/ Yosemite Accommodation or Campervan?

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Gary Latter - on 13 Jan 2013
Hi folks

Looking at trip to Yosemite for all of May, followed by a week up in Tuolomne and a week in The Needles.

Anyone got any suggestions for accommodation, other than living in the dirt in Camp 4 for couple weeks at at time? Anyone stayed in the valley in a camper van?

Cheers, Gary & Karen Latter
adam06 - on 13 Jan 2013
I dont think your allowed to sleep in you van in the park... bastard wardens.

we did it one night and didnt have problems.

If you are worried you could leave the park each day.
jon on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to GL:

Since the lookout at the Needles burned down the access road has deteriorated. I read on Supertopo that someone had had problems getting a regular car up there. It might be even more difficult with a campervan. Maybe you've been there before, but if you haven't, the road used to be quite straight forward and there's a good camping spot at the end. Best check with Supertopians. Kris Solem is the guy to ask.
Cog - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to GL:

Apart from the dirt I wasn't keen on the hum from the substation beside camp four.
My sister stayed in one of those semi permanent tent things they rent out, she was not impressed. One option is to use a campsite outside the park and drive in each day to climb.

We are still looking for guidebook photos if you want to send in any.
adam06 - on 13 Jan 2013
also the road up to Tuolomne didnt open till mid June when we went... I dont think that is unusual, there was a lot of snow up there considering there was pretty much none in the valley.
Enty - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to GL:

Ah the joys of planning a camping trip in Yosemite.

After 1st of May you can only have one week (officially). If you're in a camper van and know what day you're going to arrive I'd pre-book a few days at Upper Pines so you know you have somewhere to aim for stress-free! Then once established see what else is available.

You'll get shot if you're caught sleeping in your van on the Camp 4 parking lot or across the road on the overspill car park. Rangers were checking vehicles regularly when I was there last October.

Other than that stay at Crane Flat and drive in each day.

E
Captain Gear - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
>
> Other than that stay at Crane Flat and drive in each day.
>
How far is that in minutes/miles.

Enty - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Captain Gear:

15 miles / 30 minutes (ish)

Pain in the arse but staying in The Valley for more than 7 days at a time gets stressful during peak season.

E
Captain Gear - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Captain Gear)
>
> 15 miles / 30 minutes (ish)
>
> Pain in the arse but staying in The Valley for more than 7 days at a time gets stressful during peak season.
>
Is it free to camp there? Or is there free camping nearby?

We're planning to spend 10 weeks in California and 6 weeks in the valley this autumn.

Plan is to buy a car/truck/van and live out of that. Psyched off my tits!
Enty - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Captain Gear:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
> Is it free to camp there? Or is there free camping nearby?
>

No quite expensive - I think about 20$ a night like all the drive in campgrounds.

> We're planning to spend 10 weeks in California and 6 weeks in the valley this autumn.
>
Jealous!!

> Plan is to buy a car/truck/van and live out of that. Psyched off my tits!

If it's your fist time stay at Camp 4 (not in your car - in a tent) You can have 30 days after mid September. It's a shit hole but must be experienced for the social scene at night.

E
Richard White on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:

Agree with Enty about Upper Pines.

I would not want to simply turn up in Yosemite without anything booked, at least for the first week, after a long journey from the UK.

We stayed for a month in Upper Pines - but did have to use various methods of subterfuge to get around the one week limit. No, it didn't involve wearing a bear suit or any other disguises!

Met some Americans guys with a large covered SUV. The back was converted into 2 layers and they slept in the bottom layer which was not visible from outside. It worked, except they said it was like sleeping in a coffin!

seankenny - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
>
> Camp 4 ... It's a shit hole
Very much so!

but must be experienced for the social scene at night.

Errmmmm....

