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Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping

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Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 07, 2008 11:01PM
Hi all,
I'm new to this forum - we are two families, one British one Belgian, living on the other side of the world in Dubai. In July we're planning on spending 20 days in California in RVs doing a round trip San Francisco, Grand Canyon, Monument, Zion and then finishing with a week in Yosemite.

I thought that by reserving camping spots at the end of March, I would be ok - but as you all know, and I do now, everything for the valley went on 15th March.

Does anyone know if there's any way to get two spots at any of the valley camps, including Housekeeping (I know it's not Rv but it looks great for the kids) for 6 to 8 days between 15th to 25th July?

Given that we've booked our flights etc, and we're coming from so far away it would be a shame to miss out, so I'd be willing to pay extra if I had to.

Thanks
Mark
avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 08, 2008 08:41AM
hmmmm... well, i was thinking of Hodgson Campground. it's at the entrance of the park on hwy 120. it's a first come first serve campground, so if you come on a friday or a weekend, it will be tough. there is another campground a few miles off hwy 120 right before you get to the entrance that is a first come first serve also, it is not part of the park, but is a nice place.
Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 08, 2008 09:32AM
How long will you be in the park? Hodgdon Meadow and Wawona are still showing some campsites midweek during July - check this link:

http://yosemitesites.com/camping/reservations/California/Yosemite/21

They are only a 40-minute ride from the Valley.

Be aware that Bridalveil Creek will become available at some point, and there are other first-come first-served campsites in Tuolumne Meadows, along Tioga Pass Road and outside the eastern entrance that will get you fairly close, if not within, the Valley. By July, you may find that the high country is already attractive enough so that you would be willing to limit your time in the Valley.

You could also try the Indian Flat RV Park, accessed from within the park itself:

http://www.hikercentral.com/campgrounds/101845.html

The Jerseydale campground along route 140 near Midpines:

http://www.hikercentral.com/campgrounds/114671.html

The Lone Sequoia Campgorund near Sugar Pine:

http://www.hikercentral.com/campgrounds/114750.html

Summerdale Campground near the south entrance (I have stayed here before - very nice):

http://www.hikercentral.com/campgrounds/115155.html

There are other options nearby too. Bieng flexible is very important! The best of luck to you and your family...





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 08, 2008 09:37AM
Here is another option - it may be worth your while to try a few days in Sequioa National Park, about 4 hours south of Yosemite, and then a few days at Yosemite to finish up. Walking through the giant trees and flower strewn-meadows, seeing Crystal Cave, watching deer and bear and huge pileated woodpeckers in the forest, and walking the gentle glacial valley extending from the Lodgepole Campground up the Kaweah River and its waterfall is a pretty nice way to spend some time - and it is not as busy (you may still be able to get a campsite there!).

Grab whatever you can at Hodgdon Meadow for Yosemite, then work your Sequoia visit around that. Just a thought.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 08, 2008 04:50PM
bpnjensen wrote:

> Here is another option - it may be worth your while to try a
> few days in Sequioa National Park, about 4 hours south of
> Yosemite, and then a few days at Yosemite to finish up.
> Walking through the giant trees and flower strewn-meadows,
> seeing Crystal Cave, watching deer and bear and huge pileated
> woodpeckers in the forest, and walking the gentle glacial
> valley extending from the Lodgepole Campground up the Kaweah
> River and its waterfall is a pretty nice way to spend some time
> - and it is not as busy (you may still be able to get a
> campsite there!).

I made a reservation at Stony Creek Campground in Sequoia National Forest last year less than three weeks from my trip. I think Lodgepole is probably the most popular campground and will fill up quickly. I checked, and Lodgepole has a few RV sites, but Stony Creek has plenty of sites. These are all reserveable at:

http://www.recreation.gov
http://www.reserveamerica.com

ReserveAmerica provides the service for the US Federal recreation website at Recreation.gov. ReserveAmerica will also have access to state/local government and private campsites that have contracted with them for reservation services.

As for Yosemite, it might be possible to stay in an RV park outside the park boundaries. Maybe in Oakhurst. Maybe rent a car for taking into Yosemite, because your options for RV parking may be extremely limited if you don't have a campsite in the park. You might even consider tent camping instead, which would give you more options for first-come first served campgrounds.

Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 09, 2008 12:55AM
Thanks all,
yes I was looking at Lodgepole or Dorst, so maybe we'll do as Bruce suggested and combine the Yosemite with Sequoia. I was just hoping there might be some sort of waiting list system for the camp grounds that are already full.
avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 09, 2008 09:59AM
Mark Jenkins wrote:

> Thanks all,
> yes I was looking at Lodgepole or Dorst, so maybe we'll do as
> Bruce suggested and combine the Yosemite with Sequoia. I was
> just hoping there might be some sort of waiting list system for
> the camp grounds that are already full.

The USDA Forest Service campgrounds in Giant Sequoia National Monument are pretty good, even though many people want to stay within the National Park boundaries. I mentioned Stony Creek, although Hume Lake is pretty large, and my camp host said that Princess is the biggest Forest Service campsite in the area.

