioga Lake Campground is awesome! It's right outside of the park entrance and only a 5-10 minute drive to the Mono Pass trailhead. It's a pretty small campground but you should be able to find a spot on a Sunday afternoon. There are also other campgrounds nearby - Ellery Lake, Junction, Saddlebag Lake, and then a bunch farther down in Lee Vining Canyon.
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:00 am

By the way, it's illegal to camp in the pullouts inside the park - you'll get ousted from the park by a ranger if you try. No camping at trailheads. If you have a permit already you can stay in the backpacker camp at Tuolumne for 5/person on the night before and the night after - the car has to be parked in trailhead parking, but you can leave it over at the parking area for Dog Lake after dropping off stuff in the campground.
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:33 am

Porcupine Flat (on your way in) often has spaces when other campgrounds are full, and it's maybe 20-25 minutes from the Mono Pass trailhead.

I looked at Tioga Lake early on a Wednesday afternoon a couple years ago and it was already full up. Maybe that was unusual, but since it is the closest campground to Yosemite I would expect it to be pretty popular.
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:50 am

Hi Drembo,

Welcome to HST! (Going back in you history can see you have not been welcomed.)
As Tom says PF may be your best bet and is that fails that something east of
Tioga, and since its Sunday evening you may lick out since a loy of folks leave
Sunday morning or afternoon.

PS Have you already resevered a permit? If you have a permit than you can use the
Tuolumne Backpackers campground.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:51 am

Backpacker campground - never fills.

Just be sure to put the pack in the bear box. The bears take them even when they are empty.
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby jessegooddog » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:02 pm

There is a small walk-in campground at the 9000 foot marker on 120 outside Yosemite. Coming from the east, there is a very large pull out on the left, and a small one on the right at the guardrail. The trail starts on the other side of the guardrail. It is about 1/8 mile to the campground, which has picnic tables and fire rings (legal?) but no bear boxes, and is free. There are no signs except the elevation marker. The shaded creek trail is gorgeous with wildflowers. The downside is the campground is full of broken glass as if it is a party hangout.
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby drembo » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:35 pm

yes, we have a permit so the backpackers campground sounds like the ticket. just doing a short hike to silver lake, taking a first timer. I've been backpacking for 45 years but have never done this hike before. my partner will be coming up from So Cal while I come from from the north so a good opportunity for a shuttle trip. anybody done this trip before? and thanks for all the advice.
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby FeetFirst » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:52 pm

maverick wrote:Hi Drembo,
PS Have you already resevered a permit? If you have a permit than you can use the
Tuolumne Backpackers campground.


Quick question about the Backpackers Campground: are you suppose to have the actual permit in hand or will the reservation confirmation letter showing entry the next day suffice? It seems to me like it fits the spirit of the rule, but my logic on such things has failed me in the past.

I ask because I'm planning a trip from Tuolomne Meadows (Lyell Canyon) down to Reds Meadow in August and will be arriving late, well after the Wilderness Center closes, the night before the entry date. Therefore, I won't be able to pick up my permit until early the morning of and as far as I know Yose NP won't hold permits in a night box, which puts me in a bit of a pickle.

I've actually used the Backpackers Campground at TM a few times in the past, but I always arrived in time to get my permit. Furthermore, all of these times I never once saw anyone checking permits, so I'll probably be fine, but I'm not one to ignore NP rules.

From the website:

2. Can I camp in the frontcountry the night before or after by backpacking trip?

Wilderness permit holders may spend one night prior to, and one night after, a backpacking trip in a backpackers' campground (summer only). This service is especially helpful for those who have gotten a first-come, first-served permit the day before beginning their hike.

Backpackers' campgrounds are available for wilderness permit holders to spend one night before and one night after a wilderness trip. Camping is limited to one night at a time. Reservations are neither necessary nor required. However, a valid wilderness permit is required to stay at the campground. The fee is $5 per person (pay using envelopes at the campground). Parking is not available directly at campgrounds; instead park at designated overnight parking areas and walk to the backpackers' campground.

Tuolumne Meadows: These sites are inside the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, behind the A loop. Open July through late September (approximately).


http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/l ... eID=412372
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: trailhead camping at mono pass trailhead yosemite

Postby markskor » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:30 pm

As stated above, Yosemite Valley Backpacker camp and Tuolumne Backpacker camp never fill, don't require a reservation, and to my knowledge, anyone with the "right" equipment has never been turned away - one night only, $5 pp. This means if you don't have a 2-story tent, couple of lawn chairs, and a big ice chest, and...
(rule #1) you have a good attitude as well as real backpacking gear, you can always stay.

In Tuolumne BP camp, the rangers are seldom seen up the hill - self policed...probably the cleanest camp in Tuolumne. The rangers Valley continuously check things out at their BP camp, popping in frequently until dark. They know what's going on, and have seen it all...be cool.

Best advice both sites is find a hole/any available flat spot anywhere inside the boundaries, and set up - welcome! People do come in late daily/ often way late. Do everyone a favor and turn down headlamps after you find a spot?

You asked about having permit in hand before entering? The rules state that you are supposed to have permit in hand before, but...
If you come in by bus, no permit needed -
If you ride a bike in, no permit needed,
and finally, if you have your printed notification, come in after the Wilderness office closes, and follow (rule #1), no further permit will be needed. Yosemite is enlightened, a great attitude towards real backpackers. Jen, head wilderness ranger Tuolumne, will size you up in seconds. (I could write stories.) Don't blow it with attitude. If in the Valley, say hi to Ranger Dave, head bear honcho and almost a fisherman.
If leaving/parking a car in Valley (always nice to hike to the car) - Curry Orchard is safe w/ convenient bear boxes and Shuttle bus friendly.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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