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Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend

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Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 27, 2008 09:53AM
Yosemite is such a nice place to visit and explore, but after last weekend, I may have to confine my camping to places other than the valley. I could not believe the number of rude campers there were at North Pines. I understand that the sites are pretty crammed (but better than Lower or Upper), and there is not much privacy between sites, but the noise level and number of non-outdoor enthusiasts was really annoying. This was the first time I had camped in summer in the valley in a very long time, and I probalby won't do it again. It seems like most people in the valley this time of year only go to Yosemite to drink beer, get wasted, lounge around the campground or river, and stay up until past 2 AM partying and laughing. The jacka$$es next to us were all 20-somethings who did nothing but sit around in a constant state of drunkeness laughing and yelling all day and night long. Another party didn't even arrive until 12:45AM, then when they arrived, they lit up the entire campground with their headlights so they could set up their tent. It seemed like the majority of the sites near us were filled with people intent on making noise until well after midnight. I was so angry that we left the next day. I had planned on doing the 4-mile/Panorama/JMT loop, but that got ruined by being unable to sleep until about 2:30 the night before.

Again, I understand the quarters are cramped, but most sites have far too many people in them (some had 4 large tents, and at least 15 people). It also didn't help that I started getting sick the first day (it was probably best that I didn't do the strenuous hike in the end...), but I really left Yosemite not wanting to come back (at least to the valley). I don't know if it's just me, but I figure most people who visit Yosemite are people who like nature, like being outdoors, and have similar attitudes that I do about nature. But it seems like the majority are there just to get drunk and be obnoxious.

BTW, we did yell at the tool with the headlights to STFU after 30 minutes of yelling back and forth to bring this and get that out of the truck, and the slamming car doors. So we did do something about it, but by then I was very annoyed, and I didn't want to go to the 3 or 4 other sites with huge groups still yelling/talking at 1 AM.

OK, end rant.



Post Edited (08-27-08 16:58)
avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 27, 2008 10:29AM
Doesn't sound unusual for the Valley. Late arrivals and drunken campers aren't the only noise producers. You've got more legitimate sources like pyrotechnics and noises used to scare off campground-raiding bears.

That being said - I've been in the Valley backpackers campground. While it did have the occasional late arrival, everyone was usually respectful that people are trying to sleep.
avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 27, 2008 11:09AM
Valley+summer+weekend=crowds+noise

Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 28, 2008 12:43AM
eeek wrote:

> Valley+summer+weekend=crowds+noise
>


That pretty much sums it up, and I should know that, and expect that. But at the time, it was still very annoying.
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 27, 2008 01:21PM
I hate to say it,..but it sounds so familiar. I'm so afraid that the times I spent at Yosemite growing up might be gone forever. It was my Fathers favorite place, and my parents started bringing me there at age two (1959)...and we made it pretty much every year after that. I started the tradition with my two girls after my divorce, up until just a couple of years ago. Thank God they too got a taste of it. we dont go to the valley much anymore, but I'm also thankfull I got to experience Yosemite, before it got too trampled.
Russ

avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 27, 2008 03:55PM
I camped in the valley last December or January & had a great experience. More solitude than you can often get backpacking, and smack-dab in the middle of Yosemite Valley!

Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 28, 2008 12:41AM
I stayed in Curry Village of all places in January, and it was DEAD. Awesome time, and really fun. We were able to drive all over the place and get great photos, without getting stuck behind cars. Yosemite in winter is a great place, even the human sardine can, Curry Village.
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 28, 2008 02:42AM
Sorry to hear you had a bad time. My wife and I had a not so great time recently at a campground in the Sierra. People eating dinner and being loud at 1:00 am, playing music, dogs barking, etc. I guess it's people's values that have changed. Camping to them is about letting it all hang out. Quite a far cry from the contemplative meditative experience we used to value a few generations back. Clearly, the only way to find quiet in campgrounds now is to go when it's cold and nobody's there. Or go backpacking (and even that's no guarantee).

Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 28, 2008 02:52AM
This is exactly the reason I stopped taking my family to "The Valley" for vacation 4 years ago. Now we either camp in Mammoth Lakes or Tuolumne on our vacation. Less crowded, no loud/inconsiderate campers, cooler weather and the scenery and hikes are just as good. If we want to go to the valley, we just make it a day trip and get there early in the morning with stove, cookwear and food and eat at the day use areas. We haven't regretted it a bit!





