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Re: Where should we stay?

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Where should we stay?
November 08, 2007 08:13AM
Hi Everyone,

You all seem to be the Yosemite professionals so I had a question...

I've never been to Yosemite before. My buddies and I (5) want to head up next Friday out of Los Angeles for some camping, (11/16) and are wondering where we should stay... There were a lot of choices on the website and I was kinda overwhelmed.

We're looking to do some hiking and also want to be very close to some nice "river-ish / streamish" type-deals and want to be within hiking distance of some great views and waterfalls. It looks like fishing is going to be out of the question, as I think I've seen that the season is over, but we'd like to find a spot that we can come back to and fish next year.

Any help you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated.

THANKS!!

Ryan

(Torrance, CA)
avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 08, 2007 10:31AM
If you can get reservations, camp in the Valley. If not, you can try Wawona.

avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 08, 2007 12:45PM
i was there about 3 weeks ago and couldn't stay in the valley, but was told another week or two it would probably be available as the crowds are dwindling down... you should be able to get a site by the time you plan on going.

the waterfalls are at a trickle (in the valley floor),, i'm not sure about Vernal / Nevada Falls etc.

as far as fishing goes, i've never seen anyone with much luck inside the valley.
avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 08, 2007 02:30PM
Yosemite Falls & Bridalveil are completely dried up. Nevada & Vernal will have some water, but won't be too impressive.

Yosemite is still a beautiful place..unbeatable vistas, soaring granite walls & monoliths, peaceful meadows, the meandering Merced River.

avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 08, 2007 02:33PM
Camp 4 is $5/night per tent, first-come, first-served and is open year round. You'll have to carry your gear 50-100 ft from the parking lot, but it's still a bargain. I'd venture this time of year it's not full.

The only problem is the possibility of snow. Still - I saw a group with a 3-season tent in the snow last Feb having a grand 'ol time.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/campground.htm

In a worst case scenario, you might be able to get a heated tent cabin at Curry Village or maybe a motel room in Mariposa.

Re: Where should we stay?
November 08, 2007 03:18PM
Ryan,
I'd suggest staying at Upper Pines campground, especially for a first visit.

With 6 of you, you could either share a campsite, or get two next to each other. As of Nov. 1, it's on a first-come, first-served basis, but I doubt you'll have problems in mid-November unless you try to get in the day before Thanksgiving without already being there.

The nice part about Upper Pines is that it is very close to many trailheads, Vernal and Nevada falls for one. You're next to the Merced River and Tenaya Creek. You have a valley shuttle bus that stops right nearby to get you around the valley. If you don't feel like cooking, a short bus ride or hike/bike ride will get you to Yosemite Lodge's food court for a decent, reasonably priced meal. Showers are available at Curry Village...bring your own towel. Food, ice, firewood etc. is available at Curry and Yosemite Village store, not too far away.

Bikes are a handy thing to take for exploring the valley, if you're so inclined. You're required to have tire chains in the car. It gets cold at 4 AM, bring good sleeping gear and sweats/long underwear.

By camping, I assume you mean tent. I'd suggest bringing a large plastic tarp or two, and some 1/4" rope. If it rains, stretching out a large tarp between trees and putting tents underneath can do wonders for comfort. In November, you may get springlike weather, or rain, or snow, or fog and dark gloom, there's no predicting it.

One thing's for sure, it will get dark early, probably around 5 PM. I like to head up to the Lodge after that, for a hot meal, and maybe take in the evening program. Beats sitting around a campfire for me, but that's me.

Some of the trails will be closed, but all the valley trails should be open...up past mirror lake toward Snow Creek, the John Muir/Mist trail to the falls and beyond, the lower part of the 4 mile trail, the Yosemite Falls (dry) trail, though there may be snow on top.

There's a possibility that Glacier Point road may still be open. If it happens to be, you can go up there for some great views, or maybe even hike up the 4 mile trail and back down the panorama trail, though it's a long hike for one day.

There are unheated tent cabins in Curry Village for only about $40, which is twice the cost of a bare campsite. However, I'd choose the campsite even if it cost more; the tent cabins are packed together very close, and it's more of a cub scout camp type atmosphere at Curry. Enjoy your trip, whatever you choose.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 08, 2007 07:42PM
Sierrafan wrote:

> I'd suggest staying at Upper Pines campground, especially for a
> first visit.

I concur.

