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Last minute camping near the Valley
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Jun 10, 2010
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.
Slaton Whatley
Joined May 19, 2008
30 points
Jun 10, 2010
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. jaypg
From New England
Joined Aug 19, 2009
0 points
Jun 10, 2010
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. Slaton Whatley
Joined May 19, 2008
30 points
Jun 10, 2010
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.
Aerili
From Los Alamos, NM
Joined Mar 5, 2007
1,680 points
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.
John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Feb 1, 2004
1,495 points
Jun 10, 2010
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. Brian Snider
From NorCal
Joined Mar 24, 2010
326 points
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. timothyrgriffen Griffen
Joined Sep 14, 2009
35 points
Jun 11, 2010
The pass is open. Aerili
From Los Alamos, NM
Joined Mar 5, 2007
1,680 points
Jun 11, 2010
Thanks everyone! Slaton Whatley
Joined May 19, 2008
30 points
Jun 11, 2010
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? :) Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Joined Mar 6, 2006
2,260 points
Jun 11, 2010
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.
Tommy L-D
Joined Feb 23, 2010
110 points
Jun 11, 2010
Just saying there are options, didn't give away anything specific. Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Joined Mar 6, 2006
2,260 points
Jun 11, 2010
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.
Tommy L-D
Joined Feb 23, 2010
110 points
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. colin tuck
From Moab
Joined May 1, 2007
35 points
Jun 11, 2010
or park in Ranger Housing and walk 1/2 mile to the south. They never check or suspect there. :)))







hehehe jk...
Chad N
From Three Rivers, CA
Joined Jan 30, 2010
1,255 points
Jun 15, 2010
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. Michael Ybarra
From on the road
Joined Jan 23, 2008
20 points


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