Bob Nicholas
avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 28, 2008 04:07AM
I guess it's a fine line between people enjoying themselves.

In my camping experiences I've noticed a lot of people casually ignoring rules meant to make everyone's experience pleasant. One campground had "quiet hours" between 9 PM and 6 AM, but some groups were chatting it up, although I wouldn't say they were revelling. Campfires went on well after posted hours, and I'd think many were started after said hours.

On my last trip . My wife got upset at me for using a bear box because she thought it might disturb other campers. I have the "Yosemite bear" mentality from camping in areas that were bear central. Even so, at one particular campground a placard on every campsite picnic table noted what the rules were, although I'd think enforcement was selective for what the real dangers were. The list of stuff to store in a car or food locker included coolers, water bottles, dishes (even clean ones), and stoves. I saw a lot of people leaving these things out and passing park rangers didn't cite them. I think their primary concern was food being left out. Our neighbors' campsite had coolers and other stuff out, and there were ravens crawling all over their picnic table. I don't think they got anything, but they probably left droppings.

Once in Tahoe I had a hard time sleeping because the neighbors were partying well past midnight. The next morning one member of the group came up to me and apologized, and I hadn't even said anything about it. I did get back late (from the casinos) a few times, but that's generally acceptable as long as one keeps the noise to a minimum.

I've seen scouting groups in the backcountry partying late into the night, and their adult leaders eventually apologized for it.
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 28, 2008 06:08AM
We have never bothered with valley camping. Always go the TM. Only once
in 28 years have we had bothersome neighbors. I think the cold weather
at nights keep some of them away. We always keep quiet at 10pm which
is the quiet time there. I think the economy has a lot to do with
attracting the idiots to Yosemite this year.

avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 28, 2008 06:29AM
tmcamper wrote:

> We have never bothered with valley camping. Always go the TM.
> Only once in 28 years have we had bothersome neighbors. I think
> the cold weather at nights keep some of them away. We always
> keep quiet at 10pm which is the quiet time there. I think the
> economy has a lot to do with attracting the idiots to Yosemite this
> year.

It's kind of a dilemma. One really good reason for staying in Yosemite Valley is that one can leave the car parked and take advantage of the excellent shuttle system. It saves the aggravation of finding a parking spot, which one can admittedly do once per day and then take the shuttle.

There are rude people everywhere. In Yosemite people sort of assume that it's going to be crowded and sort of live with it. In Washington I had to deal with people who had some sort of chip on their shoulder over the smallest perceived slight. I was trying to get down a trail (railing to the side of a small canyon) with a guy (head is down) in the middle drying off his camera lens. Of course I'm trying to get by and just casually walk past him along the side of the railing. At the moment I walk by he starts moving towards the railing, notices me, and yells out a loud "EXCUSE ME" as if I was intentionally blocking his path. There are different varieties of rudeness, and it isn't necessarily limited to the most crowded places like Yosemite.

Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 28, 2008 11:37AM
A chance to add my two cents on a sore subject. I'm a light sleeper and even with earplugs often cannot stand staying in public campgrounds because of inconsiderate campers that are noisy beyond quiet hours. There are some people that once they start to sleep (often snorers haha) sleep soundly most all the night regardless of how noisy things are around them. Waking them up in fact is like waking up a sack of potatoes. However for other people like me trying to sleep, it is not so.

These days public campground fees are reaching ridiculous levels. To think I am actually paying $20 or $30 sometimes these days to be frustrated half the night trying to sleep! Although quiet hours are often 10pm, it is quite common for that merely to be the time when the really loud stuff ends. Likely they may turn down their boombox at 10:30pm to what they think is quiet enough though ANY nearby music even at a lower level annoys me. Of course they continue around their campfires till 1am or 2am drinking and talking at lower levels though one is likely to have at least one or two often women letting out annoying giggles every minute or three. Or some big guy that has a knee jerk action huh huh huh chuckle. All that totally bothers me. Well long ago I learned to avoid public campgrounds and learn to love dispersed camping. I'm a prolific backpacker actually. But there are times when meeting up with other groups where I find myself there in a public campground with everyone else.

What ought to be happening especially in a National Park campground like at YV is simple: Enforce quiet hour policies. I know they don't in YV unless it is really rowdy and has been that way for years. Even at the climbers Sunnyside aka Camp 4, I never see anyone coming around checking about the tenting areas after 10pm. The park police will drive into that parking lot checking for freeloaders in their vehicles but that is all. Most of the time there, it does tend to be quieter, but there are nights when obnoxious visitors stay there too.

