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CA Yosemite Camping Trip
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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:52 am    Post subject: CA Yosemite Camping Trip Reply with quote

Its almost time to start reserving sites for the spring and I would love to get together a Vanagon trip and get a group site.

Anyone interested? Very Happy
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are in Florida, but are planning a trip out west late spring. We have to go and return before hurricane season. We wanted to go to Yosemite, but from what my wife was able to read, it is next to impossible. The sites fill up the first day reservations open up. What dates did you have in mind. We were just going to pass. Figured if it is that crowded, we could find better places. Regards
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cats_r_cute
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very interested! I see Yosemite has choices and I wonder which is the most desirable location for camping in our westy: Hodgdon Meadow, Wawona, and half of Crane Flat and Tuolumne Meadows. Which do you like? I've never been there. Are you looking at this page? http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm

Last edited by cats_r_cute on Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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elpedro
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I much prefer Tuolumne Meadows to the valley locations because the camp life is much more peaceful. You can take the free shuttle down to the valley during the day. However, I've only camped there in summer. Spring's a bit early - it might be very cold up at the Meadows. We tried to go that way leaving for an eastward trip one year and Tioga pass was still closed with snow in mid-April.
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Adventurewagen
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We make one if not two bus trips a year to the Valley. It's great down there. Camping can be a bugger though, especially since everyone with their 40ft long RV and four satellite dishes need a huge fully powered spot to park and usually snags every available pay spot.

The only Yosemite Valley sites to really camp at in your Van are Upper and Lower Pines and North Pines.

Camp 4 is the only other campground, but it's only walk in tent camping. The rangers will harass you every night if you are hiding in your van, believe me, I know...

A nice row of spots is in Upper Pines from about 222-236 even numbers. They are really quiet and have a small creek right behind you. Then again if you get something in upper pines from about 1-100 it makes it a pretty easy walk over to a bus stop which will then get you anywhere in the valley.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
We are in Florida, but are planning a trip out west late spring. We have to go and return before hurricane season. We wanted to go to Yosemite, but from what my wife was able to read, it is next to impossible. The sites fill up the first day reservations open up. What dates did you have in mind. We were just going to pass. Figured if it is that crowded, we could find better places. Regards

If you really want to visit Yosemite, camp outside the park. The valley floor may have some crowds, but get a mile or two up hiking trails and you won't see many people. The halfdome trail is often crowded, but.. it may very well be covered in snow at higher elevations in spring. You just won't know until you're there.

There's a gazillion beautiful spots.. especially during the offseason. And spring before Memorial Day is a GREAT time to see the valley.
North of Yosemite Valley, between Tioga Pass and Sonora Pass there are countless FREE and a hand full of fee camping sites. It is fully legal to just park and camp in much of that area. (Though you want to use your head and avoid private prperty and meth labs)

During the offseason you can drive in to visit for the day, Though on weekends you take your chances and may want to park outside the valley.
Not sure how long/often they run the shuttle buses..

PM me if interested, I can point you to where to start looking.
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danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested.

About 3 weeks ago, wife, baby and I camped in our westy in the valley (Upper Pines), very mellow in October, a different story in spring and summer. Tuolumne Meadows can be a bit cold and is probably too high for the Propex. Forget about Camp 4 with the westy. Crane Flat is OK, half way to the valley and Tuolumne Meadows/Tenaya Lake.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madspaniard wrote:
I'm interested.

About 3 weeks ago, wife, baby and I camped in our westy in the valley (Upper Pines), very mellow in October, a different story in spring and summer. Tuolumne Meadows can be a bit cold and is probably too high for the Propex. Forget about Camp 4 with the westy. Crane Flat is OK, half way to the valley and Tuolumne Meadows/Tenaya Lake.

Hey man! You're a local! You should know where to go...

jus kidding.

Pick up a forest service map of the area.
There are a myriad of county roads running from the Groveland area and Hetch Hetchy Area up north towards Sonora Pass, HWY 108.

If you've got a Westy, half the fun is just cruising around looking for the right wide spot in the road.

There's a bunch of spots out there in the boonies... Cherry Lake, even Hetch Hetchy has some spots nearby. Always pack in your own potable water.


Many of these spots seem WAY out of the way, but are still only an hour or less from the valley floor.
That may seem like a lot if one is expecting the fabled IN-Yosemite experience... but if you camp out and away, the Yosemite experience is a side trip and the rest of the area (up Tioga or into Emigrant Wilderness becomes the main trip) Lots to do and see..



