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Re: Short visit questions

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Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 06:28AM
Newbie here. Haven't been to Yosemite NP yet, have been to loads of other NPs on a road trip we did in 2011.

I have a few questions.

We are picking up a campervan in San Francisco on Saturday 23 March (late afternoon). I'm wondering if we should immediately drive to Yosemite or would it be best to stay overnight near San Francisco (thinking of Anthony Chabot)? If we drive on to Yosemite, I think we'd be there by 10pm-ish.

We only have 3 nights, returning the campervan on Tuesday morning by 10am.

I'm trying to work out which camp ground to choose in Yosemite. Do I choose Upper Pines, which already seems quite booked up or Wawona? If we would arrive so late on Saturday evening, would we still be able to get space at Wawona?

Thank you for your help.
Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 07:03AM
I would pick Upper Pines over Wawona. I just looked and there are still about a dozen sites available during the dates you mentioned. Make a reservation so you don't have to worry about how late you arrive.
Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 07:45AM
Yes go for upper pines. Reserve now!
Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 07:53AM
Thank you!
Will do that now
Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 10:31AM
My vote would be to drive to the park the first night. Even arriving at 10. That way you have a full day for hiking.
Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 10:32AM
Oh and why did you only book one night? You need to book every night you need in advance.
Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 08:16AM
Another question
I just read that campfires in the valley are only allowed from 01 May through 15 Oct. Are they allowed at Wawona? The campfires while star gazing are one of the things we enjoyed most on our previous trip and are pretty much a must.
Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 08:38AM
Quote
2LegalAliens
Another question
I just read that campfires in the valley are only allowed from 01 May through 15 Oct. Are they allowed at Wawona? The campfires while star gazing are one of the things we enjoyed most on our previous trip and are pretty much a must.

Actually during those dates campfires are only permitted from 5pm to 10 pm. The rest of the year they are permitted at any time.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/campregs.htm
avatar Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 09:23AM
Anthony Chabot is an alright campground. Too close to civilization though. I'd go for Del Valle out in Livermore. Same park district.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2013 09:23AM by Dave.
Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 09:41AM
Quote
mtn man
Quote
2LegalAliens
Another question
I just read that campfires in the valley are only allowed from 01 May through 15 Oct. Are they allowed at Wawona? The campfires while star gazing are one of the things we enjoyed most on our previous trip and are pretty much a must.

Actually during those dates campfires are only permitted from 5pm to 10 pm. The rest of the year they are permitted at any time.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/campregs.htm

I obviously interpreted that wrong, my mistake, oops. First read it on a different website, which wasn't quite so clear.
I booked the 1st night at Upper Pines, so I know for sure we have a place to stay when we arrive late.

Thank you for your help! Much appreciated
Reserve Your Site!!!
February 19, 2013 10:56AM
Quote
2LegalAliens

I booked the 1st night at Upper Pines, so I know for sure we have a place to stay when we arrive late.

Book your site for the remaining nights as well or you may find yourself with no where to camp.

Campgrounds tend to fill up and you'll be asked to vacate the site if someone else has booked it or even gets to the ranger station before you the following morning. Your site will be deemed "available" if there is no reservation on it even though you are parked there.
Re: Reserve Your Site!!!
February 20, 2013 07:10AM
So are the chances of getting a spot at the first come first serve Wawona campground pretty low on a Sunday?
Kind of liking the idea of Wawona better because it's doesn't seem so busy as Upper Pines.
avatar Re: Reserve Your Site!!!
February 20, 2013 08:58AM
There is a reason Wawona is less busy, It's 45 minutes to an hour away from the Valley. Get a map and you'll see. At a national park you NEED to get reservations... unless you want to park on the side of the road (which you cannot do in the park) and sleep there.
avatar Re: Reserve Your Site!!!
February 20, 2013 08:59AM
Quote
2LegalAliens

So are the chances of getting a spot at the first come first serve Wawona campground pretty low on a Sunday?
Kind of liking the idea of Wawona better because it's doesn't seem so busy as Upper Pines.


It'll depend on the weather.

If it's a nice and sunny late March weekend, then I'll say the chances are low that there would be a campsite available at the Wawona campsite that Sunday, especially if the Upper Pines campground is completely booked. If it's a cold, wet and stormy weekend, then yes, there would probably be campsites available at Wawona that Sunday.

And in regards to being busy, while the Wawona campground itself might be less crowded than Upper Pines, all the campsites in the Wawona Campground are close and within easy earshot of the Wawona Road, the major north-south thoroughfare inside Yosemite National Park. In other words, you'll hear the sound of automobiles, buses and trucks throughout the day and evening at your Wawona campsite. In other words, Upper Pines will be a more peaceful setting than Wawona.

The only real advantage to Wawona compared to Upper Pines in late March would be that the Wawona campground would probably be warmer (and drier) in the day and night than the Upper Pines campground which is located in the coldest and dampest part of Yosemite Valley.

If I were in your shoes, I would stay all my nights at the Upper Pines campground. Overall it's a better location, a lot closer to most of the places you would want to see while visiting Yosemite for the first time.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2013 10:13AM by plawrence.
Re: Reserve Your Site!!!
February 21, 2013 04:52AM
Thank you! I really appreciate all the feedback. All makes sense when people who know the place explain it.
smiling smiley
avatar Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 03:18PM
You might want to spend your first night at Pines Campground right behind the Groveland ranger station.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/stanislaus/recarea/?recid=14939
It's about 10-15 minutes past the town of Groveland, roughly 3 hours from SF. If you knock out that chunk of (easy, boring) road at night (less traffic) you will be 30 minutes from the gate in the morning. It's free during the winter, really easy to find and pull into. The water is probably shut off but the pit toilet should be open.
avatar Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 05:06PM
As others have mentioned, you need to book your site, in advance, for all the nights you'll be staying. Just don't reserve it for the first night.

Starting from the Bay Area near San Francisco on a Saturday, it shouldn't take more than 4 1/2 hours of drive time to reach Yosemite Valley (it could very easily take even less than four hours), so if you left in the late afternoon around 4:00 PM, you would probably be arriving in Yosemite Valley no later than 9:30 PM (if you took an hour break for dinner).
.
avatar Re: Short visit questions
February 19, 2013 05:25PM
From my experience as a hiker and camper with East Bay Regional Park District, which runs the Anthony Chabot campground they are planning on using, is that most of our European visitors that rent motor homes do not have reservations for the campgrounds they wish to use. I know it's a problem for EBRPD, and I've heard some visitors begging for a site at the campground office here.
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