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rules in yosemite valley
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camhook


Feb 5, 2012, 11:36 AM
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rules in yosemite valley  (North_America: United_States: California: Yosemite_National_Park)
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Hi there,

we are French climbers and planning a trip to Yosemite this spring. Ideally, we would like to stay 3 weeks in the valley, but we hear that it not so easy...

On the NP's website we read that we could stay only 7 days in the valley between 1 May and 15 Sept. We were wondering how is it controlled? Is it the number of nights spent at a campground in the valley OR the total number of days spent in the valley (ie including nights spent in a big wall and/or climbing days, but with nights spent outside the valley) which is counted in the 7 days? Is there a gate at the entrance of the valley where our names are taken each time we enter and exit?

Could you recommend us a camping or squatting place to sleep (with a tent or in our car) outside the valley or the NP? In that case, would it be easy to park our car for the time spent in the climbs, which could be one or several days? Is the parking free?

We are confused when we hear that some climbers spend all their summer in the valley how do they manage?

Thank you for your help in advance!


Gmburns2000


Feb 5, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Registered: Mar 6, 2007
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Re: [camhook] rules in yosemite valley [In reply to]
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camhook wrote:
Hi there,

we are French climbers and planning a trip to Yosemite this spring. Ideally, we would like to stay 3 weeks in the valley, but we hear that it not so easy...

On the NP's website we read that we could stay only 7 days in the valley between 1 May and 15 Sept. We were wondering how is it controlled? Is it the number of nights spent at a campground in the valley OR the total number of days spent in the valley (ie including nights spent in a big wall and/or climbing days, but with nights spent outside the valley) which is counted in the 7 days? Is there a gate at the entrance of the valley where our names are taken each time we enter and exit?

Could you recommend us a camping or squatting place to sleep (with a tent or in our car) outside the valley or the NP? In that case, would it be easy to park our car for the time spent in the climbs, which could be one or several days? Is the parking free?

We are confused when we hear that some climbers spend all their summer in the valley how do they manage?

Thank you for your help in advance!

You can stay in the Valley longer if you sleep on one of the walls, but if you pull on a single draw then you're out.


USnavy


Feb 6, 2012, 6:19 AM
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Re: [camhook] rules in yosemite valley [In reply to]
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camhook wrote:

On the NP's website we read that we could stay only 7 days in the valley between 1 May and 15 Sept. We were wondering how is it controlled? Is it the number of nights spent at a campground in the valley OR the total number of days spent in the valley (ie including nights spent in a big wall and/or climbing days, but with nights spent outside the valley) which is counted in the 7 days? Is there a gate at the entrance of the valley where our names are taken each time we enter and exit?
It is controlled by a log that each campground maintains. When you register for a campground you are required to show ID. They take your name down and enter it in a log. When someone tries to register at Camp IV, the park ranger will often look through the last few weeks of the log to verify you have not exceeded your allotment yet. The seven day limit only applies to camping. There is no limit to how many days you can stay in the park or up on the wall. Keep in mind the seven day limit is a combination for the entire park, so you are not allowed to stay seven days at one campground than travel to another for seven more days. There is a gate at the entrance where you will be required to pay to get into Yosemite, but they dont take down your name. There is no reason for them to, you can enter and exit the park as often as you want.

camhook wrote:
Could you recommend us a camping or squatting place to sleep (with a tent or in our car) outside the valley or the NP? In that case, would it be easy to park our car for the time spent in the climbs, which could be one or several days? Is the parking free?

If you cannot get reservations for a campground, one option would be to go to Camp IV. Camp IV is the only walk in campground that will be open in the early spring (other than the backpacker's campground). But you have to get your ass up extra early at 5AM on many days to get a guaranteed spot. There is normally a long line and many of the people that wait in line dont get a spot because the campground is often full.

