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Pls help me review my 5-day Yosemite plan. Thanks

Pls help me review my 5-day Yosemite plan. Thanks

Jun 11th, 2009, 12:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
Pls help me review my 5-day Yosemite plan. Thanks


We'll stay in the park from Monday through Friday to avoid the crowd. And cover as many places as possible during the day considering the park is quite far away from Toronto.

Day 1: Mono Lake area and explore Mono/ Bodie State Park (authentic Ghost town) and/or June Lake

Day 2: Hike Tuolumne Meadows: Cathedral Lakes perhaps. Or Lembert Dome combined with some meandering.

Day 3: Drive/enjoy Tioga Road including Tenaya Lake/Olmsted Point. Perhaps do May Lake hike. Also see Bridalveil Fall/El Capitan during travel into Yosemite Valley. Bicycle around the Valley to take in sights

Day 4: Washburn Point/Glacier Point/Sentinel Dome or Taft Point.

Day 5: Half Dome hike

Day 6: Drive south to Sequoia/Kings Canyon and visit The Mariposa Grove on the way.

I do have some questions.
1) Is it practical to do "Walk-in" camping? According to the park website, there are 600 walk-in sites open in July and August and they are gone fast after 9am. What is our chance to get one if we get there before 8am?

2) Is my plan too tight or too relaxing? Since we have 8 days in the area I don't mind putting in / taking out extra days from the plan. We are planning to cover as many things as we possibly can.

Thanks very much in advance for helping me review my plan.

Michael @ Toronto
mindbodyheart09 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2009, 05:28 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 695
Sounds like a pretty good plan except I think you are confused about the camping part. I don't think there are 600 "walk-in" sites in Yosemite. There are a few campgrounds that do not take reservations and one (Tuolumne Meadows) that is half advanced and half same day reservations. These may add up to 600, I'm not a math wizard but only a few of these are "walk-in" sites and there is no guarantee that there will be any available when you are there. Your best bet is Tuolumne Meadows because this is the largest and takes same day reservations. Just get there early.

Then there is Sunnyside (Camp 4) in the Valley. This one has 35 sites (6 people per site). Unless you are climbing the walls, this is a horrible campground. There is no privacy and if there are just two of you, you have to share the site with four strangers. Young backpackers love the place but it's never been my cup of tea. There are no other campgrounds in the Valley that are non-reservation. So, make sure you have reservations before you go.

You also might want to call the Park and speak to an information person who can better describe the options available for you.
Supercilious is offline  
Jun 11th, 2009, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,507
It sounds pretty good to me. I love Mono Lake and Bodie is a real treat. And Yosemite, of course. We generally camp up in Tuolumne for 5-6 days each summer.

Like Supercilious, I am a bit concerned about you rplan to try for "first-come" campsites. In Tuolumne, it might well be possible on weekdays, as it is a large campground. We usually see the "camp full" sign go up around noon or early afternoon.

But camping in Tuolumne won't work for hiking Half Dome. You want to stay as close as possible so you can get an early start. We spent the night in a Curry Village tent cabin the night before Half Dome; that worked well. You might call DNC and just see if there are any tent cabins available.

For your time in Tuolumne, one thing you might consider (unless you are camping for strict budget reasons) is checking the list of available openings at the High Sierra camps. These are won by lottery each year, but then they put whatever is left on the website. There are actually quite a few spaces at the different camps. These are hike-in camps (hiking about 6 to 8 miles), with tent cabins and meals provided. Around $130 per person per night (including breakfast and dinner) , but well worth it, as they are all located in beautiful spots.

Sunrise camp is well situated for a hike up Cloud's Rest (which I like better than the Half Dome hike). Glen Aulin sits by a lovely waterfall. Vogelsang is situated in an alpine meadow at 10,000 feet. May Lake is an easy hike in, and Merced Lake is too far for a one-day hike. I can provide more details if you are interested.
enzian is offline  
Jun 12th, 2009, 05:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
Thanks guys for reviewing my plan and answering my questions.

About the "first come, first server" camping site, if I get one in the morning, do you know if I need to book again in the next morning? or I can just reserve the spot for a couple of days? thanks again,
mindbodyheart09 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2009, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,507
Once you get a "first come" campsite , you may keep it as long as you like (up to the limit on # of camping days, whatever that is).
enzian is offline  
Jun 12th, 2009, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,573
The total walk-in camp sites in the park may very well include the backcountry sites as well as Camp 4 etc.
november_moon is offline  
Jun 12th, 2009, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 11,040
mbh - We just left Yosemite and while we didn't do any of the ambitious hikes you have planned we did hit some of the more popular trails. I can only suggest that if you are planning anything in the valley, you get onto the trail as early as possible. The valley was very crowded this past week. We were very glad we were on the Upper Yosemite Falls trail and the Mist trail before 9 each morning. I was so glad to leave the valley midday to drive up to Glacier point and the Mariposa grove.
Birdie is offline  
Jun 14th, 2009, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 24
Is tent camping safe in Yosemite because of the bears?
bibsie is offline  
Jun 15th, 2009, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,507
bibsie---tent camping is perfectly safe, as long as you strictly observe the rules about food storage. Everything, including scented toiletry items like toothpaste, lotion, etc., goes in the bear locker. Do NOT bring any of this into the tent. (Don't leave it in your car either, not even in the trunk.)

The Yosemite black bears are only interested in food and try to avoid people. A shout or banging on a pot will scare one off if it comes too close.
enzian is offline  
Jun 15th, 2009, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 23
If you do Half Dome, leave early, be prepared, know the weather.

chuck_pt is offline  

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