Skunked in Yosemite


Original Post
Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 45

Tried to get a campsite for the family today on rec.gov. Everything was booked within minutes of opening, go figure. I'd like suggestions for other areas nearby that would be great for a family. Easy hiking with water and moderate climbing preferred. We will also like to be able to be in close proximity to the Valley as well, my daughter is dead set on seeing El cap and Half Dome. Thank you

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0

When?

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 45

Oops, sometime in July. I'm thinking water flow won't be much of an issue this summer but I am thinking about the mass of blood sucking insects that will be out. They'll be everywhere so trying not to make it an issue of where I end up.

C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 461

Courtright Reservoir - Lifetime of climbing with no crowds, giant lake

Jeff Luton · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Bass Lake isn't to far outside of the park. Couldn't even get a spot in wawona huh?

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0

You could try getting a site at Crane Flat

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

Joe,

There are frequently cancellations, so check back on recreation.gov as much as you can and you may very well snag a campsite.

Adam Reinhardt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 0

I stayed just outside the park at Yosemite Lakes Resort a few years ago. It was nice and quiet. It was a little drive to get to the valley. There was some hiking on site.

mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28

How long do you want to stay and where are you coming from?

Tuolumne Meadows is a good option- lots of hiking and moderate climbing, not as many bloodsucking insects, not quite as crowded, cooler temps and you can always drive down to the Valley floor for a day to see Half Dome and El Cap. Another option might be the USFS campgrounds just east of the Tioga Pass entrance. These are getting a little far from the Valley, but you could always include a trip through the Valley on the way home, just to see the big stone by the road and the little stone in the woods. All these campgrounds are going to be in high demand, but at least by casting a wider net you'll improve your odds.

Much as I love Yosemite, the Valley in July does not sound appealing to me. Extremely hot and crowded, and honestly the high country offers much better hiking options.

Here's the campgrounds I had in mind: fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/re...;actid=29

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 45

Thanks for all the responses. I'll be up there in July having fun somewhere near the Valley. Though Courtright is winning me over. Place looks great.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Joe Garibay wrote:Though Courtright is winning me over. Place looks great.
Some comments about Courtright:
1. Be careful about the old-school routes - some are pretty terrifying, and R rated climbs abound. Get the new guidebook. Along the same lines, make sure your slab climbing head is in shape.

2. Don't underestimate the time it takes to navigate all those winding, narrow, Sierra mountain roads. Wishon Reservoir (nearest store and shower) is "only" 7 or so miles from the big campground at Courtright - it takes almost a half hour to travel between the two.

3. Be prepared for huge swarms of monstrous mosquitoes that take a 1/4 liter of blood with each chomp. They were vicious in August. The last time I was there I swore I would never return without a screen house large enough to go over the picnic table.

4. Practice immaculate bear protocol.

5. We never found the supposedly easy approach to Power Dome from the north shoulder - at least one that wasn't sketch as hell and without death-fall potential.
Rusty Oetinger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

A great place just outside the park is The Big Sandy campground. Great hiking, swimming, climbing at Fresno Dome. I live in Oakhurst and this is one of our favorite hangouts. A little farther into the forest is Fresno Dome campground. From both, you only about 45 minutes from the valley floor, depending on traffic. If you don't mind spending a little more money, I have a 200 sq. Ft. Treehouse that we rent out during the summer.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Rusty Oetinger wrote:From both, you only about 45 minutes from the valley floor, depending on traffic.
Watch the time of day and weekday vs weekend - traffic can be mellow or from the 9th circle of hell.

This past May, I visited the Valley for the first time in 20+ years during a beautiful spring Saturday. I was staying in Oakhurst. For a variety of reasons, I got to the park entrance around 10a - 45 minutes to get in to the park. Went to Glacier Point for views and lunch - there were no official parking spots remaining, and it would take over 30 minutes just to do the parking lot loop. I, along with many others, found some innovative parking roadside.

The trip to the valley: 2 hrs from Glacier Point Road to El Cap meadow. It would have been another 2 hrs to drive the 3.7 miles to Yosemite Village, where there was no parking.

In contrast, the following day I left my hotel at 6a and got to Yosemite Village at 7:30 for breakfast. Parked in the big day visitor lot and didn't move my car.
Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105
Marc801 wrote: Some comments about Courtright: 5. We never found the supposedly easy approach to Power Dome from the north shoulder - at least one that wasn't sketch as hell and without death-fall potential.
Marc801.... you found it. Thats the Bob Kamps way in.... you down climb some- then cut back walking on that small dike over about 300 feet of steep slab. But thats not the end of it... one needs to do a few under-cling moves to Finnish off the traverse right under "Testarosa" (sp?) this puts you on the real ledge that is under most of the climbs.

I don't do the Bob Kamps way anymore... if you look around there are rap bolts over on the Skiers left, a 60 will get you down to the ledge in two raps- one long one short. But one still must do the under-cling... I rope up for that if carrying a big pack for doing FA's. I usually ditch everything and change into boots at the start of the first rap or a few hundred feet up hill... you come down from the top thataways so its good to have the refreshments waiting there.

I'm stoked about the new Guide Book, Dwight has done a huge amount of work to make this happen.

And to Joe...... I never even think about Courtright till after Labor Day... then I will go almost every weekend till the road gets closed. This is because the bugs are really really bad, Meat Bees and Mosquitoes. It takes a few cold nites to freeze them to death.
And the climbing there is mostly on south or southwest facing cliffs. It gets scorching hot out in the sun at 10,000 feet and greasy too... something to think about on way run-out 5.8.

You might want to think about the whole moving camp strategy... go to Shuteye... great climbing, really good swimming--some of the best slides I have ever tryed. Then get up super early and get to the Valley before the traffic... see El Cap...from the base of the nose. Then head up towards TM.. some good campsites before TM that you might be able to reserve... visit TM... great spot to look at 1/2 dome and continue over to 395 where the camping/living is easy.

have fun.
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Guy Keesee wrote: Marc801.... you found it. Thats the Bob Kamps way in.... you down climb some- then cut back walking on that small dike over about 300 feet of steep slab. But thats not the end of it... one needs to do a few under-cling moves to Finnish off the traverse right under "Testarosa" (sp?) this puts you on the real ledge that is under most of the climbs.
No wonder I peed my pants.
Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105
Marc801 wrote: No wonder I peed my pants.
Hahahahaha.... no lie. When I was young I would follow Bob.... he would calmly walk across that part, hands in his pockets!!!

Did you do one of the big climbs? My favorites are "Welcome to Courtright" and "Esto Power". Both make you bring your "A" game.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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