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Crag & Route Beta

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Yosemite Accom/Travel

10:04:01 PM

This June I am travelling around the States and plan on visiting Yosemite Valley for at least 3 days. I am not planning on bringing a tent with me and hiring a car is costly. So I was wondering if anyone that has stayed before could point me in the direction of affordable (on a students budget!) accom that they have enjoyed...?


10:09:33 PM
assuming you've got a sleeping bag and mat - id recommend just going for a wander and bivvying for the night or two you are there.

10:10:16 PM
Yeah, that has definitely crossed my mind.

10:21:58 PM
If you don't have a car just bivi in the boulders next to Camp 4. You won't be the only one. If you have a car it's much harder as you need a permit and they book and tow almost immediately.

12:02:09 AM
I heard the rangers there are no BS... If people are regularly sleeping somewhere and they're not allowed (I don't know.. is bivvying allowed in the park like that?) do the rangers walk around busting heads? (maybe a slight exaggeration..)

3:22:28 AM
Check out:

We were trying to get a campsite in tha valley in June, but they all got booked out the second they became available, on line. But there are campsites that can't be reserved - like camp 4. These would probably be your best bet.

7:05:22 AM
If you have not booked a site, then lining up (early, very early) for a Camp 4 site is probably your best option. Good way to meet people, too. No tent should not be too much of a risk in June.

Gavo is correct, the rangers there do fairly regularly sweep the common unofficial bivy spots and hand out fines like they are perfume samples in the Myers entrance. I would have thought the Camp 4 boulders would be a spot they patrol fairly regularly. Sounds like Neil has been OK there, though?

That said, I've bivied at the base of El Cap a few times without trouble (usually to get an early start on walls). Probably a good way to get a terminal velocity rock to the head, of course.

If you know exactly when you'll be there trying to book a site at one of the Pines sites is an OK option; they are usually booked out well in advance but if you spend a bit of time hitting "refresh" on the site often someone will cancel (I spent many productive days at work in the States doing just that :-) ). You will be stuck in the middle of RV Hell, though.

There are probably student/backpacker places about. The only one I have been to is the Yosemite Bug, which is OK but is a ways out of the valley, so I'm not sure I'd recommend it unless they have a regular shuttle bus.

Plenty of free camp sites just outside the park in the forestry land (e.g., off Hardin flat road), but without a car (and even with one) that's a pain to get back into the park each day.

8:38:54 AM
I was last there 10 years ago. The rangers even then were pretty pycho at patrolling and fining. The simplest way is to befriend someone who already has a campsite at Camp4, then just bivi on their site. I think we had 20+ people all in bivi bags in our site which was licnsed for 8. Just watch for bears.
9:31:36 AM
I was there in October, and the rangers are indeed arseholes. I would be very careful about bivying in the Camp 4 boulders, as the rangers do patrol and watch for headlamps heading up into the forest. I also seem to remember something about them having night vision goggles? Also, be very careful of bears. I was climbing with a guy who spent 2 seasons as a bear ranger, and it is, despite what anyone tells you, a problem to leave your food out of the bear boxes. Camp 4 is $5/night (if you can get a place) - personally I'd just pay the money.

Yosemite is rad, btw. You'll have fun.
10:10:59 AM
Just doss down on someone else's site at Camp 4. A bivvy at the boulders will get you in trouble, the rangers sweep (& sometimes are chasing bears). However our site "max of 6 people" had about 11 on it one night, many in bivvy bags that were set up discreetly after dark.
11:05:01 AM
If you do decide to doss down in someone else's site, I suggest not sitting around a fire. We had rangers come up to our fire and check everyone's name against the people who were registered. They ignored everyone else in the vicinity.

Eduardo Slabofvic
12:11:00 PM
I was there 20 years ago, in a year when the Rangers had big budget and staff cuts. There were only 2 rangers patroling the valley floor at night, and they were in a car and just drove around all night. I spent a month there sleeping in various places and the only time I got busted was the night I slept in my van.

I recall there was another camp ground that was a km or so walk in a little further up the valley, but still on the valley floor - I can't remember its name. There's also the high camp site in Little Yosemite Valley - (or at least there was). A bit of a walk, but was actually nice as you are out of the main tourist area and in the bush.

I thought the valley floor was big poo hole.
12:18:48 PM
Camp 4 is a bit of a hassle not to mention a barnyard. About eight years ago everybody in camp was getting violently ill over and over again. People started to get paranoid and blaming each other for having dirty cutting boards/dishes. The SAR site broke up into separate cliques whereas we all used to eat together and everyone was cold shouldering each other over what was being called the SAR SARS or Saddam's Revenge. Turns out that the sewage lines from the toilets were leaking into the water supply. If you want to boulder bivy walk across the valley to Sentinel. There are no cops, no noise, no 4 inch layer of campfire ash to roll around in and you can chuck a lap on the Steck in the morning.
12:24:47 PM
2 ways i would suggest:
line up early in the morning (i think the office is open at 9am and a line was forming at 8am) and maybe get a site or

look around upper pines or lower pines campground for a site with one small tent. ask the people if they are willing to share and pay half the site cost (price was $20 bucks or so a site last year). Camp sites are massive and it's a joke when they say it's full when there is space everywhere.

There are showers close by. To get around eg to camp 4 just catch free bus right next to campground.
12:43:46 PM
i wouldn't even bother trying to find a spot in camp 4 in june unless you're looking to make friends in camp and find partners there. Otherwise just sleep in the boulders above Curry, lots of caves chock full of 8" thick pine needle mats and you can store your food in the bear boxes in the parking lot. Don't take it with you, you will end up loosing it one way or another.
3:20:27 PM
On 26/03/2012 tinman wrote:
>line up early in the morning (i think the office is open at 9am and a
>line was forming at 8am) and maybe get a site or
No, check my profile for trip report - lining up at 8am is useless in June. Try 5am to be sure, 6:30 if you're lucky.

> look around upper pines or lower pines campground for a site with one
>small tent. ask the people if they are willing to share and pay half the
>site cost (price was $20 bucks or so a site last year).
That's a better strategy. They also hold a daily draw of the unclaimed sites over at the office, around 3pm. You can put your name down in the morning and then turn up for the draw. If you rock up there late, find one of the lucky winners and offer to split with them. That only gets you one night though.

3:35:56 PM
I think finding a campsite in Yosemite and being in a refugee camp is probably quite similar.

3:44:51 PM
Wow, seems like peak season is not the smartest time to head to the Valley.

Thanks all for your advice, I will have a ponder on all of the above, splitting camp sites seems to go, so bivvy bag is getting packed!

4:42:59 PM
maybe cali will introduce floridas whacking laws, then wallmart up and you're sweet

6:55:17 PM
I was there in April a few years ago. A bit chilly but was able to get a site at Camp 4 at 4pm. Have you actually costed car hire? Its really cheap in the US and will allow you to drive out of the park to cap if need be.


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