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Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?

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Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 12:27PM
We are trying to decide which campground to book, Upper Pines or Crane Flat. Has anyone stayed at both campgrounds?

My wife and I will be tent camping for 5 nights next summer. We are not planning on any major hikes, just sightseeing and easy hiking trails.

Thank You
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 01:13PM
This time of year I'd go for Crane Flat. The Valley is hot and crowded.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 01:25PM
There are no showers at Crane Flat, but if you can live without that, as eeek said,
it will be quieter than down in the Valley at that time of year.
Me, I'd choose Upper Pines for the showers alone, and the proximity to everything,
since you said you aren't planning any major hikes. You can also rent bicycles
at Curry Village and peddle around the Valley smiling smiley
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 02:00PM
Quote
PineCone
There are no showers at Crane Flat, but if you can live without that, as eeek said,
it will be quieter than down in the Valley at that time of year.
Me, I'd choose Upper Pines for the showers alone, and the proximity to everything,
since you said you aren't planning any major hikes. You can also rent bicycles
at Curry Village and peddle around the Valley smiling smiley

To be clear, the showers would be at Curry Village and would require payment.

One could easily just park at the campsite and take the shuttle all around Yosemite Valley.

I think some people prefer North Pines though.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 04:22PM
Quote
PineCone
There are no showers at Crane Flat

There are no showers at any of the campgrounds.
Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 03:34PM
Crowded or not, you can't beat the valley for easy access to wonderful scenery...not that there's anything wrong with Crane Flat, but if you stay in the Valley you can easily park and stay put for your 5 nights, hiking and seeing everything around on the easier trails. Really, the only real crowded ones I've noticed are Lower Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil, and the Mist trail, and all of them are OK if you go early. The crowds come from day visitors, and they have to drive in and park, so early risers get a nice quiet valley even in summer.

There are trails around the valley perimeter and to Mirror Lake and beyond that are relatively easy and enough to keep you busy for your 4 days easily. People tend to avoid the perimeter trails and often you see no one even in summer.

As far as North or Upper Pines, I've noticed a lot of larger RV's seem to prefer North Pines, and while most are nice folks, I prefer to be among tents when possible; Upper Pines also gets RV's, but maybe not so many. Both are well situated, but North Pines is next to the stables.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 27, 2009 02:00PM
Quote
Sierrafan
Crowded or not, you can't beat the valley for easy access to wonderful scenery

I agree wholeheartedly. There's nothing like being able to take an evening stroll in the "Incomparable Valley", knowing that you don't have to drive an hour or more to your tent.Given the choice, I would always take one of the Pines campgrounds over Crane Flat - even when there are hordes of people in the Valley.

A piece of advice I: if at all possible plan your trip no later than mid-June, and if you could go earlier - say mid to late April, that's even better. Just know that in April you'll be taking more of a chance with weather. For almost guaranteed good weather, and fewer people mid May is a good compromise.
Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 03:51PM
Crane Flat is a pretty area and quiet (the name makes you think it would be plain, flat and ugly, but it's forested and beautiful). One of the 2 gas stations in the park is there, and the price is about 50 cents higher per gallon than outside the park, but still it's good to know it's there and to have that right near you as you start out each day is comforting. There is a small convenience store with restrooms there and the employees are friendly and helpful. It's only about a 30 minute drive from there to Yosemite Valley. And it's right next to Tioga Road, so it's just a minute or two to the parking lot for Tuolumne Grove and just a short drive down Tioga Road to Siesta Lake, and then on to all the other things to see along Tioga Road including Tuolumne Meadows and all the hikes that start there. I think Crane Flat is a great location as your jumping-off point if you're planning to explore both Yosemite Valley and the upper park along Tioga Road.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 04:11PM
Quote
Bob Weaver
One of the 2 gas stations in the park is there, and the price is about 50 cents higher per gallon than outside the park, but still it's good to know it's there

There are three gas stations in the park.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 04:12PM
I like Crane Flat. It was named after the birds...

Lately maybe they should change it to Bear Flat...

(I mistakenly hit post button... so I have to say something)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2009 04:14PM by bill-e-g.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 04:32PM
Quote
bill-e-g
I like Crane Flat. It was named after the birds...

According to historical accounts, cranes used to gather there.
(Wasn't named by some ranger that used to be a developer somewhere and thought that it was a cool name.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2009 04:34PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 04:33PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Bob Weaver
One of the 2 gas stations in the park is there, and the price is about 50 cents higher per gallon than outside the park, but still it's good to know it's there

There are three gas stations in the park.

I think it's also relative to what you mean by "outside the park". I've found that the gas stations in Oakhurst tend to be competitive with prices in Fresno or Modesto. There's a Chevron station in Coarsegold that's also pretty well priced. The Chevron station in Mariposa is on the high side but not through the roof. What the Shell station in El Portal charges should be considered highway robbery.

