Yosemite car camping

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justm
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Yosemite car camping

Post by justm » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:28 pm

My friend and his wife are going car camping in Yosemite and aren't sure where to camp. They have never been there before. Any suggestions on car camping spots in Yosemite for first timers ? They will be going the weekend of November 8th. Should they try for the valley ? Or Higher up , like White Wolf campground, or Yosemite Creek campground ?
Thanks for any help with this !!








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davidsheridan
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Re: Yosemite car camping

Post by davidsheridan » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:52 pm

This time of year, the valley is the place to camp. Not hard to get a site, the valley isn't too crowded, no brainer.
Especially for first-timers, they need to see the valley.
Also, some camps at higher elevation are subject to snow-related closures and seasonal closures.
Mid-summer (in addition to the valley) I would consider Tuolumne Meadows or just outside the East entry at Ellory Lake Campground.
Others will likely have different recommendations

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c9h13no3
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Re: Yosemite car camping

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:17 pm

The reservations in valley campgrounds are already booked up for that weekend. I suppose Camp 4 is an option, but I've never stayed there, since I hear horror stories about the lines/lotteries/red tape. The wait/availability might not be bad in November, but I always want to be hiking at 8:30 am rather than loitering around waiting to know if I got a camp site.

Yosemite kinda sucks in November. Well, it's still great, but quite often the waterfalls are dry and the fall foliage has passed. Check the Yosemite Falls webcam here. The best scenery to crowd ratio is probably winter until mid-May.

I'm planning to be in the valley that weekend to do some hiking. If the weather is good, I'll probably dispersed camp outside the park (along Evergreen Road). If it's bad weather, I'll spring for a lodge or AirBnB (or just not go). I feel weird having a campfire this time of year, since the whole state is one giant brush fire waiting to happen. And without a campfire, the charms of hanging out in camp go down a lot.
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wildhiker
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Re: Yosemite car camping

Post by wildhiker » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:36 am

All the high country car campgrounds in Yosemite are already closed. Hardin Flat at the Big Oak Flat entrance might be open still. Check it on recreation.gov. Also, perhaps Wawona campground at the south end of the park may still be open. Both of these are a bit of a drive from the Valley.

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Re: Yosemite car camping

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:31 am

Not sure where your friends are coming from. If a few hours drive, then I leave really early, go straight to Camp 4 and try to get a campsite. If that works out or not, then day-hike in the Valley, perhaps a hit up to Vernal Falls. I suspect getting a Camp 4 site will not be difficult. If they cannot get a Camp 4 site, then drive to an area outside the park. There is a dispersed campsite on Evergreen Road on Akerman Creek. On the east side, Lower Lee Vining campground may be still open. If money is not an issue and you can get a Curry Village cabin, that would be better than car camping.

I think Lower Pines campground stays open. People do cancel and you can sign up on the wait list.

Be aware that in November, the shadows hit the valley very early. You will get more sunshine up on the rim.

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oldranger
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Re: Yosemite car camping

Post by oldranger » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:24 pm

i would see if they can get a reservation for Wawona or Harden flat if they must camp. As Daisy suggested Curry Village is a possible option.
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Chris B
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Re: Yosemite car camping

Post by Chris B » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:23 pm

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hodgdoncamp.htm

This can also be an option in November

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c9h13no3
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Re: Yosemite car camping

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:46 pm

Chris B wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:23 pm
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hodgdoncamp.htm

This can also be an option in November
Never understood camping at these far away campgrounds for $18 per night, when you can drive 5 minutes further (outside the park) and dispersed camp for free. I suppose you can leave your gear setup at the campground during the day while you play around in the park?
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