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llberge

Connecticut

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Posted: 01/13/18 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I are planning a trip to Yosemite this May. I'll be attempting to make reservations on Jan 15th when they open. Does it make sense to book 5 days in one campground in Yosemite Valley and use that as our base or split it up with some other location? I'm going to try for the Upper or Lower Pines campgrounds. We have a 25’ class C Sprinter with no toad and will be using it for sight-seeing. Due to mobility issues, hiking and biking to see the sights won’t work for us. Driving around is the only option. My least favorite option would be to rent a small car outside the park to use for sight-seeing, but then we lose all the comforts of home when we are out for the day. I look forward to your comments.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 01/13/18 03:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is only one CG on the valley floor that can take semi large RV's so that will limit your options. We just stayed in North Pines for 10 days or so and used that as a base station. That valley location is the center of most of the activity in the park. Travel to Toulumne Meadows and other locations in the park will require a lot of driving. Yosemite is a BIG park, if you haven't been to any of these large parks out west you are in for a surprise. There are private shuttles to a few areas (Glacier Point) outside the valley that you catch at the hotel. They aren't cheap and they are often booked up.

There are some short paved trails, Yosemite Falls that you may be able to deal with. If so they aren't to be missed. The Sequoia Groves require some fair amount of walking. Glacier Point requires little walking. YoNP is not a park with a lot of places that you can just drive to. So plan on that. The park website probably has more info on that.


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WNYBob

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Posted: 01/13/18 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just checked Reserve.gov and it shows a chart for the reservation windows for Yosemite. January 15 for January 16th and June 14th!

Looks like you are a month late.

agesilaus

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Posted: 01/13/18 05:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

it's only Jan 13th now. And actually that window will be open from 7AM PST to 7:02 AM PST 1/15/18 if that long. Not certain about the time tho.

Gonzo42

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Posted: 01/14/18 09:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We went the last week of March and got snowed in. Other than that it was great at Upper Pines, which has some long spaces.

You don't need the rig in the valley. The shuttle buses get you around quite handily. Other than that if you want to go to Glacier Point or such you will have to drive.


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profdant139

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Posted: 01/15/18 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just FYI, no way to know if the high country around Tuolumne Meadows will be available in May. In a light snow year, it might be. And unfortunately, this is not a good snow year yet. Stay tuned!


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ohhell10339

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Posted: 01/15/18 04:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You won't need to, and shouldn't, use your rig to drive around and sightsee. There are frequent free shuttle buses to all the major Valley points of interest. If you want, you can also take an open-air narrated tram tour (about $20/person) to the west part of the Valley. If it's a light snow year, the bus to Glacier Point may be available.

Even though you might "miss the comforts of home" when you aren't with your rig, using the shuttle bus is the right thing to do. They're non-polluting (the Valley is an enclosed space on three sides, so smog tends to accumulate) and using them reduces congestion (which can be insane on a busy summer day or a weekend). Also, the shuttles will take you to several points of interest in the eastern part of the Valley that are closed to cars altogether. Much better to ride the shuttle in comfort than to wrestle your rig through traffic and try to park it. And did I mention--the shuttle is free!!

calberry

Lake Wildwood, Ca. (near Grass Valley)

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Posted: 01/16/18 03:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

llberge wrote:

My wife and I are planning a trip to Yosemite this May. I'll be attempting to make reservations on Jan 15th when they open. Does it make sense to book 5 days in one campground in Yosemite Valley and use that as our base or split it up with some other location? I'm going to try for the Upper or Lower Pines campgrounds. We have a 25’ class C Sprinter with no toad and will be using it for sight-seeing. Due to mobility issues, hiking and biking to see the sights won’t work for us. Driving around is the only option. My least favorite option would be to rent a small car outside the park to use for sight-seeing, but then we lose all the comforts of home when we are out for the day. I look forward to your comments.


I just stumbled on this tread. Since it is now Jan. 16th, just curious how you made out in your attempt to get a reservation.

I go through that process every your trying to get camp sites for camping with our grand-kids over spring break, and 2 years ago was lucky enough to get what some think is the bests site in Lower Pines on May 11 for my 70th birthday.

Steve


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llberge

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Posted: 01/19/18 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all of your comments and information, especially about the shuttle system. I am sure that we will make use of it during our stay. We were able to get 5 nights at the Upper Pines campground starting May 21. I hope that the snow is gone by then, but at least we have a spot.

calberry

Lake Wildwood, Ca. (near Grass Valley)

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Posted: 01/19/18 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

llberge wrote:

Thanks for all of your comments and information, especially about the shuttle system. I am sure that we will make use of it during our stay. We were able to get 5 nights at the Upper Pines campground starting May 21. I hope that the snow is gone by then, but at least we have a spot.


Oh don't worry, the snow will be gone in the valley. It is still likely though that Hwy 120 over Tioga Pass (Tuolumne Meadows) is closed though. We camp there every year (Lower or Upper Pines) over Spring Break (March/April) with the grand-kids, and only once have we had any snow in March (and that was just enough for the kids to play in).

We were there on May 11th for my 70th birthday two years ago and it was absolutely perfect weather. I think that is the best time of the year to go. The meadows are turning green, the dogwood trees should be in bloom, and the falls should be at their peak...and the summer crowds haven't arrived yet!

Here's a link to a few pics of our trip back then. As you can see, we had plenty of sunshine and even during happy hour by the fire my wife was just in a light long sleeve shirt: LINK

And here's a LINK to pics of when we got snow 2010)

And here's a link to my trip last April with the grand-kids. We had some rain on our last day, but other than that the weather was great: LINK

Hope you have a great time!

Steve

* This post was edited 01/19/18 11:02am by calberry *

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