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Booked a campsite for memorial day weekend!

January 17, 2011

At 7 a.m. Saturday morning, campsite reservation for Yosemite campgrounds for visits beginning May 15-June 15 were open!

At 7 a.m. plus 5 seconds, all campsites in Yosemite Valley were booked for memorial day weekend!   Wow!

We managed to snag a site for three nights.  It is an RV site (we only have a tent), so most likely the campsite itself will be crappy (more like a driveway than a campsite!).  Research indicates that it is perfectly allowable to pitch a tent there, and we really didn’t have any other options.

I very much prefer back-country sites, but in late May, it’s too early to really get in the high country.  You also can’t reserve back country campsites in advance, so this is our only option.  Our plan is to explore the front country (waterfalls!), including a hike up half-dome (a permit is needed for that too).  If all goes as planned, we’ll hit Yosemite again this fall do a back-country hike culminating in a summit of Mt. Whitney!  We’ve spent a lot of time in the Sierra Nevada’s, but I’m really excited to see Yosemite!

The crappy campsite is $20 a night, which is pretty standard for national parks, and much much cheaper than any hotel.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2011 10:28 am

    That sounds like so much fun. It’s cold and very snowy here so I can’t wait until we’re able to be outside for an extended period of time. I can’t believe that they filled up so quickly.

    • January 17, 2011 8:00 pm

      I know! I knew it would be fast, but it was appalling how quickly they were snapped up!

  2. January 17, 2011 11:13 am

    That’s awesome! I am trying to plan a road trip to Yosemite this summer. Good to know i need to get on the campsite thing quickly… do you know if dogs are allowed?

    • January 17, 2011 8:13 pm

      Yes, check out this info on dogs:

      If you want to reserve a campsite, you will have to set your alarm for 7 a.m. on the day it opens and be really ready! I think if your schedule is more flexible (ie, NOT memorial day weekend) it might be a little better. Check out this site to find out what day to set your alarm for!

      Also, not sure if you were planning to, but you now need a permit to hike half dome. I’m excited!

  3. Dave permalink
    January 17, 2011 8:36 pm

    For your JMT hike (I assume JMT, if you’re ending at Whitney), don’t forget about the backpacker campground at Yosemite It’s cheaper, but you need a thru-hike permit to use it, either a JMT one or I assume a PCT permit would work as well. If you do stay in the backpacker campground (or any campground in Yosemite really) I highly recommend not skipping your shelter for the evening – we did this once and I had an “I can feel it’s breath on my face” close encounter with a bear. Luckily nothing came of it since the food was in a bear box but be aware!

    • January 26, 2011 8:34 pm

      I haven’t really decided for sure on the whitney route yet, but if we do start in any of those yosemite areas, we’ll keep that in mind. Cheap, and a nice way to acclimate!

      We have had some bear encounters, but only on the trail, not at night. Scary!

  4. January 20, 2011 7:04 am

    I used to work at the call centre that made reservations for a number of campgrounds. Some you could reserve I think 7 months ahead? It was crazy there in the mornings when the lines opened up. They used to have a “rush” shift – people who just worked the first two hours of the day. The nice parks/sites would book up super fast.

  5. January 28, 2011 4:19 pm

    were caught in the back country by an unusually heavy storm and either had .. Yosemite and plan to return next time backpacking into the back country.

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