If you do go there of course visit the Giant Forest. I have memories of staying in a cabin there (before they were razed) and my mother storing food (sliced bread) on the porch. Of course a black bear got to it, as I saw a bear shaped silhouette with a plastic bag hanging from its mouth in the distance. However - there are some wonderful sequoia groves that aren't heavily visited. I'd recommend the Redwood Mountain Grove in the small separated section of Kings Canyon. Off trail travel is legal there (wouldn't be in the Giant Forest) and you can actually touch the sequoias. We went last year and my (now) wife and I saw this little family. My wife was terrified until we backed off and gave the bears some space, I calmed her down, and we peacefully waited for the bears to leave. These were not Yosemite bears, who might be looking to score an easy meal.





Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 09, 2008 04:02PM
Nice bear pictures! The cubs are great!





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 12, 2008 11:26AM
y_p_w wrote:

> These were not Yosemite bears, who might be
> looking to score an easy meal.

From what I've seen of Sequoia bears they must be retarded. They just don't have that Yosemite smarts.

At Bear Paw they have more problems with Marmots than bears:



avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 12, 2008 12:23PM
The bears in Yosemite are just further along the learning curve because of the greater absolute number of clueless (feel free to insert your adjective of choice - I'm just being generous here) visitors that they encounter each year.
avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 12, 2008 06:36PM
szalkowski wrote:

> The bears in Yosemite are just further along the learning curve
> because of the greater absolute number of clueless (feel free
> to insert your adjective of choice - I'm just being generous
> here) visitors that they encounter each year.

To be fair, there was one particular bear in the Rae Lakes area of Kings Canyon that figured out how to open the early models of the BearVault canister. And even that part of the Sierras (plus the Tahoe area) seem to include black bears that have figured out how to break into cars.

I found it really odd when visiting the Rockies or Cascades, where I was informed that it was perfectly acceptable to store food in my car trunk.

Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 14, 2008 07:31AM
Just how did the bear get the BearVault open?





Bill
avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 14, 2008 10:28AM
wbmyosemite wrote:

> Just how did the bear get the BearVault open?

Apparently just stomped up and down on it in a certain way until the lid got past the stop. The earlier models only had a round bump and apparently if it was already loose enough jumping on it would cause it to get past the locking mechanism. BearVault redesigned the bump into a triangular shape and reinforced the bump area (BV350/BV400) which hasn't been compromised in the Sierras yet. These ones have a red sticker on the lid. If you bring an older BV to the Roads End permit station in Kings Canyon, they'll exchange it with a BV350 or BV400. They also have Garcias and Bearikades for rent there for $5 for up to two weeks.

There's also a bear in the Adirondacks (Marcy Dam area) in Upstate NY that's learned how to bite on the edge of the lid so that the locking mechanism is permanently deformed. This bear had managed to get into all models of the BearVault. BearVault has sent some experimental lids to the area and that lid should be part of the newer BV500 coming out this month. Strangely enough, the BV350 is still available with the previous locking mechanism.

http://www.bearvault.com/bearvault_details.php

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=9829&disable_pagination=1



Still - the first line of defense with a BearVault is to just tighten it as much as possible. Likely most of the failures could be traced to the lid being loose. I know it's a pain to unscrew one that's on tight. If it was on tight, I don't think the lid unscrews from jumping up and down, and the bear using its teeth probably wouldn't get enough torque to unscrew it.

avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 14, 2008 02:43PM
y_p_w wrote:

> There's also a bear in the Adirondacks (Marcy Dam area) in
> Upstate NY that's learned how to bite on the edge of the lid so
> that the locking mechanism is permanently deformed. This bear
> had managed to get into all models of the BearVault. BearVault
> has sent some experimental lids to the area and that lid should
> be part of the newer BV500 coming out this month. Strangely
> enough, the BV350 is still available with the previous locking
> mechanism.

I called up BearVault and asked what the redesign was. They've redesigned the lid with two bumps. So it wasn't actually that the bear would chew it to deform the edge of the lid. It was chewing to try and get the bump down and the lid unscrewed in one motion. It was trying different locations all around the lid until it found the right one. I guess the hope is that with the two bumps, it's not going to be able to get past both bumps in one motion. The employee said the full sized versions will be shipped starting next week. I got the impression that the smaller version will be available eventually. In any case, the canisters I've got are still approved in the Sierras.

It still sounds as if cranking the lid on tight and the bear doesn't get to where it can try to defeat the bump.



Post Edited (04-14-08 14:53)
avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 13, 2008 01:38PM
it's my understanding that Yosemite bears know how to read (i.e. Igloo, Coleman etc), but English only mind you ;-)
avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 13, 2008 02:24PM
No, they read German too.

avatar Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 13, 2008 02:41PM
now see eeek? that's why yer here, to clear things up that aren't absolute. lolol jk
Re: Can anyone help - valley Camping
April 14, 2008 08:59PM
The ingenuity of bears is just amazing. I heard of one in the past that had learned to open car doors with the handle; and one somewhere in Yosemite that was throwing Bear canisters in the river (If I can't have it, nobody can 8^)

I was thinking maybe they should just put chunks of termite-infested wood in a bunch of canisters and leave them around. After a few major efforts that resulted in "what the heck, termites? I can get those out here..." maybe they'd give up on trying to break in.
8^)





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
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