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Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?

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avatar So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 29, 2011 01:36PM
Yeah, as much as I've been letting everyone within a 10 meter radius of me know how badly I want to get to the valley before Memorial day, you'd think I would have made some tentative plans or reservations. But I kept being told there was "no way it's going to happen this year, sorry."

Well, guess who just asked me if we could take a long weekend on the 13th of May?

Naturally, all the reserveable sites are... reserved. Duh.

What are my chances of getting a spot in Camp 4? Are the predictions about sites going quickly the same as the predictions for TM (which, as I recall from last year's July 1st opening day weekend, didn't fill up until July 2, or later)?

Basically, I'm asking, is it worth getting my hopes up?
Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 29, 2011 01:56PM
Go into the reservation site and keep searching . Yesterday and today I've seen some choice sites pop up available in the next two weeks. And I was only looking at Lower Pines. People who made reservations 5 months ago are starting to cancel probably due to changes of plans, etc.

Tom
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 29, 2011 02:40PM
Good to know. I'll keep checking.

Thanks!
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 29, 2011 07:11PM
A quick perusal of Craigslist show a number of campsite reservations for sale. Is that legal? And, more importantly, what happens to unclaimed reservations?
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 29, 2011 08:07PM
Quote
itchbay
A quick perusal of Craigslist show a number of campsite reservations for sale. Is that legal? And, more importantly, what happens to unclaimed reservations?


One sometimes wonders if people posting to this forum ever bother reading at least the subject headings of the other threads:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,33915
(Informationally Yours)
The Marmots



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2011 08:08PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 29, 2011 10:25PM
Oh, I read that. I was being sarcastic, but forgot to use the sarcasm font. I'm just really peeved at the gall of the guy.

I also read the bit at the bottom of the reservation page:

**Resale or Auction of Advance Reservations is Prohibited. Advance reservations made through the national reservation service may not be advertised or otherwise offered for resale or auction.**
Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 29, 2011 08:53PM
No it is not legal to buy them off of Craigslist. It is considered scalping. As the previous poster mentioned there are a lot of cancellations right now, in fact I just got one for that weekend a few days ago.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 29, 2011 09:44PM
Quote
Sandpiper11
there are a lot of cancellations right now

Some of those were Craigslist scalpers that got turned in. Grinning Devil
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 30, 2011 12:41AM
I think that might be a good strategy on how to get the campground reservation you want:

1) Find a Yosemite campground reservation for sale on Craig's List or EBay for the dates you are interested.
2) Report that illegal resale of the campground reservation to Recreation.Gov
3) Wait for Recreation.Gov to cancel that reservation, then snatch it up on Reservation.Gov before someone else does.

smiling smiley
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 30, 2011 11:39AM
I've gone through and flagged all the campsite and permit postings on CL.

And I sent a message to the folks at recreation.gov.

But I still wonder what happens to reservations that aren't claimed? Are those campsites left empty? Or, like hotel rooms, do you have to check in by a certain time or lose your space?

Also, I'm re-thinking whether I want to be in the valley on a weekend in May anyway. Especially if I'm going to suspect that half the people around me paid a scalper for their spot.

*grumpy*
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 30, 2011 11:48AM
Quote
itchbay
But I still wonder what happens to reservations that aren't claimed? Are those campsites left empty?

They go empty the first night. Then they become available at the campground reservations office.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 30, 2011 11:56AM
Quote
itchbay
But I still wonder what happens to reservations that aren't claimed? Are those campsites left empty? Or, like hotel rooms, do you have to check in by a certain time or lose your space?


One has up until 10:00 AM the following morning to check-in, otherwise the rest of a mult-day campground reservation will be cancelled.

For single-night reservations, the campsite will basically remain empty all night.

See the last bullet point in the link below regarding Yosemite campgrounds regulations:

NPS.GOV: Yosemite Campground Regulations
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
April 30, 2011 04:30PM
That makes sense.

See, this is where if we were backpackers, we could just pick a trail, get a permit and do that. Not that I'm excited about camping in the valley over the weekend. I think I've mentioned before how much I really don't like the general public. Especially when there are lots of them around.

Maybe I'll pick a smaller, lesser well-known campsite somewhere else to spend that weekend, and see if we can do something mid-week later in the season.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 10:38AM
Saw an opening at Hodgdon Meadows, so I took it. I know very little about it, except that it's off Big Oak Flat, north of Tioga. Sounds like Foresta area to me. My book of hikes has two hikes in that area, so that might be what we do.