Offwidth - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Richard White:

I've never booked and never had a problem, often going in Labour Day weekend, worst situation was once we had to go to Tamarack Flats. You can camp outside the park even if it was full.
jon on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to seankenny:

Yep, staying in Camp Four belongs here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=534295
1poundSOCKS - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to jon: I'd stay at Camp 4 again, loved it (apart from a few late night, out of tune jam sessions next to my tent). If you need a nice clean toilet, you can always bob over to Yosemite Lodge. And who needs showers?
RichardP - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to GL:
I spent a month at Camp 4,
the rules say that you can only stay there for a week at a time.
when it came to check-out morning we just registared again for another week under another name.
my tent didn't move for the month.

I known there were some other Brits who had sold a house and were touring around the States for a year.
the bought a RV and didn't seem to have any problems, but you'll have to check on that.

Tuolomere Meadows is great and alot quieter than the Valley, we were only there for a couple of nights, so I can't comment about that

have a good trip
jon on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

I stayed in C4 in '78, '79, '80 and '81. Several months of accumulated sleep deprivation. Now, if I go to a campsite I want to sleep, not listen to a bunch of drunks in the early hours getting louder and louder. Enty's right, it's a shithole.
1poundSOCKS - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to jon: So you went back 3 times! :)
jon on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Yep. Slower learner.
dave frost - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to jon: So where do you stay in the valley when you don't have transport and need to meet climbers ?

I like my sleep too ...

Cheers
Dave
ads.ukclimbing.com
jon on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to dave frost:

Any of the other more civilised campgrounds, then if you want to find partners put a message on the notice board at C4 entrance and/or hang around C4 parking. I stayed in Upper Pines (I think) once which was OK. It was really high pressure weather and it was difficult to breathe as all the woodsmoke from the campfires was trapped down in the valley. Other times I've stayed out of the valley and driven in to climb, but that becomes a bit tedious and of course isn't an option without transport.
jon on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to dave frost:

Of course one of the other possibilities is the Ahwhanee Hotel. I looked into this for Mrs J's birthday last September. At $621/night for B+B we decided against it, but had dinner there instead, which was very nice (though of course quite expensive). Thanks to our charming though rather linguistically challenged waitress I learned the pronunciation of 'gratin'. Apparently it should be gru-TAAHN rather than the way those pesky French say it! We were intending to drive out of the Valley that night but we'd both had too much wine to drive and so climbed into the back of the van and slept right there in the Ahwhanee car park.
1poundSOCKS - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to jon: Don't get caught stopping in the Ahwhanee & posting on the Camp 4 notice board!
jon on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Sunday brunch at the Ahwhanee used to be very popular amongst the climbers 30 years ago. It was something like $6 all you can eat. I never managed more than two hours - even severely pacing myself - and had to be helped out. It's a bit more expensive now: http://www.yosemitepark.com/Files/Brunch_Buffet_10.8.12.pdf Maybe, of course, this is just to keep the likes of you and me out!
1poundSOCKS - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to GL: How about this then Gary, stop at Camp 4, cr@p at Yosemite Lodge (in the toilets, not just anywhere in the lodge), and treat yourself to a Sunday brunch at the Ahwhanee (might make up for the sleep deprivation)?
Gary Latter - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to GL: many thanks for all the feedback folks. Looks like might wait until the autumn, as seems like Crane Flat campground won't be open in May. Also, road over Tioga pass through Tuolomne might not be open either....
I've stayed in Camp 4 couple times previously, but couldn't believe what an unseemly dump it was on very brief visit 6 years ago, hence desire to try and find something more acceptable.
Must say, find it hard to believe that such a world class climbing venue has such crap facilities!

Thanks again for all the replies.

Gary
1poundSOCKS - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to GL: I think as usual Gary, it's all about money. Tourists bring in more money than climbers, and if it wasn't protected, they'd have shut down Camp 4 a while ago.
katherinesydney - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to GL: maybe avoid the camps with the mouse-lurgy...?
oliwarlow - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to GL:

If you can't get into the Toulumne campsite this is a good spot just outside the park on the way down to lee vining, its at 37.951913,-119.225405 (search on google maps). It is layby isolated from the road. Just rock up and sleep in the car or pitch a tent, be gone earlyish in the morning and take all your rubbish with you. The cops shouldn't bother you, unlike if you try and park in any other layby near a national park.

O

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