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Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.

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First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 08, 2012 11:31PM
Hello some friends and I are planning a short trip (3-4 days) up to Yosemite in a couple of weeks. We've decided to go during the week and will probably camp at Yosemite Creek. There some things that if anyone could give advice on, it would be very helpful

1) We are planning on either arriving Sunday early evening or Monday morning is there likely to be much difference in finding a camping spot at either of these times?

2) Since we are not staying in the Valley and will be below 9600 feet I believe we can gather dead/fallen wood. This seems to be the best bet then trying to bring a bunch of wood in or buying at the stores. I am assuming plenty of wood to be collected around Yosemite Creek camp and we just need some gloves maybe a small axe and some straps. Can anyone confirm this?

3) I hear insects can be bad bad bad in the summer. Anyone have recommendations on bug repellent/precautions?

4) Does anyone have an idea of the temperature difference at places like Yosemite creek compared to the valley, I've been told that it is cooler but is it a significant amount?

5) Any recommendations on campsites in Yosemite Creek? We will probably need two with eight of us going (oh yeah how strongly is the 6 limit enforced?).

6) Lastly I haven't gone camping a long time so any tips about tent camping in Yosemite would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any advice.
Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 09, 2012 07:33AM
You will not be able to gather wood. It's prohibited because people keep doing it, and sometimes start chopping up living trees. You'll be able to buy wood in the store in the Valley floor.

Backpackers are allowed to gather wood that is no longer than your forearm, no bigger around than your wrist, and taking an axe for that is ... ridiculous. I usually backpack and have never taken nor needed an axe or hatchet.

Food storage is the critical bit for camping in Yosemite - check on the website on the size of the bear lockers in that campground, and make sure your ice chest fits. You cannot and should not plan to store anything in the car. Elsewhere in the Sierra, that's workable; in Yosemite everything goes in the locker. Don't leave anything smelling of food in the car or tent. Put all the trash in the locker or in the trash bin.

DEET works; all you need is 30%, it works just as well as 100% and is less likely to melt your plastic items (I know someone who melted finger dents into his steering wheel after applying DEET....) I'm trying Ultrathon this year. A headnet and a big brimmed hat will keep them off your face, tho it can be difficult to maneuver food in while eating. They are starting to make themselves known at mid elevations and will be getting worse...

I don't think you'll have trouble getting a campsite, but then again, I've been surprised before. Yosemite is a pretty busy place. Would probably be best to have a backup plan, be aware of the camping rules in the national forest around the park and the other campgrounds with walk in sites nearest the one you plan to use.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 09, 2012 10:32AM
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AlmostThere
You will not be able to gather wood

It's only prohibited in the Valley. At Yosemite Creek you can gather wood.
Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 09, 2012 11:21AM
Okay... but I'd still buy it, cause it's then twice as likely that you'd have to hike miles to find it, since they allow it.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 03:40PM
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AlmostThere

Okay... but I'd still buy it, cause it's then twice as likely that you'd have to hike miles to find it, since they allow it.


No, just about 75 to 100 feet if you camp at the right campsites (Campsites 71 to 75) at the Yosemite Creek Campground.

Took this video of all the deadfall just east these campsites last Saturday (June 9): Grinning Devil



.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 09, 2012 11:25AM
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eeek
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AlmostThere
You will not be able to gather wood

It's only prohibited in the Valley. At Yosemite Creek you can gather wood.


If you do indeed camp at the Yosemite Creek campground there is a ton of wood on the old road leading east out of the campground. Try to get a site on the east side of the bridge that crosses over Yosemite Creek and you'll be closer to this old roadbed.



Old Dude
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 04:17PM
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mrcondron
Quote
eeek
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AlmostThere
You will not be able to gather wood

It's only prohibited in the Valley. At Yosemite Creek you can gather wood.

If you do indeed camp at the Yosemite Creek campground there is a ton of wood on the old road leading east out of the campground. Try to get a site on the east side of the bridge that crosses over Yosemite Creek and you'll be closer to this old roadbed.


Actual there's a lot more deadfall near the campsites further north of where the Old Tioga Road leads east out the campground.





Unless one had a map showing the old road, one wouldn't know that it led out near campsite 68. The old roadbed at that point is basically non-existent (I think the Park Service has torn it out). There's some young pines and shrubs right where the Old Tioga Road used to depart the Yosemite Creek Campground:








Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2012 05:15PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 05:43PM
I thought it started a bit south of the crapper.
According to the map you posted... I guess that would be campsite #59.

