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Last minute camping near the Valley
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By Slaton Whatley
Jun 10, 2010
Coiling up the rope after a fun route on the Sheep's Head

Hey everyone,
My friend and I are about to make our pilgrimage to Yosemite this Saturday. We are coming in from Salt Lake City and will probably be getting in pretty late Saturday afternoon. We would like to stay in Camp 4 at some point but it seems like our chances of getting a spot late one afternoon might not be that great. Does anyone have any suggestions for where we could stay our first night? Looks like all the campsites other than Camp 4 are booked until October. We are looking for something cheap as we will be there for a month. Thanks for the help.


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By jaypg
From New England
Jun 10, 2010
Mammoth

Just ask people at Camp4 if you can bivy at their site for a few hours. Wake at 5am and move to the Registration line for first come/serve. Offering a 6pack usually does the trick - and it's cheap. Good luck with your car.


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By Slaton Whatley
Jun 10, 2010
Coiling up the rope after a fun route on the Sheep's Head

Thanks for the info. A six pack is doable. What's up with the car? Is it hard to find a place to park it or something. This is my first time in the valley so any info would help out. Thanks.


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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 10, 2010
Duck face with Largo

There is a place called the Sandlot off the 140 just past El Portal (as you leave the park). It is on the side of the road opposite the river (I guess this is considered the south side of the road); it is where they dump the sand they use on the roads in the winter. Not glamorous camping, but free and lots of room.

There are also some campgrounds off a small road that parallels the river opposite from the highway: Dry Gulch and Dirt Flat. You cross the river at Red Bud Picnic Area. I don't know anything about them in terms of reservations or not, but I think they are kinda pricey per night. But, another option.

If you aren't paying to stay in Camp 4, I think it could be hard to find a spot to park your car that is nearby. A long walk or shuttle ride could be required to park it somewhere legally. I would just crash in the Sandlot if I were you.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Jun 10, 2010

jaypg wrote:
Just ask people at Camp4 if you can bivy at their site for a few hours. Wake at 5am and move to the Registration line for first come/serve. Offering a 6pack usually does the trick - and it's cheap. Good luck with your car.


careful doing this- the rangers do check tent tags every night in camp 4- especially weekend nights in the high season.

also, car parking can be an issue since you wont be able to park in the camp 4 lot- i think you can park in the lodge, but im not entirely sure.

you can park @ el cap for free overnight.


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By Brian Snider
From NorCal
Jun 10, 2010
Whoo Hooo!

Going to be there late Friday and camping along harden flat road. No campground just some flat spots to pitch a tent. Saturday mourning were headed in to the valley to try and score a spot. It'll be just my girl and I so if we find something worh sharing on saturday Ill hit you up. Happy Climbing, B.


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By timothyrgriffen
Jun 10, 2010

Coming, from SLC. I would make sure Tioga Pass is open because if it's not the drive from SLC to Yosemite is quite a bit longer.


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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 11, 2010
Duck face with Largo

The pass is open.


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By Slaton Whatley
Jun 11, 2010
Coiling up the rope after a fun route on the Sheep's Head

Thanks everyone!


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By Nick Stayner
From The Magic City
Jun 11, 2010
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.

Be creative (and careful). The options are endless. Lots of large parking lots with forests next to them, lots of cars parked overnight.... see what I mean? :)


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By Tommy L-D
Jun 11, 2010
Matthes Crest

The quickest way to ruin a good thing is to post about it all over the internet.

Once you're there just ask around, people will let you know where to stay, where to park, etc etc.


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By Nick Stayner
From The Magic City
Jun 11, 2010
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.

Just saying there are options, didn't give away anything specific.


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By Tommy L-D
Jun 11, 2010
Matthes Crest

Yeah sorry didn't mean to come off as harsh, just stating that this would generally not be the best place to post about special camping/parking spots. Not specifically directed at anyone.

I've talked to rangers who said they regularly check threads like this on MP, supertaco, etc.


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By colin tuck
From Fairbanks
Jun 11, 2010

I would advise you to park your car in the third spot from the left in Lot 6Z, hike exactly seventeen yards southwest, and then camp underneath the large boulder with the pink spray paint splotch, with a nice flattened out area.


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By Chad_N
From Central California
Jun 11, 2010
topping out on Hamilton Dome with the Angel Wings in the background

or park in Ranger Housing and walk 1/2 mile to the south. They never check or suspect there. :)))







hehehe jk...


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By Michael Ybarra
From on the road
Jun 15, 2010
 Trad gumby tries to go sport on the Lion King, January, 2007

The Sand Lot has been pretty full lately, but lots of pullouts on the back roads of El Portal. The lodge has an overflow lot for C4. You're supposed to have a permit. Don't know if they check. They sure do in the main C4 lot. I even got a warning notice during the DAY there recently. Legal parking and shuttle buses in the village lots.


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