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Help planning trip to Yosemite with Pack and Troop

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  • Help planning trip to Yosemite with Pack and Troop

    Looking for advice from our California brethren, or those that have been to Yosemite recently.

    My Pack and Troop are planning a Family Camp/High Adventure next summer. At this point, I figure there will somewhere between 30-50 people, which puts us squarely into a group campsite. I've been researching such campsites, and it looks like YNP has several, but they book only 5 months in advance, and because there are limited sites, I suspect that they are booked in a matter of seconds by people hovering over the 'enter' key.

    So I am looking for strategies for making sure we have somewhere to stay for 2-3 days, near or in the Yosemite Valley. Traveling 2 hours from the campsite to the points of interest in the Park would not be a good option, with younger kids along, as well as the older kids.

    Any fallback campsites near the Valley that would have group sites?


  • #2
    A call to your Senator or Congressman might be beneficial. They can work wonders sometimes.


    • #3
      Camp 4 Location: Yosemite Valley, near Yosemite Lodge Elevation: 4,000 ft (1,200 m) Open: All year Reservations: No, but the campground fills early most mornings from spring through fall. Cost: $5/night per person (a total of six people will be assigned to each campsite) Number of sites: 35 RV length: Not permitted Trailer length: Not permitted Parking: Parking is available adjacent to the campground. A parking permit is required from spring through fall. You will receive a free parking permit upon registering. Sleeping in vehicles is not permitted. Groceries: Nearby (Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite Village) Showers: Nearby (Curry Village and Housekeeping Camp) Pets: Not permitted (learn more about pet regulations) Each campsite contains a fire pit (no grill), picnic table, and four shared food lockers [33"(D)x45"(W)x18"(H)], and is near a bathroom with potable water and flushing toilets. Camp 4 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its nationally significant role in the development of rock climbing as a sport. How to register at Camp 4 From spring through fall, a campground ranger staffs Camp 4 each day. You must register with the ranger in order to stay at Camp 4. The ranger arrives at the campground kiosk around 8:30 am, although, a line has often formed well before then and the campground may fill before everyone in line is registered. Space is available on a per-person basis and each person wishing to register must be present. Six people will be assigned to each campsite; people in one group may be assigned to different campsites. You can register for up to the maximum stay limit (you don't need to register every day). There is a 30-night camping limit within Yosemite National Park in a calendar year; however, May 1 - September 15, the camping limit in Yosemite is 14 nights, and only seven of those nights can be in Yosemite Valley or Wawona.


      • #4
        O!M!G! 30-50 people? Just spend a few days in Grand Central Station. It will be just about the same quality experience.

        Look, if you really want to enjoy Yosemite, head to the back country and slim the numbers appropriately. Sorry, but what you describe sounds, well....not me.


        • #5

          It's late in the season and you won't have many options. So here I go, Yosemite Valley is busy, I mean very busy. If you want any slim chance to get a Valley camp site. Consider volunteering for a service project in Yosemite Valley. Even these projects fill up hours after they post. So please don't be disappointed. You will be offered a group site for volunteers and be given camp days per volunteer time. Contact Heather Boothe at 209-379-1850 or -1855 or email at . In winter/spring our office is generally staffed Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm.
          Next: Camping outside the Valley at Crane Flat. It's a 30 Minute drive to Yosemite Valley. But no group camp to my knowledge and the cost will be high.
          But: this late in the season I would bet on finding a site at Tuolumne Meadows group camp. Check the Yosemite web site, it is a 2 hour drive to Yosemite Valley which may not meet your needs. But Tuolumne Meadows offers a lot of options. Short and long day hikes for beginners in the meadows, advanced day hikes to the high country. Also, cooler days, easier to get away from the crowds, and easier to view wild life.

          Last edited by Old_Guy; 06-24-2013, 04:15 PM.


          • #6

            Thanks for the input...

            Pack...Our Pack and Troop are very tightly linked...and at our last Pack/Troop family camp, we had 37 numbers I suspect will be somewhere between 30-50 people attending. Heading to the backcountry with cubbies is a no-go, so we're front-country bound...The plan is to take the Boy Scouts on an overnight backpacking trip to get them some space and separation, and give them a different experience from the cubbies...

            Old Guy...This is for next summer, not this summer. They don't even open up reservations until 5 months out. I did talk to Heather and its an option, but not sure if we want to spend what is really limited time doing a service project.


            • #7
              Is there even a single group campsite at Yosemite that will handle your size group? From their website:

              Group Camps
              Group campsites are available all year at Wawona Campground, and during summer at Hodgdon Meadow, Bridalveil Creek, and Tuolumne Meadows Campgrounds. Sites are designated for groups of 13 to 30 people. Group camps have tent sites only. Up to five vehicles can be parked near a group camp. Reservations are required.

              So not only would you have to be lucky enough to score one group site, you'd also have to score at least 1 or 2 more to accommodate your group. It doesn't hurt to try, but I would definitely start thinking of other options.


              • #8
                This sounds like an adult idea......

                50 folks is a bad idea...Overwhelming local resources.....

                One of the reason we have such a poor reputation in outdoor community


                • #9
                  I would recommend camping in the off season, you are more likely to get your reservations then. National Parks are Grand Central Station all summer long, so you will have a better experience in the off season too.
                  Splitting the pack and troop so the older boys get some backpacking experience is a good idea too. Depending on how many boys you have per patrol you might look into getting two permits, each for a different trail in the backcountry; most places only allow 8 to 11 people on a Backcountry permit anyway. The most important thing is to book as early as you can, otherwise your permits could end up being at opposite ends of the park making logistics a nightmare.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
                    This sounds like an adult idea......

                    50 folks is a bad idea...Overwhelming local resources.....

                    One of the reason we have such a poor reputation in outdoor community
                    I wonder if it has more to do with the way certain units act than the number of people camping?
                    Is it More Overwhelming for a Group of 50 than Ten Groups of 5?


                    • #11
                      Give the Greater Yosemite Area Council a call...


                      • #12
                        I've always wanted to go to Yosemite. I don't know why, but I've always been fascinated by geysers/volcanoes/pretty much any natural disaster, I've written three different school papers on natural disasters, one on the general subject, one on volcanoes/earthquakes, and a third on tornados/hurricanes. Be sure to visit Old Faithful for me.


                        • le Voyageur
                          le Voyageur commented
                          Editing a comment
                          It's an easy mistake..... you're not the first, nor will you be the last. Been many times I've heard it... would be sitting at the Fruit Yard in Modesto enjoying an early breakfast before heading out to Yosemite. and hear tourists gushing about seeing Old Faithful.. However, I truly doubt they were disappointed. None the less, you need to visit. The John Muir trail is a awesome hike....

                        • EagleScout441
                          EagleScout441 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          After visiting Yellowstone and Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park, Yosemite will be next. Yosemite might not have geysers, volcanoes, or hot springs with brightly colored bacteria, but it does have amazing hikes and beautiful waterfalls.
                          Jellystone, ha ha, very funny.

                        • King Ding Dong
                          King Ding Dong commented
                          Editing a comment
                          When you get there say hi to Sam for me!

                      • #13
                        Soooooo, do you guys sleep in a bigtop circus tent?