In USFS areas with camp hosts, it is often not surprisingly worse, though one would expect the hosts to be more active enforcing minimal policies. Their main purpose seems to just be answering questions in the day time and collecting the too high fees. At all these public campgrounds, as long as there is no enforcement, one can be sure some of the obnoxious, inconsiderate drunken groups will push what they can get away with. And each time they do so, it just reinforces their likelyhood of doing so the next time and encourages others with similar attitudes. If all that is done by the park authorities is to have a posted policy message of quiet hours on the fee pay kiosk or some brochure, one can be sure hardly any of the drunks will have bothered to read those policies. Thus a need to EMPHASIZE to groups when they arrive at campgrounds, that being noisy after quiet hours begins will no longer be allowed. And of course none of this will ever change unless a few people like those in this board complain.



Post Edited (08-28-08 18:44)



http://www.davidsenesac.com
avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 28, 2008 12:25PM
Any opinion on late arrivals? I kind of got delayed on my last trip before I left home for Crater Lake. Instead of arriving at 2 AM and setting up my tent, I booked a room in Klamath Falls, ate the first night's camping fee, and set up my tent the next day.

I know some people get delayed. I would certainly try to make it as pleasant as possible but I have sympathy for late arrivers who make an attempt to be as quiet as possible.

BTW - my camping at Mt Rainier was a cool $15/night. Then it was in a geologic hot zone and they warned of any number of possible catastrophes occurring. Something about heading for high ground if we heard anything that sounded like a freight train.
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 29, 2008 12:50AM
DavidS brings up a good point. Why isn't there a full-time host in the valley sites? They have an RV parked in the "host" site, so why are the hours something ridiculous like 10AM - 4PM? Seems like the majority of people arrive after 4PM anyway (at least Friday arrivals), so why is there no one there to make sure they get the right site, if they have questions, etc.? State parks and USFS campgrounds have full-time hosts and many of them even drive around on carts selling firewood, and answering questions. We stayed at Caples Lake in July and it was super quiet by 9:30, and the hosts were very helpful. I also stayed at Emerald Bay in June, and it also was a great experience. Why is one of the greatest National Parks so non-customer friendly in this way?

As far as late arrivals, I don't have a problem with it as long as they are respectful of others, and are mindful of the hour they arrive. It doesn't bother me if people are setting up camp after midnight, but DON'T slam your car door every time you get something out of it, DON'T use your high beams to illuminate the entire campground so you can see everything like it's midday, DON'T shout back and forth for items in the car, etc... It's pretty simple to me. The week prior, some people got in around 10PM at Hodgdon, and they were quieter than mice. They actually w h i s p e r e d to each other instead of shouting, they used head lamps to set up and see things, and they were careful to close their car doors, and careful to open the bear locker as quietly as possible (even though those things sound like the rustiest door on a battleship every time you open them).

Unfortunately, this is just another symptom of how people act toward one another these days. Rudeness is everywhere, and it seems to be getting worse.
avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 29, 2008 03:22AM
cthenn wrote:

> DavidS brings up a good point. Why isn't there a full-time
> host in the valley sites? They have an RV parked in the "host"
> site, so why are the hours something ridiculous like 10AM -
> 4PM? Seems like the majority of people arrive after 4PM anyway
> (at least Friday arrivals), so why is there no one there to
> make sure they get the right site, if they have questions,
> etc.? State parks and USFS campgrounds have full-time hosts
> and many of them even drive around on carts selling firewood,
> and answering questions. We stayed at Caples Lake in July and
> it was super quiet by 9:30, and the hosts were very helpful. I
> also stayed at Emerald Bay in June, and it also was a great
> experience. Why is one of the greatest National Parks so
> non-customer friendly in this way?

Are they really "full time"? The last time I stayed at a FS campground (Stony Creek in Sequoia NF) in California I was met by my GF (now wife) in a separate car. There was an additional $5/day parking fee for the second car, and we were trying to dutifully pay for this. We asked the grandson of the camp hosts as he was checking the sites for who showed up, and he told us it was their day off. It took two days before we could find them and hand over the payment.

I'm wondering what the requirement for hosts is from a company like California Land Management.