The most expensive gas station I've ever seen (relative to market prices in suburbs) was the Kings Canyon Lodge in Sequoia National Forest. I remember filling up with premium for maybe $3.25/gallon back in June 2007 in Fresno. I didn't fill up at Stony Creek (about $3.80/gallon unbranded) that day thinking maybe I'd check out the stations on the map at Hume Lake or Kings Canyon Lodge. Well - Hume Lake was $4.00/gallon for mid-grade and my turbocharged engine needed premium. So I get to Kings Canyon Lodge and see the two gravity-fed glass vial pumps. $28.50 for six gallons with that six gallons as a minimum. They would have pumped it up to the 6 gallon line and let gravity feed it into the tank. I declined and watched as my low-fuel indicator lit up maybe 40 miles from Fresno. I filled up with more than 15 gallons in a 15.9 gallon tank. I think going downhill helped reduce fuel consumption.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 04:40PM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
eeek
Quote
Bob Weaver
One of the 2 gas stations in the park is there, and the price is about 50 cents higher per gallon than outside the park, but still it's good to know it's there

There are three gas stations in the park.

I think it's also relative to what you mean by "outside the park". I've found that the gas stations in Oakhurst tend to be competitive with prices in Fresno or Modesto. There's a Chevron station in Coarsegold that's also pretty well priced. The Chevron station in Mariposa is on the high side but not through the roof. What the Shell station in El Portal charges should be considered highway robbery.

The most expensive gas station I've ever seen (relative to market prices in suburbs) was the Kings Canyon Lodge in Sequoia National Forest. I remember filling up with premium for maybe $3.25/gallon back in June 2007 in Fresno. I didn't fill up at Stony Creek (about $3.80/gallon unbranded) that day thinking maybe I'd check out the stations on the map at Hume Lake or Kings Canyon Lodge. Well - Hume Lake was $4.00/gallon for mid-grade and my turbocharged engine needed premium. So I get to Kings Canyon Lodge and see the two gravity-fed glass vial pumps. $28.50 for six gallons with that six gallons as a minimum. They would have pumped it up to the 6 gallon line and let gravity feed it into the tank. I declined and watched as my low-fuel indicator lit up maybe 40 miles from Fresno. I filled up with more than 15 gallons in a 15.9 gallon tank. I think going downhill helped reduce fuel consumption.



Does anyone here know how to spell GAS CAN?

[ I always carry along a jerry can. Those 5 gallons will get me 190 miles in my Saturn... almost assuredly to a station with reasonable prices.]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2009 04:58PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 04:55PM
Quote
szalkowski
Does anyone here know how to spell GAS CAN?

Yeah. They used to be cheap. I remember paying maybe $3 for a simple one gallon plastic fuel container, and now they're $10 or more. Now they've got these fancy child-resistance and emissions control features. They've got to meet California Air Resources Board and EPA requirements.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 23, 2009 05:18PM
Quote
y_p_w
What the Shell station in El Portal charges should be considered highway robbery.

Last March:


Quote

The most expensive gas station I've ever seen (relative to market prices in suburbs) was the Kings Canyon Lodge in Sequoia National Forest.

Bridgeport can be very bad:


One should avoid the station at the June Lake junction too.
Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 26, 2009 12:42PM
Oh sorry... I didn't even notice the Tuolumne Meadows gas station because nothing there was open when we went through (June 4).
To me paying the extra 50ยข/gallon is nothing, because it means not having to leave the park to get gas, which involves a lot of extra time (and gas used up just getting to the station). So what if it cost me $3 extra to buy 6 gallons of gas inside the park. Well worth it for the convenience.
Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 25, 2009 10:08PM
Thank You for all of your advice!

I was looking at the reservation site and it does not look like all of the sites in Upper Pines have Fire pits and Bear boxes. Anyone know if that is correct? For example site 129 in Upper Pines does not have them listed.

Thanks Again
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 25, 2009 11:09PM
Quote
Yosemite95
Thank You for all of your advice!

I was looking at the reservation site and it does not look like all of the sites in Upper Pines have Fire pits and Bear boxes. Anyone know if that is correct? For example site 129 in Upper Pines does not have them listed.

Thanks Again

All campsites in Upper Pines have a fire bit and a bear box.
avatar Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 26, 2009 12:19AM
Y-95,

I have only camped in "official" campgrounds twice in Yosemite (the rest has been backpacking) and they were at these two campsites. It would beg two questions for this decision between the two 1) Is this your first trip to Yosemite? 2) Is this a "once in a lifetime" trip? (meaning: do you live far away with little chance to return)

(Plug yer ears, Billy!) If either of the answers to these questions is "yes", than I would stay at Upper Pines. My reason? When I visited Yosemite for the first time, I stayed at Crane Flat...and I was constantly shuttling into the Valley, because I wanted to see all of the iconic sights and take in some of the programs that were offered in the Valley. Once you have done the Valley circuit, than I would say hands down, stay at Crane Flat and see what Yosemite really has to offer.

B
Re: Upper Pines or Crane Flat Campground?
June 28, 2009 05:36PM
Well my first time to Yosemite was in 1995.... I was driving from California to Florida and stopped in Yosemite for one night. This was my first National park and every year since 1995 my summer vacations have been to National Parks around the U.S. This trip I am returning with my wife, this is her first time and we live in Florida. So, I think the valley is the spot for us.

Thank You again for all of your help.
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