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Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week

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Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 03:37PM
Hello Everyone,
First off, I know Yosemite on the 4th of July week is likely not my brightest idea. I actually had 7 days reserved in the valley at the end of May and many great hikes planned, but the military decided to move me from California to Japan so I had to cancel. I find myself back in California next week. I was lucky enough to pick up a cancelled reservation to hike Mount Whitney on the 4th of July and on the way back home I plan to swing through Yosemite. This will be 5 July. Any advice or recommendations on finding a campground during this busy week?

At the moment I have just been checking Recreation.gov a few times everyday hoping to pick up a cancellation. If I can't get a reservation, my back-up plan is to get there super early on the 5th hoping to catch someone leaving a first-come first-served site. Maybe White Wolf, Yosemite Creek, or Porcupine Flat. From these locales I could hike May Lake, North Dome, or drive a little up the road to do Clouds Rest again or Upper Catherdral Lake (since I decided not to venture off from the lower lake last time). My back-up to the back-up would be to roll down to the valley and see if I can get something that was cancelled. I'm not sure how that system works though.

Anyways...It is on my way home (sort of) and this year they are giving away free park passes to military, so I have nothing to lose. Just trying to guage if I will be successful, so I don't build my hopes up to much. Thank you, James.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 03:39PM
You can probably find something at White Wolf, Yosemite Creek, or Porcupine Flat in the morning.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 26, 2012 07:18AM
Quote
eeek
You can probably find something Yosemite Creek,

Generally I would never be caught dead in a campground/campsite in the Park as I am a backpacker and love my solitude, however if I was to stay in a campground it would definitely be the Yosemite Creek Campground. The sites seem to be bigger than what I have seen in the Valley and you are mere miles away from a ton of great dayhikes off Tioga Road. As for the holiday, I can't really speak as to how crowded the Park will be as I would normally be many miles into a cross country trip if I was in the Park during a holiday, but everyone else seems to have given you solid advice. Being flexible definitely helps.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 04:01PM
On the day you plan to find a campsite inside Yosemite, call Yosemite's Campground Status Line at (209) 372-0266 for up-to-date information on campground availability. You can also ask the park ranger stationed at the Tioga Pass entrance booth about which campgrounds might have space when you enter the park.

I would note though that a good number of campers might be checking out on the 5th, but NOT super-early. In other words, a campground might still be full at 7:00 AM, but campsites might start opening up from 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon. So I would still call the Yosemite Campground Status Line after 12:00 Noon on the 5th to see if any additional campsites might have become available in the meantime.

.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 05:00PM
Quote
plawrence
Yosemite's Campground Status Line at (209) 372-0266 for up-to-date information on campground availability.

Why do you think the rangers would be up-to-date for Porcupine Flat or Yosemite Creek?
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 06:21PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
plawrence

Yosemite's Campground Status Line at (209) 372-0266 for up-to-date information on campground availability.

Why do you think the rangers would be up-to-date for Porcupine Flat or Yosemite Creek?

Because in the past they've had. Don't know how often they do a head count of those campgrounds, but once they're filled up they'll update the recording on the status line to indicate that the campgrounds are full. They'll also post signs on Tioga Road at the turnoffs to the campgrounds noting that the campgrounds are full.

.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 06:42PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
eeek
Quote
plawrence

Yosemite's Campground Status Line at (209) 372-0266 for up-to-date information on campground availability.

Why do you think the rangers would be up-to-date for Porcupine Flat or Yosemite Creek?

Because in the past they've had.

Not really. They don't even look at the campgrounds very much unless there's a problem.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 06:58PM
Actually...I was camping at Tuolumne Meadows campground Saturday night, and noticed who I thought was a campground host (she had a shirt w/ some logo on it, and a clipboard on which she was clearly making notes) checking sites right around 7 AM. If that turns out to be a regular thing I'm thinking the people who spend multiple days at the backpackers camp might be in for a surprise.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 09:14PM
Quote
ttilley
Actually...I was camping at Tuolumne Meadows campground Saturday night, and noticed who I thought was a campground host (she had a shirt w/ some logo on it, and a clipboard on which she was clearly making notes) checking sites right around 7 AM. If that turns out to be a regular thing I'm thinking the people who spend multiple days at the backpackers camp might be in for a surprise.

I'm not talking about Tuolumne. It's Porcupine Flat and Yosemite Creek that don't see much of that sort of thing.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 09:23PM
This is the first time in a while I've seen this sort of thing at Tuolumne.