Sometimes the management of various NPS campground seems to depend on the traditional arrangements. I thought all of the ones in Yosemite are staffed by park rangers or employees from non-profits. I've been to a few that were completely run by a private concessionaire (like Xantera), and weren't reservable on Recreation.gov.

For the last few weeks we didn't even have to check in if our site was reserved. Does this ring a bell? Just show up and set up the tent. If someone decides to use a reserved site who doesn't belong there, then the ranger at the entrance station can evict the group.

> As far as late arrivals, I don't have a problem with it as long
> as they are respectful of others, and are mindful of the hour
> they arrive. It doesn't bother me if people are setting up
> camp after midnight, but DON'T slam your car door every time
> you get something out of it, DON'T use your high beams to
> illuminate the entire campground so you can see everything like
> it's midday, DON'T shout back and forth for items in the car,
> etc... It's pretty simple to me. The week prior, some people
> got in around 10PM at Hodgdon, and they were quieter than mice.
> They actually w h i s p e r e d to each other instead of
> shouting, they used head lamps to set up and see things, and
> they were careful to close their car doors, and careful to open
> the bear locker as quietly as possible (even though those
> things sound like the rustiest door on a battleship every time
> you open them).

My wife thought I was rude for even opening or closing the bear locker at night. I tried to do so, but yeah they do tend to squeak and grind. Really - just a little lube and they should be OK.

> Unfortunately, this is just another symptom of how people act
> toward one another these days. Rudeness is everywhere, and it
> seems to be getting worse.

Honestly - I think I could live with a little rudeness just to be able to camp in the Valley.

Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 29, 2008 08:53AM
y_p_w wrote:


>
> Are they really "full time"? The last time I stayed at a FS
> campground (Stony Creek in Sequoia NF) in California I was met
> by my GF (now wife) in a separate car. There was an additional
> $5/day parking fee for the second car, and we were trying to
> dutifully pay for this. We asked the grandson of the camp
> hosts as he was checking the sites for who showed up, and he
> told us it was their day off. It took two days before we could
> find them and hand over the payment.

I actually don't know. I guess I'm speaking out of turn on this, but the times I've been to other places, the hosts have been there when I've needed them. I don't check to see if they are there after hours, but I've seen them out and about all day and into the evening on almost all occasions. Contrast this with Yosemite, which seems to have absolutely none of this. It's up to the campers to police themselves. And I don't have a problem with that as long as it's 1 or 2 sites that are problems. Last weekend, it was almost all the sites around me that were giving me grief.


> For the last few weeks we didn't even have to check in if our
> site was reserved. Does this ring a bell? Just show up and
> set up the tent. If someone decides to use a reserved site who
> doesn't belong there, then the ranger at the entrance station
> can evict the group.

You are right. But does it not seem a bit unwelcoming if you arrive at 4:30 only to see the lights out in the entrance kiosk? What if I'm from another country (which is a LOT of visitors), or it's my first time visiting Yosemite (a lot of those too). Don't you think a place as popular as Yosemite should be more welcoming to people?


>
> Honestly - I think I could live with a little rudeness just to
> be able to camp in the Valley.

You are right again, and it was a combination of things. I was starting to get sick, I had slept way too much the day before at home, I was excited to hike the next day, etc. I'm sure if I had actually fallen asleep, most of this noise would not have been a problem (I always sleep with a walkman playing "white noise" when I camp to drown out any lingering sounds). I'll probably go back, but maybe in spring, and leave summer to the yahoos. I'm already planning to stay at Curry in winter. That was so much fun last year.
avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 29, 2008 09:13AM
cthenn wrote:

> I actually don't know. I guess I'm speaking out of turn on
> this, but the times I've been to other places, the hosts have
> been there when I've needed them. I don't check to see if they
> are there after hours, but I've seen them out and about all day
> and into the evening on almost all occasions. Contrast this
> with Yosemite, which seems to have absolutely none of this.
> It's up to the campers to police themselves. And I don't have
> a problem with that as long as it's 1 or 2 sites that are
> problems. Last weekend, it was almost all the sites around me
> that were giving me grief.

Well - my last trip earlier this month was to the Pacific NW. We ended up camping at major campgrounds at Crater Lake, Olympic NP, Mt Rainier. I don't think they technically had any "camp hosts". Mazama Campground at Crater Lake was run by Xantera, and they operated it like a commercial business. I only stayed one night at Kalaloch Campground (man was that nice) but didn't notice any kind of activity. At Cougar Rock in MR for three nights, we saw plenty of activity. It was a real park ranger (wearing his badge and hat) going around checking the campsites and placing/removing the reservation markers. I also remember a couple of LE ranger vehicles patrolling the campground.

