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Pothole Dome (Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park)

The Moon is Waxing Crescent (37% of Full)


Re: It was the best & worst of all trips

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It was the best & worst of all trips
August 06, 2007 07:55AM
Yosemite itself was absolutely beautiful...beautiful skies, great weather. Went on some great hikes - found a new one I'm not inclined to share right now. We found a great area for wildflowers, saw lots of deer, birds, fish, a (yearling) bear at Tenaya Lake...that part couldn't have been more perfect.

The worst part was the people!!! We camped at Tuolumne Meadows, as we always do, and for some reason (lack of rangers? or is it just C Loop?) more people than ever were so rude and inconsiderate of other campers. We stayed in C loop: I don't know what was worse; where 1: below us a large RV crowd stayed up loudly partying 3 nights in a row (well past midnight); 2. Thursday night, well after majority of campers were sleeping except for grooving RV group, an irate driver (windows rolled down) is screaming at his passenger, "F****** campground is full, blah blah f****** reservations, blah blah you don't know what you're f****** doing, blah blah %$^#&, blah *$&&^#", on through the campground. Then there was Friday night when a group came in at camp next to us. They also came in after midnight, proceeded to set up camp with lights that shined right into our tent. They built a nice, blazing fire and proceeded to party till the sun came up (not kidding!) Totally ignored us when we asked them to please quiet down. Plus, I have never seen so many dogs in the campground before.

Which brings me to the next thing: dogs on trails and at Lake Tenaya! On 2 separate days we visited Tenaya and on both days saw at least 3 dogs running, swimming in the Lake. On one day we saw a baby bear foraging through a nearby meadow. Sadly, the baby was oblivious to the crowd that formed to watch it. We heard from a ranger later that some tourists had been feeding a bear in that area. Also heard that alot (20?) bears had to be killed last year because they're too familiar with humans sad smiley

Sadly, we ended up leaving a day earlier than planned. I feel heartsick for Yosemite; is this what it's coming to? I know the rangers do their best, but they seem so understaffed and overworked sad smiley

Sorry to vent, it's still my favorite place, I'm just feeling so sad for Yosemite right now.
avatar Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 06, 2007 08:57AM
I don't get why you're so surprised. The Yosemite visiting experience is just a microcosm of human behavior in our cities, but packed into a tighter space. As long as you find yourself far away from motor vehicles, it gets considerable better and less boorish.

Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 06, 2007 09:33AM
y p w:

I understand what you're saying, it's just that I've camped at Tuolumne for 23 years and its NEVER been like what we experienced last week. I'd always considered TM a sort of hidden jewel as the masses mostly stayed down in the valley and the people that did stay in TM used to be more respectful of the natural beauty of the park and campground/trail rules. This year, people were driving every which way through the campground ignoring the "One Way" and "Do Not Enter" signs posted, just like they ignored the "No Dogs" sign at Tenaya. I guess those posted signs didn't pertain to them though, just the other campers. No, I must say, I am surprised at the lack of civility. I guess when you're up there more, it creeps up on you and becomes the norm.
Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 07, 2007 01:51AM
I 100% agree with you about the amount of people in TM this past week. I was there in the c loop from July 26 till August 3 and I have never seen so many people there. We went to Tenya lake on Sunday with about 5 thousand other people which was surprising because it usually starts to slow down on Sunday with more people leaving after the weekend. I saw a glimpse of the bear on the beach with the mass amount of people crowding to get a picture with the ranger just standing there not trying to discourage it from returning.

We went on hikes miles away from the campground to find about 40 to 50 people in spots that in the previous ten years combined, we have never seen. I had my cousin tell a group to quiet down because it was already about 11 and most people were asleep and we were going to sleep soon. Luckily for us it was a bunch of kids with the parents there to shut them up, but we shouldn't have to tell them to respect the rules. It's great to have fun and trust me our group had a lot of fun but by 10 it is not only the rules but also common courtesy to quiet down. Also in previous years park ranger would go throughout the campground around 11 with their spotlight to check for unlocked bear boxes and I think they came around only one night.

The store was unable to produce enough ice for the amount of people needing to keep their food cold which forced us to go to Tioga Pass for ice where they also were out of ice so we had to go to Lee Vining. We did however run into people that were camping all the way over at Convict lake during day hikes up there, but there were just too many people.
Over the past 16 years (minus the one for flooding) we have gone up there I have never seen so many people up there. In the Valley you expect it to be crowded but not here. It seems like more people have "discovered" TM and everything it has to offer. I hope this year was just a fluke and they go back to the Valley so it's not so crowded. A positive about TM this year and last is that I only saw or heard one bear and that was the one at Tenya, so hopefully the Yosemite bears will stay wild.

It was funny to see people going the wrong direction especially when there was either the park ranger or camp host to force them to turn around. I think I remember the certain group you talking about staying around c37 or so, just below the restrooms.
Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 07, 2007 09:38AM
We were at TM July 23-27. Left from home at midnight drove to TM, about
6.5 hours from Simi Valley. We usually do this to get there by 7am to get
a good site in the "A" loop. Since 1980 this has worked. It worked this time too.
The "A" loop is a lot more quiet the the sites further away like the "C" loop.
More or less party city back there. Which is ok if they shut up at 10pm.
We did notice that there were more people taking a dip. Not as quiet as
usual by the river. Still wonderful though.
The river was low that so more people were in the water.
I just had to go further upstream to get away from the crowd.
Oh yes...it rained the second day. Glad I brought my tarp for the old
tent. Some fool was in the water with the thunder all around.
I told him to take a look at the toasted trees around him. He just kept
Still. .. the best camping ground around. But these days I don't tell
as many people about its existance.

Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 07, 2007 09:46AM

So you recognized it too! We were there from 7/29 - 8/4 and couldn't believe how many cars we'd see parked along the road between TM campground and Tenaya. There was a wedding at Tenaya on Wednesday, I thought that was pretty cool.

We usually day hike out pretty far also, and I was also surprised at the amount of people we saw on the trails- like you said, more so than in many previous years combined. I think more people are figuring out the valley is too hot and conditions are more favorable in the upper elevations. Plus, a visiting member of our group spent one night in the valley and mentioned the lack of water, many of the falls looked pretty dried up.

We ran into the same problem getting ice from the store. One of our group tried to get ice Tues. I think and they were all out. We were able to make do though without going down to Lee Vining and the next day were able to grab the last bag. I was able to have a birthday margarita so I was happy smiling smiley
The store didn't have a whole lot either, I think with all the people they couldn't keep it stocked.

We camp in a large group also, and we do have our fun, but recognize not everyone wants to be a part of it. We never saw any rangers come around at night. We'd see maybe one a day drive by in the golf carts where before we'd see them make rounds morning and evening.

It certainly was nice not having any mosquitoes, and there was actually one bear spotted in C Loop on the evening of the 3rd, down at the bathroom between C77 and C81. And yeah, the group I was talking about was just below those restrooms.
Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 09, 2007 10:29PM
Maybe you guys came across the groups below:

Outdoors Event: Give Yosemite a try
By David Watts Barton - Sacramento Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, July 12, 2007

Even bridges and small streams are scenic in Yosemite.
Mcclatchy Newspapers/Robert Reid Hepler

Packing the kids off to a weekend in Disneyland may answer your immediate problem -- they want to go, now -- but sometimes you really do know what's best for them, not to mention your own peace of mind -- and wallet.

A trip to Disneyland will involve airfare or gas, hotel, admissions and food, all to see a representation of a Painted Desert and a miniature Matterhorn. Why not save money and take the kids to California's real, live outdoor wonderland: Yosemite.

The nonprofit Yosemite Association has put together the Family Camping Jamboree, two three-night weekend trips to Yosemite's high-country Tuolumne Meadows Campground, for which you need do nearly as little preparation as you would for Disneyland.

Included in the prices -- $290 for adults, $125 per child 12 and under (less for Yosemite Association members, $35 a year) -- are three nights of reserved site camping, park entrance, guided activities, and all meals and snacks.

The campouts will be held July 21-24 and July 26-29. Call (209) 379-2321 or visit www.yosemite.org/seminars to sign up. Space is limited.

Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 10, 2007 05:37AM
I will be at TM on Monday morning, and was planning on the A loop. I haven't been there for 13 years , but I seem to remember that was a good place bac then. Your guys stories make me definitely want that area.
Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 10, 2007 08:13AM
It's been a while since I stayed in A loop, but I remember a few years back having a nice site towards the end, close to the river. Only problem then was a heavy mosquito year, you shouldn't have any problems this year.
Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 10, 2007 12:54PM

To get an "A" Loop you need to get there early, early. Not on a weekend.
Mondays thru Thursday are good.

We scout them out before the office opens. Ask for the empty site we like.
They did start a wating list. But at 8am nobody is around waiting next
to the kiosk. Still in their tents.

You can always change sites if you find one you like better after
checking in. Just find somebody that is leaving that day based on their
car sticker.

I still like it better when there was no kiosk and no checkin rangers.
Just find a site, and drop your money in the little metal box. First come, first
served. Camp host would collect the money.

Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 10, 2007 02:19PM
How early is early? I was thinking by 8 AM. I can get up earlier(coming from Mammoth), but it is the wife and kids that I have to get moving. For work, I get up at 3:30 AM, so I am sure my body clock will be getting up earlier anyway.

Post Edited (08-10-07 20:15)
Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 10, 2007 05:00PM
The office opens at 8am
We got there at 7am, there were about 4 people ahead of us.
I waited the wife and kids checked out the "A" loop. We were able to get
A62 which is great. But all of the A loop sites are great. No bugs this year.
If you get stuck in C or D just cruise around and look for the site you want.
The rangers don't know who has left during the night. We have never bothered with reservations. And always get what we want. And thats
over 25 years or so. We like to take a dip so we try to get as close to the river as possible. If you can see the river from your site it's even better.

Good luck

Post Edited (08-10-07 19:06)

Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 11, 2007 04:57PM
I was thinking of hiking down from TM to the valley with my son, but it sounds like the trails could be pretty busy. (I wanted to go someplace really desolate, uninhabited, but my son insists that it's just got to be Yosemite) Any suggestions about routes in the park that might be a little less traveled - I promise, we won't tell anybody, and we go to sleep early when we're hiking.

avatar Re: It was the best & worst of all trips
August 11, 2007 05:00PM
foustmj wrote:

> I was thinking of hiking down from TM to the valley with my
> son, but it sounds like the trails could be pretty busy.

Once you are a few miles out the trails aren't all that busy. You'll see some people but it won't be a crowd.

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