Anyway, on the topic of the thread...last Saturday I got a first-come-first-served site at Tuolumne showing up at 3:30 PM, and there were sites that didn't get filled overnight. Certainly not suggesting that for July 5! But given the early season, maybe taking the July 5 reservation site mentioned above then showing up at the campsite office early the next day would be a good idea.
Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 26, 2012 06:20AM
TTilley,
What were the night time temps when you stayed at Tuolumne last weekend? I only stayed there once in late September. The days were wonderful, but at night I just wanted to crawl into my sleeping bag even though it was only 8 pm. Tuolumne will be my first stop on the way in, so I will check there first, but I rather stay at a little lower elevation. Also, I would like to hike to North Dome and the campsites further down the road are more central.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 26, 2012 06:59AM
Here's a link to the temps for the last 7 days at Tuolumne: Tuolumne Meadows Mesonet Page.

It wasn't all that cold Saturday night but it was unusually windy (the ranger I talked to at check-in said the wind had blown the mosquitoes away, and that they had been pretty bad before it came). But, as you can see, its best to have a 20 degree bag.

Edit: Looks like the 6 and 24 hour precip and snowfall columns are completely broken, I'd ignore those. It was dry over the weekend.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2012 07:01AM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 26, 2012 07:14AM
For nearly the first day of summer... I thought it was ridiculously cold.
I've been warmer in winter. But.. once in 30 bag no biggie. Toasty toasty.
Prior weekend was sweating in 30 bag. 30 til Oct. for me.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 26, 2012 07:30AM
I had some friends who were at Hyatt Lake this weekend and they had a simliar report: sustained 20-30 mph winds the whole trip, which made it a lot cooler at night then they expected.

As for the sleeping bag, I go the 30 degree route (marmot arroyo) from very late May til mid September, however I've ran into some cold weather in September at 9k+, so as much as I hate the extra weight, I'll carry the 0 degree bag (marmot couloir).


On a sidenote, I got an email from my buddies to inform me of how the trip went, and I quote "hey bro you missed out, there was a group of 8 girls who were 25-30 years old on a no boyfriend trip who we ran into at Hyatt. Too bad you were working, you would have had a lot of fun"
avatar Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 04:19PM
Tuolumne Meadows
http://www.recreation.gov/campsiteCalendar.do?page=matrix&calarvdate=07/05/2012&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70926
At this moment, there are two sites available on 7/5. Book the first night, turn up as early as you can, check in. Then head straight to the reservations office and see if you can extend your reservation.
Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 05:53PM
I have a valley site that I'll be cancelling. If you're interested and willing to change your dates you can PM on when I'll be cancelling the site. You can than be logged in Rec.gov and have a good shot at claiming the site. North Pines campground. Adjacent to Merced......
Dates: July 3rd - 6th
Tuesday-Friday



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2012 05:56PM by limonjelly.
Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 25, 2012 09:08PM
Everyone,
Thanks for the really good advice. That is all I want is a glimmer of hope. I'm very flexible too, so I think that works in my favor. I saw the Tuolomne Meadows opening, actually last week they had multi-night reservations, but I bypassed because I was curious about the temps at night and for the most part I have already done most of the dayhikes I want to do there. So my gameplan will be to keep checking Recreation.gov for 3 to 4 night cancellation in the valley. If not, I will just roll through and try to pick up first-come/first-serve site on Tioga Road.

PLawrence, Great advice on the timing of people checking out. I figured I would show up early just in case there are any empty sites, I can set up camp early, and head out for a hike. Worst case is I sit around for a few hours to check on people that look like they may be packing up.
Re: Advice - Campground Reservations for 4 of July Week
June 26, 2012 07:24AM
Two years ago I showed up in Yosemite on July 5th. We drove in the park and saw the signs that said every campground was full. It was about 8 am or so. I walked in the rangers office since I knew they probably never updated those signs. They were nice enough to radio down to Camp 4 in the Valley and at TM and said both had openings. We got to Camp 4 between 9 and 10 am and the ranger said it was only maybe half full! It did fill up but not until the afternoon. The year before I got to TM around 11am and we were second on the wait list and got a spot.

My point is you hear and read a lot of hype about how it's impossible to get a campsite in Yosemite, that you have to show up to Camp 4 and 6 am to get a spot. I've simply found this not to be true. I would aim to get there by 8 am to be safe, but if you are late I still don't see a problem getting one somewhere if it's before noon.

Good luck. I'll be in TM on Sunday (with a reservation this time smiling smiley )

Matt
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