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Upper Pines Bear Box Size

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Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 10, 2011 07:13PM
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upperpines.htm Says the boxes in Upper Pines are [33"(D)x45"(W)x18"(H)] Is this accurate? I thought that some sites got newer, taller ones. The ones in Curry Village are 23 inches tall (23" h x 35 ½" w x 20½" d) Are the new ones in Upper like those? And if yes, what sites got them?

We got a cooler last year that just barely fits in the 23 inch tall boxes, so if they are indeed only 18 inches high, we have to bring a different one.
avatar Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 10, 2011 07:31PM
There are two different bear boxes in Upper Pines, depending on the site. The updated bear boxes are SO MUCH BETTER and user friendly!! We were able to keep our cooler in the bear box and lift the lid up to secure drinks, food, etc. With the standard bear boxes, we had to drag the coolers out every time and nothing fit on top. Since I've had the fortune of having a newer bear box, I wish all sites were updated with them.

Thanks for posting this. It reminded me that I need to mind the height of the new cooler I need to buy to replace my old damaged one. Staying in North Pines, and I need to make sure the new cooler will fit.

Descriptions, measurements, and pictures including the sites with the larger bear boxes are found here: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/lockers.htm

From the site:
The following Upper Pines campsites contain these larger lockers:

First loop: 1-52
Second loop: 92, 93, and 94; old lockers in 53-91
Third loop: 95-97, 99-120; old lockers in 98, 121-124
Fourth loop: 125-156
Fifth loop: 157-187
Sixth loop: 188-240, except 204 (which has an old locker)
avatar Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 11, 2011 09:41AM
Quote
robinjayp
There are two different bear boxes in Upper Pines, depending on the site. The updated bear boxes are SO MUCH BETTER and user friendly!! We were able to keep our cooler in the bear box and lift the lid up to secure drinks, food, etc. With the standard bear boxes, we had to drag the coolers out every time and nothing fit on top. Since I've had the fortune of having a newer bear box, I wish all sites were updated with them.

Thanks for posting this. It reminded me that I need to mind the height of the new cooler I need to buy to replace my old damaged one. Staying in North Pines, and I need to make sure the new cooler will fit.

Ah, a topic very near and dear to my heart! I've wrestled with the undersized bear boxes too for many years in Lower Pines & North Pines, and also enjoy the larger-sized
boxes in Upper Pines. One of the non-profit groups I think (The Yosemite Fund?) paid for and installed the larger boxes in Upper Pines quite a few years ago now, they
are not so new anymore. I don't know what happened, I thought the original plan was to install the larger boxes in all the campgrounds, but they never even finished Upper
Pines. I don't know who installed the new boxes in Curry last year. Every year, I keep hoping I'll show up and there'll be new bear boxes in Lower & North Pines. A few years
back, they put those new jumbo-length picnic tables (which are handicapped-accessible on one end) in all the sites in North Pines. I think that's a great idea for the
handicapped-designated sites, but in the other sites, the old picnic tables were fine. I'd have rather they'd put that money towards new bear boxes in the other sites instead.

robinjyayp, I too learned the hard way of coolers too tall to open inside those smaller bear boxes. There might be something newer in plastic on the market that will work,
but I personally am a fan of the older Coleman Steel Belted coolers that they stopped making in the early-1990s. They have great insulation and are tough. One model they
made I own and use is particularly well-suited to the shorter bear boxes, their 40 quart model they called the 'Low Boy'. It measures about 22.5" long x 12.5" wide x 13.5"
high, so you can actually open the lid quite a ways inside the bear box to take things out, without having to slide the cooler out all the way every time. I swear by this size
for one of my coolers whenever I camp at North or Lower Pines.
You can still find these coolers for sale 'new old stock' or in excellent used condition on eBay, but they do bring decent money, as they are held in high regard by a number
of people, and haven't been made in man years of course. Coleman makes a steel belted cooler again, but it's a modern spin on it made in China, and is very different
from the originals made in the good ol' USA. The current model is also too tall to easily open inside the smaller bear boxes.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2011 09:49AM by PineCone.
avatar Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 11, 2011 11:15AM
I have memories of one of those coolers (big old red one with a drain plug) that our family took to SEKI when I was a kid. We liked the latching mechanism, which first closed in then tightened. It formed a fairly tight seal of the lid against the body. Back then we were told to just put it in the car, and the latching mechanism was supposed to be better for reducing odors.