> As of Nov. 1, it's on a first-come, first-served basis,

Really? Everything I've seen says it's on reservations all year long.

Re: Where should we stay?
November 09, 2007 07:07AM
Eeek, here's one link about the reservations at Upper Pines:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upperpines.htm

Last year they went off the reservation system for the winter also; prior to that I remember making reservations in February, so it may just be some interim policy, but it goes until Mid March.

Mixolydian, I figure a first time visitor can use ideas; whether they use them or not is naturally up to them.

As for tying a line between trees to help suppport a tarp during a rainstorm, that's what we and many other campers did on an April visit a few years back. With a very young child and some smaller tents, it made the difference of staying or going home. Camping for 3 days of fairly intense rain is no picnic at best, and having a warm dry bed inside a dry tent makes a lot of difference. If it was against any regulations, or they cared, they'd have had plenty of opportunity to let us know...or perhaps it is but it's more directed at abuse. A quarter inch line temporarily helping support a tarp for a purpose may not be everyone's idea of abuse. We haven't needed the tarps since, but I always bring them for any early spring or late fall camping...just in case.

I suppose you could tie a line between two motor homes...





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 09, 2007 11:31AM
Sierrafan wrote:


> I suppose you could tie a line between two motor homes...



HAHAHA!!!

I almost spit my fish taco out my nose!!!





Dan
avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 09, 2007 12:18PM
>>I almost spit my fish taco out my nose!!!<<

Such a thought to take with me as I head home to dinner...
avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 09, 2007 07:57AM
$40 for an unheated tent cabin at CV??
We paid $89 for the same thing in mid-September this year (definitely not a good value, in my opinion).
Is $40 the off season price, or does this price go back a few years?

CaT
Re: Where should we stay?
November 09, 2007 03:19PM
california-trailwalker wrote:
> $40 for an unheated tent cabin at CV??
> We paid $89 for the same thing in mid-September this year
> (definitely not a good value, in my opinion).
> Is $40 the off season price, or does this price go back a few
> years?

The prices change a lot, and September is still usually considered "in" season (not sure why...the falls are dry, the valley has been traffic-beaten all summer, meadows are brown, no fall color yet).

The $40 (actually $39) was from checking a few days ago for space in December, midweek, for 2 adults. Weekends were $49. Which is about $50 too high, I think 8^). Seriously though, some folks don't mind the tent cabins, but it's just an entirely different experience than I want. I think they'e suited well to the groups of kids that go there.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 12, 2007 07:35AM
I didn't mind the tent-cabin experience, per se, but thought for what you got (or rather, didn't get) for the price, it was vastly overpriced.
avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 12, 2007 08:19AM
california-trailwalker wrote:

> I didn't mind the tent-cabin experience, per se, but thought
> for what you got (or rather, didn't get) for the price, it was
> vastly overpriced.

Well....

You wouldn't required to pack a tent. If available on short notice, it makes a good option if other lodging isn't available in the park. It's within short walking distance of services and transportation in the park. Setting up one's own tent isn't for everyone.

My favorite place in the winter (outside the park) is the Best Western Yosemite Gateway in Mariposa. Their occupancy is very low in the winter (and full pretty much every day of summer). I remember staying there on a Sunday last February. I asked - only two rooms booked that night. It's less than $60, there's a free breakfast (very basic though), and the place is well maintained. Rooms are very large, which may include a king bed and/or a sofabed. The service can be a little bit indifferent at times, but so what at the price. I also booked there last June. Apparently there was a cancellation, and I got the last room.

Re: Where should we stay?
November 08, 2007 08:09PM
Well, now that you've described almost the entire park...

I'd try to stay in the valley or go down south and see if you can get into the Wawona campground if the valley is full.

If you like what you seein Yosemite, come back earlier in the year for some serious waterfall action.

I seem to remember that tieing things to trees is discouraged, so I'm not sure I'd count on that as an acceptable method to create shelter. I could be wrong though.
Re: Where should we stay?
November 09, 2007 04:45AM
Thank you all for your help!
avatar Re: Where should we stay?
November 09, 2007 08:02AM
There is also a cafeteria at Curry Village, so if you stay in Upper Pines you can walk there instead of driving/riding to Yosemite Village.

I prefer the cafeteria in Curry Village. It's "all you can eat" for about the same price you pay at Yosemite Lodge for a plate of food.

SierraFan: Thanks for the link on Upper Pines "first-come"; I wasn't aware of that.

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