It is, for the most part, illegal to camp in Yosemite outside of a campground. This includes sleeping in RV's and cars. Outside Yosemite, you can do almost anything you want. As far as I am aware, you can sleep in your car if you want, as so long as your not in the park. There are also numerous campgrounds outside Yosemite that will have openings and that have a much longer limit (30 days+). However keep in mind, things in Yosemite are not exactly concentrated. Things are spread out and the campgrounds outside Yosemite are at best a 45min drive from El Cap, each way. Sometimes those campgrounds are full and the nearest campground that has an open spot is in excess of an hour drive each way. I would not recommend parking your car and walking into the park. I dont even know if its really possible. Yosemite does have a shuttle service, but I dont think it operates outside the park. Inside the park you could park your car and just use the shuttle service, but I dont personally, I find driving myself is far faster. When you are up on the wall you can simply park your car on the side of the road right in front of El Cap, which is very nice. Its about a 20 minute hike to the Nose of El Cap from the road (without haulbags). Any tourist related area is going to have limited free parking. Most crags that are not in a tourist area (like the Cookie Cliffs) are much less crowded and will have more free parking spots.

camhook wrote:
We are confused when we hear that some climbers spend all their summer in the valley how do they manage?
Not easily. Camping in Yosemite is a bigger PIA than any other crag in the United States that I have been to. The people that stay in Yosmeite year long almost always end up breaking the law, there really isint any way around it. There are a few options for those wanting to exceed the seven day limit. There is a backpacker's campground that is designed for backpackers going on multi day hikes. The campground will give you two or three extra days. However you have to lie to the NPS and make up a hike that you supposedly are going to go on as they will ask. You can sleep in your car. If you block all the windows so no one can see, you will likely get away with it for awhile if you park in a crowded area like Curry Village. You can sleep up on El Cap. As long as your ledge is physically on El Cap, you can say you are doing a wall. But I dont know how far up you have to go. I am sure one pitch would be sufficient, but I dont know that ten feet off the ground would cut it.

If you are camping with a friend, you can have him register at Camp IV alone, than when his time is up, you register a spot alone. You can sneak into Camp IV at night and wake up really early and head out. You can drive to another campground and ask someone who registered a spot to let you sleep there as well for a few dollars.

Those are some things that long term climbers do in Yosemite, but keep in mind almost all of those are illegal and if you are caught you may be fined. Unfortunately the camping situation in Yosemite is so fucked that its very challenging to stay there all summer without doing something illegal.

Unfortunately Yosemite is a tourist clusterfuck. My mission every time I am there is to try to go to crags away from the population, and get up on the wall as soon as me and my party is ready. Its much less crowded up on the wall (unless your doing the Nose) Wink If your just going to Yosemite to do aid, the base of El Cap is one of the best options. Normally ample parking, no tourists, lots of space, reasonable approach.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Feb 6, 2012, 6:30 AM)


Partner phylp


Feb 8, 2012, 7:49 PM
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Re: [camhook] rules in yosemite valley [In reply to]
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It is certainly too late to get reserved camping in the Valley - that usually sells out 6 months in advance.

But as the above poster said, if you show up on a weekday morning, you will most likely be able to get a site for 1 week at camp 4, which is a walk-in campground. I think the rate for that is $5 per person per night. The parking lot is right near the campground. Parking is free.

You will still probably be able to get reservation for a week at some of the other campgrounds in the park, but not in the Valley, like Hodgton Meadow or Wawona. You can search and book those sites online thru the govt camping reservation website. Those sites are $20 per night per site and they allow 6 people at a site. The drive into the Valley will be about 45-1 hour depending on which campground. Once you get into the Valley, you can park your car at several parking areas, e.g Curry Village for free and you can leave it for a few days.

The closest organized camping area I know of outside the park is
http://www.indianflatrvpark.com/index.htm

it is mostly an RV campground but they have a number of tent sites for $25 per night, which includes access to hot showers. It is in El Portal on rt 140 and it takes about 30 minutes from there to get to the center of the Valley. Only about 15 minutes to get to Arch Rock and the Cookie.


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