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Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park

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Annual opening dates for Lower and North PInes Campgrounds

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avatar Annual opening dates for Lower and North PInes Campgrounds
August 12, 2015 10:10AM
On my 70th birthday next May I hope to have my 5th wheel trailer parked in Lower Pines campground to celebrate (I already have contingency reservations for that week at the Ahwahnee, Lodge and Curry just in case I can't get an on-line reservation).

My history with Yosemite goes back almost 70 years as well, as my parents have photos of me camping as an infant in the old Camp 14 (now Lower PInes), I worked at TM Lodge for two summers (Night Watchman/Camp Helper '64, Waiter '65) and a fall and winter in the Valley (waiter at the old Lodge restaurant). My wife and I spent our honeymoon camping in the valley, and we still go back as often as we can (we live about 4 hours away).

We are now bringing our 6 grand-kids on trips with us to share our love of Yosemite.. With all their other activities, Spring Break is only time they are able to get away for trips, and we have now been doing this for 5 years. But now comes the issue.

As more and more people come to Yosemite it becomes exceedingly difficult to get a camping spot during Spring Break. This is exacerbated by the fact historically the opening dates for both Lower and North Pines are after Spring Break (which floats as a function of Easter Sunday). My children live in two different Nor Cal cities, and so Spring Breaks are recognized at different times. Last year I made 2 Spring Break trips, taking 4 grand-kids in late March, and then the other 2 in early April. In late March only Upper Pines was open, but in early April North Pines opened so I was able to snag a prime river spot on opening day. But if 2016 opening dates follow the same patter as 2015 it appears only Upper Pines will be open during both weeks...ugh.

To my knowledge I have never seen empty sites in Upper PInes when either/both Lower/Upper PInes are closed, so that implies to me that the opening of them is not a matter of not enough demand. So maybe it is weather/flooding concerns? This pic of our campsite on the morning of Mar. 31, 2010 is about the worst weather conditions I have seen...and that was pure fun and excitement for the kids!

I guess the whole point of this post is that I sure wish they would open both Lower and Pines Campgrounds just two weeks earlier every year.

Thanks for listening ;-)

Re: Annual opening dates for Lower and North PInes Campgrounds
August 13, 2015 03:54AM
Loved reading this! We have been car camping again annually for the last 9 or so years. Understand what u r saying!!

Have to run off now (back to the park).... More next week when I return!
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