> You are right. But does it not seem a bit unwelcoming if you
> arrive at 4:30 only to see the lights out in the entrance
> kiosk? What if I'm from another country (which is a LOT of
> visitors), or it's my first time visiting Yosemite (a lot of
> those too). Don't you think a place as popular as Yosemite
> should be more welcoming to people?

Well - at Kalaloch we arrived a bit before 6 and noticed a sign at the entrance booth saying they'd be back at 6 PM. So we waited and headed for the beach. When we got back before we said anything to the ranger on duty we noticed a sign saying that reserved sites didn't require check-in. Probably should have looked. But we did get campground and park maps which were useful.

I've got enough experience to know that after hours there's usually a procedure for campsite payment as long as a space isn't reserved.

> >
> > Honestly - I think I could live with a little rudeness just
> to
> > be able to camp in the Valley.
>
> You are right again, and it was a combination of things. I was
> starting to get sick, I had slept way too much the day before
> at home, I was excited to hike the next day, etc. I'm sure if
> I had actually fallen asleep, most of this noise would not have
> been a problem (I always sleep with a walkman playing "white
> noise" when I camp to drown out any lingering sounds). I'll
> probably go back, but maybe in spring, and leave summer to the
> yahoos. I'm already planning to stay at Curry in winter. That
> was so much fun last year.

Curry in Winter? I've usually stayed in Mariposa in the winter. The prices are great, and when it's cold outside I appreciate my own bathroom. I even ran into "Ranger Bob" who was picking up his pizza at the Pizza Factory.
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 29, 2008 01:37AM
Totally agree. No enforcement is part of the cause. People know this so they don't care. Seems like a money making thing to me, not a quality thing. Heck, you pay a lot of money and get dirty bathrooms without lights, cold water and no soap. Dirty campsites, rotting benches, etc. I'm not against getting dirty. But when you're paying up to thirty dollars a night, you should be getting something in return. And for the park not to give a hoot about enforcing quiet hours when they're taking so much of your money is repulsive.
avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 29, 2008 04:07AM
Spent last weekend in Upper Pines. Barking dogs with owners who didn't care. People playing their music too loud. The biggest problem is that the campgrounds are too congested, and there is no park supervision at night.

The original plan (1980 GMP) was to seperate the sites, but instead they eliminated the flooded campgrounds making it then imposible to seperate what was left, as they had no room to spread out.

Because the Merced River Plan is being redone, due to legal problems, it may be that they will need to look at human impacts to areas along the river, such as these campgrounds, as you've pointed out, that could be mitigated by reductions of the amount of people in one spot. This was already addressed in the 1980 General Management Plan, which they said they were only going to update, but instead when they created the Yosemite Valley Plan they ignored the original plan.

The original plan pulled sites away from the river, eliminated them in typical flood areas, and seperated them so that nature could let things grow between the sites.

By eliminated entire campgrounds in 1997 during what scientists have determined was a 500 year flood, impacts in existing highly congested and impacted campgrounds can not be improved, and so, the Yosemite Camping Experience is not improvable.

If the court requires that the park redo the Yosemite Valley Plan, because Merced River Wild and Scenic "ORV"s need amending to correct impacts in campgrounds that are too congested, the ideal solution would be to spread the existing campsites across the old, now closed campgrounds, in areas that don't flood typically; not to be confused with a 500 year flood zone, like they did before.

Your comments can be give to these people:

209-372-0201 / Michael_Tollefson@nps.gov or kevin_cann@nps.gov

Other people who should be CC'd on any email you send to these people:

shelly_abajian@feinstein.senate.gov
ameen_khan@boxer.senate.gov

You can also wish to comment on the Yosemite Valley Campers Coalition website where a petition is available to sign, with a place to type your comments. These comments will go to the park service and to congress.

A link to the petition can be found at www.yosemitevalleycampers.org/

The park is putting all new sewer lines into all campgrounds soon, but have no plans to replace the sewer lines in North Pines campground. This is because the Yosemite Valley Plan has this campground slated for removal.