Seriously, though.. The sheriffs have cleaned the lower elev. areas up a great deal in the last decade, but the remote meth labs can remain a problem.

Very few are any where near a "road".. but I've talked with a few people (sheriff's deputies among them) who have run up on one while out on a bike ride.

If you stumble on one of these get the hell out (nasty characters) and note the locale on your GPS (if you carry one.. ), then rat them out. These places are gang-related. From biker to international south of the border cartel... Very sad.

I'll pour over my maps for a couple of particular spots..
This evening or next maybe.
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-89 GL Westy, SVX.. finally.

-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"
"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..


Last edited by j_dirge on Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackek2, rsxer, etc.

Here's a good place to look for beyond valley options and more information.
http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus/groveland/
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-89 GL Westy, SVX.. finally.

-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"
"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking of upper pines, alot of internet reviews say that is best.

I would love to go before the new year but I believe it will be way too cold to enjoy Confused

Nov 15 reservations open for march 15 to april 14.

I would love to get as many Vanagon owners together as possible and if those dates arnt good Id like to find a better one
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:
Blackek2, rsxer, etc.

Here's a good place to look for beyond valley options and more information.
http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus/groveland/


I emailed the link home. Thank you. I will also watch this thread for other recommendations. It is hard to plan when you are not familiar with an area. We like the less improved camping areas. We are more interested in hiking trails, scenic views/drives, and they need to be dog friendly. Regards,
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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is enough interest I would be down to being the one to book all the sites at once for a period of time and just collect the money later so we can be guaranteed a spot Very Happy
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ddonnell
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sound very good to me. I have yet to go and I was actually planning on doing so this spring/summer/fall. I'm flexible with my schedule and can go any trip you all want to go.
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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ddonnell wrote:
Sound very good to me. I have yet to go and I was actually planning on doing so this spring/summer/fall. I'm flexible with my schedule and can go any trip you all want to go.


sweet
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
j_dirge wrote:
Blackek2, rsxer, etc.

Here's a good place to look for beyond valley options and more information.
http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus/groveland/


I emailed the link home. Thank you. I will also watch this thread for other recommendations. It is hard to plan when you are not familiar with an area. We like the less improved camping areas. We are more interested in hiking trails, scenic views/drives, and they need to be dog friendly. Regards,

Dogs are cool in the greater area. But they need to be leashed in the designated wilderness area (higher elevations). I've not had a problem with my dogs, though they were pretty good on voice command. I'd let them go. But they tended to stay close.

And many of the more developed camping spots (the ones Westys tend to avoid) require leashes.. possibly due the proliferation of RV compatible yap dogs.. I mean lap dogs.

I'd check with the Valley rangers on dogs in Yosemite proper.. I do not recall the rules there. I never brought mine in.. just due to the nature of the crowds there.

As far as scenice drives? It really doesn't get a lot more scenic than over Tioga.. maybe visit Bode and Mono Lake, back over Sonora Pass or Ebbot's Pass and back to a base camp of your choice.. Thats a lot of driving... but in my near 30 yrs of being a licensed driver, I have never tired of it.

Cheers!
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-89 GL Westy, SVX.. finally.

-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"
"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another lnk for general area information...

http://www.yosemitefun.com/index.htm

If a springtime meet up gels, I might be able to make it.
Remainder of this yr is out for me.. Crying or Very sad
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-89 GL Westy, SVX.. finally.

-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"
"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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floggingmolly
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck if it's the summer you're looking for. We had 6 people on laptops trying to get anything we could at the stroke of 7 am on the day the month opened and got totally shut out. The system sucks, I don't know how people find anything. The only time we were able to get something was 3 different sites in 4 days, during the week. I love yosemite, but the camping reservations are ridiculous. The CA State Park system isn't much better.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:45 pm    Post subject: Possible Yosemite Trip Reply with quote

Don't want to be a Buzz Kill but do you think the bears know the difference between our vans and those of the "Mini" variety Wink

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/10/23/MN081A863P.DTL&type=science
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blakeck2
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where is a better place to get a group spot?
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upper Pines is as safe as it gets, I've camped numerous times in the valley during my rockcimbing days and only once I had a bear at Camp 4 sniffing outside my camping tent in the middle of the night, next thing I heard were Rangers chasing out the bear.

Yosemite valley is safe for a group camp, especialy during the season, the park looks like Disneyland, too many people.
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