It's been a while though... I just know I didn't have any problem finding it
either time I've hiked up it...
I would have said it was at the very end... but you were just there so you would know.



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2012 05:45PM by chick-on.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 06:47PM
There's still traces of asphalt to confirm the alignment of the road (though the amount of asphalt that remains is just small patches here and there). Basically the old road heads east past campsite 69 in the woods, north of that small stream shown on the campground map, then it turns northeast and parallels the camp road but on the east side of the granite rocks that separates Campsites #69 and #70. The massive amount of deadfall is between the trailhead parking spaces near Campsite #74 and the old road due east.
.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 07:12PM
Well alrighty.

It jives with USGS Topo Map

I guess it's time to do that loop again... wink

(It's been.. argh! 7 years since did it last)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 09, 2012 10:34AM
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yb125
1) We are planning on either arriving Sunday early evening or Monday morning is there likely to be much difference in finding a camping spot at either of these times?

You should have no problem on Monday morning. There's a possibility of finding an empty site on Sunday evening but it's not something I'd count on.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 05:19PM
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eeek
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yb125
1) We are planning on either arriving Sunday early evening or Monday morning is there likely to be much difference in finding a camping spot at either of these times?

You should have no problem on Monday morning. There's a possibility of finding an empty site on Sunday evening but it's not something I'd count on.

While I wouldn't count on it 100%, as a point of reference, last Saturday evening (a more popular night for camping than a Sunday night), the Yosemite Creek Campground wasn't more than 60% occupied, maybe even less than 50%.

.
Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 09, 2012 03:38PM
Thanks for all the info. A couple more things.

How does paying at the 1st come 1st serve campgrounds work? I understand that there is a self registration station, I assume it's cash only but is it whoever pays for the spot first or whoever sets up there? Do you pay each day or prepay for the entire stay?

Also I just saw that White Wolf campgrounds just opened up, would there be any advantages to camping there besides tap water and flush toilet?
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 09, 2012 04:07PM
Quote
yb125
How does paying at the 1st come 1st serve campgrounds work? I understand that there is a self registration station, I assume it's cash only but is it whoever pays for the spot first or whoever sets up there? Do you pay each day or prepay for the entire stay?

You fill out a form on an envelope and put the money inside and tear off part of it. You then put the envelope in a slot and the part you tore off on the post at your site. Pay daily and all at once, it's up to you. (Just make sure you are paid up before check-out time.)

Quote

Also I just saw that White Wolf campgrounds just opened up, would there be any advantages to camping there besides tap water and flush toilet?

More people, noise, etc.
Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 10, 2012 12:33AM
Thanks again for the info.
Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 12, 2012 06:26AM
Quote
yb125
I just saw that White Wolf campgrounds just opened up, would there be any advantages to camping there besides tap water and flush toilet?

Not sure if the water there is potable, or just for washing? It's much, much easier to get in and out of WW if you want to use a car to get to other places - the road down to YC is much longer and single track, bumpy, and twisty. You can get a cooked breakfast at WW and, if you reserve in the morning, a (somewhat rustic, but generally tasty) evening meal served family-style if you want. The penalty is that WW is a crowded, dusty, noisy, generally unappealing place - a lot of the sites suck; the best ones are at the far end on the outside, but those are bug-infested. They generally have bear issues, so you have to be vigilant, and you may hear loud noises in the evenings as they haze or even shoot bears (shooting is with bean bags; it's seriously loud).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2012 06:27AM by Royalist.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 05:30PM
Quote
yb125

Thanks for all the info. A couple more things.

How does paying at the 1st come 1st serve campgrounds work? I understand that there is a self registration station, I assume it's cash only but is it whoever pays for the spot first or whoever sets up there? Do you pay each day or prepay for the entire stay?

Also I just saw that White Wolf campgrounds just opened up, would there be any advantages to camping there besides tap water and flush toilet?


It's cash OR check. You can write a personal check to pay the fee. When you arrive, you can pay for all the nights you're planning to stay or you can pay one night at a time (if you're not sure when you're planning to leave).