Of course back then they recommended that food be stored in the trunk, but with a tightly closed cooler as an extra measure. I did remember SEKI still had regular trash cans (not the ones securely bolted to a post). I recall that a visit a few years later and they were more serious about bears getting into garbage.
Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 10, 2011 07:37PM
Thanks for posting that! I looked pretty hard before starting this thread. Not hard enough I guess.
avatar Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 10, 2011 07:50PM
Hope you have a site with the larger locker! I invited family to stay in our site last year in North Pines and the biggest complaint (well, only complaint) was the impracticality of the design of the bear box. We debated it over quite a few beers.... A top lifting unit, wider, deeper, etc. Good times!

Oh, and the cooler damage was user error (not mine) and not in Yosemite.
Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 10, 2011 07:54PM
Yes, we got site 31, so it has the bigger size.
avatar Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 10, 2011 08:52PM
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/lockers.htm

These are the standard lockers. They're the one with a bolt and some sort of clip. I remember pinching my fingers on the locking mechanism and having some internal bleeding just under the skin. Ever had bleeding where the skin surface didn't break?



These are the new ones at Upper Pines. They're a touch narrower and a touch deeper, but that additional height really comes in handy for stacking things on top of coolers or reaching in the back. They have this sort of captive square key, where they key is permanently attached to the door.



And here's a better angle of what the key looks like. This box was apparently tested by our ursine friend and it opened. I found out that apparently the locking mechanism was jammed and would have to be repaired. You can see the key hanging off the door with the square bolt head above it.

avatar Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 10, 2011 09:38PM
Hard to look at the key in the last photo. My attention is directed elsewhere.... Did you take that picture or find it somewhere? I've camped a lot in Yosemite and never actually seen a bear be successful like that! Just strolling and looking, but never taking! Was there a fine involved?

I have pinched myself too on the older bear boxes, and yes I have had bled under the skin (kind of creepy). The latches on the newer boxes are easier to deal with, IMO. And nothing is worse than wanting a cold drink and deciding it isn't worth it to open the bear box, pull out the cooler, open it, close it, shove it back in, and re-latch. Unless it is a beer of course smiling smiley
avatar Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 11, 2011 09:16AM
Quote
robinjayp
Hard to look at the key in the last photo. My attention is directed elsewhere.... Did you take that picture or find it somewhere? I've camped a lot in Yosemite and never actually seen a bear be successful like that! Just strolling and looking, but never taking! Was there a fine involved?

I took it myself. I tried making noise, but later was told that bears typically don't respond to noise once they've obtained food. Others had tried confronting it, but it didn't respond to rocks thrown near it and it apparently bluff charged someone else who approached it. It took off as soon as a ranger arrived. I think it knew who she was and what she might do (projectile weapons). I saw the ranger check out the bear box, and I talked to the campsite user. He didn't get fined because the mechanism seemed OK at first, but was somewhat sticky and wouldn't completely latch shut. A padlock might have prevented it from opening though.

Quote
robinjayp
I have pinched myself too on the older bear boxes, and yes I have had bled under the skin (kind of creepy). The latches on the newer boxes are easier to deal with, IMO. And nothing is worse than wanting a cold drink and deciding it isn't worth it to open the bear box, pull out the cooler, open it, close it, shove it back in, and re-latch. Unless it is a beer of course smiling smiley

Yeah - it wasn't a bruise, but actual liquid blood under the skin. Nothing quite like a dark purple mark from some minor internal bleeding.
avatar Re: Upper Pines Bear Box Size
June 11, 2011 11:13PM
The bears we have seen in the campgrounds during daylight hours are usually the smaller bears and cubs (the size in your picture and smaller). We have seen them snooping around on the edges of the campground by a water source (where we try to find a little privacy with our choice of campground). We have only seen the big guys during the middle of the night, and the ones we have seen have been huge!

The only trashing of campsites we have seen are due to people leaving out trash bags. The amount mess some of those creatures can make is amazing though.

Great picture. Thanks for sharing!
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