Mike Tollefson said he doesn't plan to take it out "currently". Now, he's leaving. Will the next park superintendant remove North Pines as is the plan?

Currently they are repairing the North Pines sewer pump, refurbishing the old pump for the time being. Hopefully, with enough public support, the park service will agree to leave North Pines alone, and convince us that they really intend to leave it there by replacing the old sewer lines in that campground, just like in the others. Any decision to keep North Pines is tentative at best. Visit www.savenorthpines.org for more on that.
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 30, 2008 08:34AM
My husband and I have lived in Yosemite West for a year, previously we worked for DNC and lived in the valley. We have noticed some interesting behavior with people. People who visit in the summer are different than people who visit in the winter. Winter people seem to have some wilderness experience and are under less stress to have a perfect vacation.
Sometimes it seems as though people take a "theme park" mentality to visiting the great outdoors. As my husband says, " I have paid my admission", therefore I get to have fun, or do what I want to, etc. Half Dome is the big thrill ride of the park. All we can do is set the example and hope that at some point people will become more aware.
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 30, 2008 12:47PM
I agree that there's a big difference in the summer and winter visitors. That's why I avoid summer visits, though I'm getting pretty itchy to get up there...just another few weeks.

Upper Pines has always had hosts living right near the kiosk, and they've always emphasized to me that if there are any noise problems, don't hesitate to come knocking, regardless of the hour. Also, when I've complained, the ranger has gone by the offending campsite (not until the next day though) and given them a warning, and I've never had anyone re-offend.

Sheer numbers in the summer may make this such a nightmare; barking dogs (at any hour), late night partying, people coming in at midnight with a diesel pickup and fifth wheel in a tight spot...sounds awful.

There's a number for late night disturbances posted on the kiosk. It's a good idea to write it down in advance...that way, at 11:30 at least you can call without having to flashlight your way to the kiosk.

There seem to be two general categories of people using the campgrounds...those who go to see the valley, hike, and explore and enjoy. I think those are less likely to cause a nighttime problem. The others are the recreational campers, who really could be anywhere, they just happened to pick Yosemite, or have always come there, but they're not there for Yosemite, they're there for social camping. Those are the more likely ones to be noisy...they bring their dogs because they're not going away from the campground anyway, they bring portable garages and barbeques, stretch the "marginal use of generators" to the limit, and have all the comforts of home. While some of those folks are as thoughtful and considerate as can be, many are not; since they're not going off hiking in the morning they can party and socialize until late.

I don't think adding campsites is the solution; seeing where the river campgrounds were, and picturing more campsites, RV's, smoky fires, generators, and traffic makes it pretty obvious to me that the valley just isn't suited for a lot of campsites.

I really wish they'd make a nice RV park somewhere west of the Valley with shuttle access, and close the campgrounds to all but tent, pickup-bed or Vanagon-sized vehicle camping. This would let RVers that are interested in Yosemite see it, and keep the ones not interested in Yosemite but interested in social camping away from the crowded campgrounds. And get rid of that stupid dump station at the Upper Pines entrance...8^)

Then get rid of, or severely limit campfires, and it might be a decent place to camp all year.

We took our dog on our first visit to the Valley years ago, camping. That was the last time. Once we discovered you couldn't take them most places, couldn't use the shuttle, and of course can't leave them back at camp while you explore, we figured out it's a bad idea. They should allow dogs in the new RV park, and not in the campgrounds, because there's really nothing for them to do there but bark and be annoying, and too many owners just don't care.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 30, 2008 01:46PM
This is precisely why the wife and I avoid car camping like the plague.

Lucky for us Mike introduced us to backpacking and that has solved
our love of nature problem. Since Yosemite has dispersed backcountry
camping it is simple to get away from anyway... don't start me on those
damn mules with their bells again though!
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 31, 2008 01:38AM
Okay, so here's a question; when do you think the rude valley visitors stop coming? School goes back in? After Labor Day? Cold weather starts?
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 31, 2008 02:46AM
All of those things will help reduce the numbers of rude people. I have begun to frequent Yosemite especially in the late September through October period for this reason. You do miss out on the green valley, wildflowers, rushing streams and rivers, and giant waterfalls, however. I enjoy that time of year, but I would hesitate for that to be someone's introduction to Yosemite. It is a shame we have to make that kind of tradeoff...
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
August 31, 2008 04:25AM
Jmesenburg wrote:
> Okay, so here's a question; when do you think the rude valley
> visitors stop coming? School goes back in? After Labor Day?
> Cold weather starts?