The advantage of White Wolf besides potable water is that it has easy access to Tioga Road. (As comparison the road to the Yosemite Creek Campground is old, bumpy, potholed road with a mixture of asphalt, dirt and in a few places gravel. The road to White Wolf is smooth asphalt in pretty good condition). Expect to average around 15 to 25 MPH on the 4.5 miles of bad road to the Yosemite Creek Campground.

That said, Yosemite Creek Campground is a better choice if you want to get away from it all and enjoy a relatively quiet camping experience. White Wolf would be better if you want to travel by car (or other vehicle) to see the rest of Yosemite.

.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 06:34PM
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plawrence
The advantage of White Wolf besides potable water is that it has easy access to Tioga Road.

Advantage?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2012 06:34PM by eeek.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 06:51PM
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eeek
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plawrence

The advantage of White Wolf besides potable water is that it has easy access to Tioga Road.

Advantage?

Absolutely – if – one wants to use their campsite as a base camp to explore other parts of Yosemite by car.

.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 15, 2012 01:52PM
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plawrence
Quote
eeek
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plawrence

The advantage of White Wolf besides potable water is that it has easy access to Tioga Road.

Advantage?

Absolutely – if – one wants to use their campsite as a base camp to explore other parts of Yosemite by car.

It's only a 15 minute difference and White Wolf is crowded and noisy. The road down to Yosemite Creek also is good for keeping out the giant RVs and the creatures that inhabit them.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 15, 2012 08:57PM
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eeek

It's only a 15 minute difference and White Wolf is crowded and noisy. The road down to Yosemite Creek also is good for keeping out the giant RVs and the creatures that inhabit them.

Round-trip, it's 30+ minutes of bad road. Extra wear & tear not only on your vehicle but your body too.

Yosemite Creek is great if you're going to either just stick around it, or do long or short day hikes starting and ending at the campground. If you're planning to travel in your vehicle – often – elsewhere, there are far better campgrounds in Yosemite in IMHO. Yes, White Wolf has its issues, but it's still better than Yosemite Creek, IMHO, if you going to mostly explore Yosemite by vehicle rather than by foot.
.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 14, 2012 03:31PM
Quote
yb125
Hello some friends and I are planning a short trip (3-4 days) up to Yosemite in a couple of weeks. We've decided to go during the week and will probably camp at Yosemite Creek. There some things that if anyone could give advice on, it would be very helpful

1) We are planning on either arriving Sunday early evening or Monday morning is there likely to be much difference in finding a camping spot at either of these times?


If this past weekend is any judge, you shouldn't have any troubles finding a spot even on a Sunday evening. I was at the Yosemite Creek Campground last Saturday evening (June 9th), and maybe 60% of the campsites – at the VERY most – were occupied. I would expect less campsites would be occupied on a Sunday night.


Quote
yb125
2) Since we are not staying in the Valley and will be below 9600 feet I believe we can gather dead/fallen wood. This seems to be the best bet then trying to bring a bunch of wood in or buying at the stores. I am assuming plenty of wood to be collected around Yosemite Creek camp and we just need some gloves maybe a small axe and some straps. Can anyone confirm this?


Yes, I'll confirm it. There's PLENTY of deadwood nearby, especially near the furthest northeastern campsites (Campsites 71 through 75) across Yosemite Creek. The deadwood in only about 100 feet from these campsites.


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yb125

3) I hear insects can be bad bad bad in the summer. Anyone have recommendations on bug repellent/precautions?


3M Ultrathon works great. If you want a non-DEET based repellant, the ones with 20% Picaridin work fine too (though not quite as long lasting).


Quote
yb125

4) Does anyone have an idea of the temperature difference at places like Yosemite creek compared to the valley, I've been told that it is cooler but is it a significant amount?


Maybe about 10º F lower at the Yosemite Creek Campground.


Quote
yb125

5) Any recommendations on campsites in Yosemite Creek? We will probably need two with eight of us going (oh yeah how strongly is the 6 limit enforced?).

Stay away from the ones near stagnant ponds and marshy areas. Those have the most mosquitoes. If you can land any of the campsites in the 70's (70 through 75) you'll have plenty of firewood nearby and fewer mosquitos.

.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite, some advice please.
June 15, 2012 01:50PM
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plawrence
If this past weekend is any judge,

It really isn't. I've been there are weekends that were packed and other weekends where the campground never even came close to filling up. That's why I try to get there in the morning when people are leaving.
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