Unless, of course, you awesome people have better suggestions...
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 11:47AM
The Hodgdon Meadows campground is very near the 120 entrance gate. It's not near Foresta.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 12:48PM
It's an all right campground. The tent sites are walk in, meaning you don't have an assigned parking space and you have to walk everything to your site (there is a row of parking sites available and you park as close as you can to your assigned site). When we were there last year, we had to walk our stuff through the middle of two other campsites to get to ours (which was towards the back). It was a little weird walking through someone else's site to get to ours, but better than being the people in the sites we had to walk through. The tent sites were very close, closer than in the valley (we could hear people in next few sites talking, playing games, and snoring). It was a pretty quiet campground, except for the group sites (which were very loud). Some of the RV/tent sites seemed bigger and more secluded (compared to the tent sites) and I would choose these over the tent sites if I had an option (same price). We stayed three nights and used the time to drive to Hetch Hetchy for some hiking and to visit some family staying at Yosemite Pines RV camp (I did not like this place at all). I think it took about an hour to drive to the valley from here (we were in the valley for a week before we moved to Hodgdon).

I know a lot of people don't like the valley campgrounds, but I do. You usually hear about the bad experiences, which I have also had, but the great ones outweigh the bad ones by far. My husband hates the general public like you do, and he loves staying in the valley. I am the social one in the family smiling smiley

If you find an opening at a different campground you want, it's only a $10 fee to cancel your existing site (with at least 36 hours notice, see website for specifics). But at least you found something!! Yosemite in any campground is better than no Yosemite at all!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2011 01:11PM by robinjayp.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 01:59PM
Quote
robinjayp
I think it took about an hour to drive to the valley from here (we were in the valley for a week before we moved to Hodgdon).

If one drives at the posted speed limits on Big Oak Flat Road, it should take less than 45 minutes to reach Yosemite Valley from Hodgdon Meadow Campground. (A bit quicker if one drives faster than the posted speed limits.) winking smiley
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 02:30PM
Quote
plawrence
(A bit quicker if one drives faster than the posted speed limits.) winking smiley

Be aware that law enforcement rangers are often on that route using radar for speed enforcement.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 03:15PM
I'm aware of that, which is why I try to stay within 5 MPH of the posted speed limit.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 04:12PM
Yes, it probably should take 45 minutes but I always seem to end up behind the RVs going 10 - 15 miles less than the posted speed limit, making the drive longer. And of course I am lucky enough to end up behind the ones that don't use pull outs! And since I am not the aggressive driver who honks their horn and flashes their lights in order to get them to pull over, I breathe deep, enjoy the scenery, and enjoy the longer drive smiling smiley
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 05:00PM
That's a major problem with the Wawona Road from Fish Camp into the Valley, but I've found that Big Oak Flat Road has sufficient stretches of road (marked with a dashed yellow center line) when one can legally (and safely) pass these slow moving vehicles (most of the time) if one is stuck behind them. So, generally speaking, they haven't prevented me from travelling at the posted speed limit too often on Big Oak Flat Road.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 10:23PM
I never understand people who are in a hurry in Yosemite. smiling smiley
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 10:52PM
Quote
itchbay
I never understand people who are in a hurry in Yosemite. smiling smiley

So much to see, so little time to see it.

winking smiley
Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 02, 2011 07:48PM
Keep checking the Valley, I just snagged 3 nights starting Sunday the 8th... I already had the week off and was planning on camp 4...
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 04, 2011 10:52PM
While still checking for campsites to open up in the valley, I'm becoming intrigued in finding trails around Hodgdon Meadows that we can explore.

Is the Old Big Oak Flat Road trail a big mess not worth trying in May? I've perused a couple of the threads discussing it, and I'm not sure whether we'll attempt it or not. It does seem interesting, though.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 04, 2011 11:51PM
If you're staying at Hodgdon Meadow and want a leisurely hike through the woods, there are some old abandoned (or little used) roads that you can explore.

From the Hodgdon Meadow campground you can follow Old Big Oak Flat Road south towards (and through) the Tuolumne Grove. Or you can explore Aspen Valley Road off of Evergreen Road. These roads are mostly in the forest, so there aren't any really great views associated with them. Also, I'm not sure how much snow there might still be on the roads, though I suspect around Hodgdon Meadows, the answer will probably be not very much. Still, exploring these two roads can be nice peaceful hikes where you might run across some wildlife, but few, if any, other people.
avatar Re: So, um... last minute camping in the valley advice?
May 05, 2011 07:44AM
I was staying up way past my bedtime last night, reading other hike descriptions in my favorite book (I do that from time to time) and came across a hike that goes from Big Oak Flat up to Cascade Bridge. It suggests that this is the time of year to do it since it won't be as hot as it would in later months.

I imagine Cascade Creek is churning right now. But the bridge is safe, right?
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