A lot can be predicted by school vacations, but I'm not sure about September...have always avoided that month as it's visitor-beaten from summer, dry falls, no fall color yet, no snow on mountains yet.

October through April, with the exception of the weeks surrounding Easter, are good, and even May hasn't been bad for us. Just stay away from spring break weeks, where the larger groups often visit, and it begins to resemble an RV park.

That's not absolute insurance though. I've had to complain about a large tent group of late-night gabbers/group laughers in October, but at least you can usually get by without problems. I hesitate to classify them all as 'rude'; some just don't think. One group last March had their auxiary running at 11:30, I went over and asked them to shut it off, and the guy was very apologetic, said he was just topping off his batteries. Of course it had been running since before 3 that afternoon...8^)

I'm a little puzzled about the 'host' comments. There's always been a host there (not necessarily at the kiosk) when I've camped there, and they tell you to knock on their door if there are any noisy people, auxiliaries, etc.

We stayed at the lodge for a week in early August (2 years ago), and people seemed normal, so I think it's the campground mix and vacation season combined that's the problem.

Try mid-October, it's beautiful and relaxed there
http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yosemite_oct

Surprisingly, February can be springlike (but you can't rely on that)
http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yosemite_winter
(note the two distinct pages), and March-April can be nice too, or rainy, or snowy, or all of them in a week.

The people you do see there in the off-summer season are in general much more relaxed and friendly.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
September 02, 2008 03:46AM
Wow, thanks for everyone's thoughtful and interesting responses. Too bad everyone here can't just all get together and "take over" a campground (at least a section), so we can all enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors. tongue sticking out smiley

Seriously though, that's what some people I know do. They try to time their trips with friends/family, so they can at least have a few sites together where everyone is polite to each other, and keep the noise in their direct vicinity down.

Anyway, not all was bad that weekend. I did get some cool photos the first evening...even saw 2 bears in the Ahwanee Meadow.

avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
September 02, 2008 10:19AM
Sorry to hear of all the camping problems. I have to say, I don't generally feel that car camping in the valley is so bad. Most of the time it's a rare case when someones music or barking dog makes me crazy. And, for some, they can't camp any other way, so I'm for preserving it as much as we can. It's all what you make of it. I've camped with people who were inscenced at things that would bother few people, and visa versa. Camping is partly a state of mind. If you're camping in Yosemite, but your mind is on a barking dog, you are not going to enjoy it no matter what. But, it is understandable how things can bring you down, because you fully expected to have an ideal Yosemite camping experience. Life is never perfect, but being in Yosemite, with a campstove and smell of breakfast, with plans for a day in the park should erase all the bad stuff. If not, I recommend a motel, so you can free up that campsite for someone else who can see past the bad stuff.
Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
September 03, 2008 04:20AM
mark2 wrote:

> Sorry to hear of all the camping problems. I have to say, I
> don't generally feel that car camping in the valley is so bad.
> Most of the time it's a rare case when someones music or
> barking dog makes me crazy. And, for some, they can't camp any
> other way, so I'm for preserving it as much as we can. It's
> all what you make of it. I've camped with people who were
> inscenced at things that would bother few people, and visa
> versa. Camping is partly a state of mind. If you're camping in
> Yosemite, but your mind is on a barking dog, you are not going
> to enjoy it no matter what. But, it is understandable how
> things can bring you down, because you fully expected to have
> an ideal Yosemite camping experience. Life is never perfect,
> but being in Yosemite, with a campstove and smell of breakfast,
> with plans for a day in the park should erase all the bad
> stuff. If not, I recommend a motel, so you can free up that
> campsite for someone else who can see past the bad stuff.

Except that a motel would probably cost 4 or 5 times as much as a campsite, not to mention all the extra driving we'd have to do. I'm not saying everyone must STFU at exactly 10PM, just a little common courtesy is all I'm asking.

Believe me, I always try to see past the bad stuff, as unfortunately a LOT of things in the valley are, but that weekend was especially bad.
avatar Re: Bad Experience Last Weekend
September 03, 2008 04:44AM
It's the reason we like to camp in Tuolumne, but, even that is getting the overflow from the Valley campsites.

The solution: The park should have campground patrol in the evenings, on foot.

We've had campground boom box issues even at Tuolumne. There are all sorts of people out there.
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