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Re: Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground

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Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground
June 17, 2009 06:47AM
I am thinking of taking my chances at the first-come first-serve Bridalveil Creek Campground in late July on Monday to Wednesday. Can anyone give me tips on what time to arrive and how likely I am to getting a spot? My Plan B is if I don't get a spot there, I will set up camp at a backpacker's camp nearby. Can anyone recommend backpacker camps near Curry Village that have a place to park your car nearby (if so, how far is the walk)? Thank you for any help! Bear Head
avatar Re: Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground
June 17, 2009 07:10AM
Usually early morning, say around 8AM, on weekdays will allow you to get a site if you hang around a wait for someone to leave. Can't say the same is true for the valley floor.

Tamarack Flat
Porcupine Flat
White Wolf
Yosemite Creek

These campgrounds are less popular and don't fill up quite as fast so you would have a decent shot with them.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground
June 17, 2009 07:34AM
I assumed you were only dayhiking. Is that true?

If that is the case you are not allowed to stay in the backpackers campground.
But if you have the gear there are loads of places that are fairly close to the TH
that are very simple to get to. (I've seen people take BABIES there! argh!!!)
With permit in hand you can actually spent 1 night b4 trip in bp campground,
then go into woods... come out and spend the 3rd night at bp campground.

But... maybe I mentioned this already to you but.. I think Bridalveil is a good bet
on those Weekdays... others will say more...
avatar Re: Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground
June 17, 2009 10:20AM
Quote
bill-e-g
I assumed you were only dayhiking. Is that true?

If that is the case you are not allowed to stay in the backpackers campground.

I think he meant Camp 4.
Re: Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground
June 17, 2009 08:01AM
Thank you for all the info. I'm new to this process. So do you just wait around asking people if they are about to leave and then grab their spot? Do you have to formally reserve a spot by registering at a main office?

To answer your question bill-e-g, I might have to change my game plan if I don't get a spot at the fc/fs campgrounds. And I assume the TH you are speaking of is for a backpackers camp near Bridalveil? Is it also true to assume that there is parking at all THs? Do you have any other suggestions for backpacker camps nearby? Maps showing locations of these camps? Sorry for asking so many questions, but I feel like I'm headed into the dark right now trying to plan logistics. =T
avatar Re: Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground
June 17, 2009 10:23AM
Quote
yosemitefreak
So do you just wait around asking people if they are about to leave and then grab their spot?

You'll probably be able to tell if someone is leaving by their activity.

Quote

Do you have to formally reserve a spot by registering at a main office?

No, there's no office. You just occupy the site and self-register. Arriving on a Monday morning should almost certainly get you a spot.
avatar Re: Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground
June 17, 2009 10:47AM
Quote
yosemitefreak
Thank you for all the info. I'm new to this process. So do you just wait around asking people if they are about to leave and then grab their spot? Do you have to formally reserve a spot by registering at a main office?

To answer your question bill-e-g, I might have to change my game plan if I don't get a spot at the fc/fs campgrounds. And I assume the TH you are speaking of is for a backpackers camp near Bridalveil? Is it also true to assume that there is parking at all THs? Do you have any other suggestions for backpacker camps nearby? Maps showing locations of these camps? Sorry for asking so many questions, but I feel like I'm headed into the dark right now trying to plan logistics. =T

Again - the backpackers campgrounds have limited uses. Their primary purpose is for those with wilderness permits for the night before and the night after a wilderness trip. It's not well-publicized (it's in the superintendent's compendium of rules), but they are also deemed acceptable for use by those arriving by bicycle, bus, or foot. Someone arriving by car is not supposed to be using them without a wilderness permit. There are some rumors that it can be used for Camp 4 overflow, but I don't believe that's the case. The charge is $5 per **person** per night and if crowded campers are expected to share campsites. At the Valley backpackers campground there is a drop off parking area (15 minute max) where someone can drop off equipment. This area is in one of loops of North Pines Camground. The usual parking area would be the Happy Isles Trailhead parking lot, which is maybe a half mile walk.

Camp 4 is different. It also has the $5/person charge. However - it is located next to its own parking lot and it's a fairly short walk. It's very crowded. You wait in line and will be assigned a campsite. You don't get your own campsite as they may assign up to 4 people per site. I believe each site has 4 bear boxes.

The other ones you would more or less wait around and see who's leaving. Mark your spot with something like a tablecloth and then go pick up a form, fill it out, and deposit the camping fee. Except for Camp 4, none of the FCFS campgrounds are in the Valley.
avatar Re: Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground
June 17, 2009 08:11AM
There are only backpacker campgrounds in the Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, White Wolf, and Hetch Hetchy.
There is parking at all TH except in the Valley. Down there you park in a lot near Happy Isles and
either walk or take the shuttle to your TH.

Since you are coming weekday and are open to any fc-fs campground I really don't think you need to
have any worries. You'll find something. Many of the campgrounds you just drive to. Look around for
an empty spot (thus asking people that look like they might be leaving if they are), then go self-register
and self-pay.

Others... please chime in... since I steared this person to this forum...
avatar Re: Chances at Bridalveil Creek Campground
June 17, 2009 08:14AM
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