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Old 03-13-2010, 08:18 AM   #1
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The Yosemite Campsite Game

I'm all set for Monday, March 15, 7am Pacific Time to simultaneously hit my submit button and dial the reservation numbers for a campsite at Yosemite in July, but it still a shot in the dark. If I'm not one of the "lucky winners" what are my chances of finding a first come first serve site using the strategy of avoiding weekends and getting there early in the day.

Also going to Sequoia/ Kings Canyon. Same question. Am I likely to find a first come first serve site?
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:44 AM   #2
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Success?

Lumatic,

Were you successful in obtaining reservations for Yosemite in July? We hope so.

Unfortunately, we're unable to provide any insight into any first come, first serve camping sites and hope that someone on the forums can enlighten us as well.

Happy and safe journeys,
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:21 AM   #3
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Nope, I was online at 7am and on the phone at the same time but was not able to get a reservation.
We made reservations at Yosemite Pines RV Park in Groveland which is about 20 miles west of the park. When we get out there we will keep an eye out for a first come first serve site in the park.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
Nope, I was online at 7am and on the phone at the same time but was not able to get a reservation.
Well that sucks. Getting a site there is pain.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:32 AM   #5
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Alternative to recreation.gov

You might want to consider checking Craigslist in California.

We sometimes see reservations being sold on the site. They're usually sold at a premium, but may be about the same when compared to private campgrounds, especially when you factor in the expense of gas and travel time to and from the park.

Good luck and please let us know how things work out in July.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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Campsite reservations sold on Craigslist?

I think I've heard it all now...
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:02 PM   #7
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There's a fellow that posts here every year; seems he has found the right combination and locks up several sites then sells them at an extra fee "for his trouble".

Not my cup of tea.

Pat
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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We have a site reserved for May

And even that was lucky. I did a bit of research and found that April & May were good months to find sites. The hardest part was finding an "RV" type site that a 28' trailer would fit in. We will be there May 4 - 7.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:32 PM   #9
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My husband and I had 5 laptops ready to go last year trying to get a spot in the valley. It was crazy!
We didn't get one but we checked Tuolumne Meadows shortly after the rush and we got a spot there for 5 days.
I am so glad we didn't get a valley spot. It is a zoo down there. We went down one day and couldn't wait to get back to the highlands.
It is cold at night in Tuolumne Meadows and very pleasant in the day. There are a lot of great hikes. Easy to extreme.
No bike paths and the roads are busy. Only for the experienced rider. There are bike paths in the valley.
No diesel fuel in the highlands. Fill up before you enter the park. There is diesel at the station on the way to the valley.
Tent camping is the norm in the highlands so you will feel like a bit of an interloper but you will not be the only RV. The rented ones are like locusts out west!
There is a small grocery store, outdoor shop, gas station and an inn. Most of the shopping is in the valley but shopping is not the big draw at Yosemite anyway.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:50 PM   #10
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I think the biggest challenge you will have finding a campsite in the valley floor is securing a site that can accommodate the length of your trailer. There are very few that accept much more than an 18ft RV. Even with my small 20ft Globe Trotter, I too struggle to find availability in the valley - Upper Pines is my favorite campground. Check back often!
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:52 PM   #11
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There's a fellow that posts here every year; seems he has found the right combination and locks up several sites then sells them at an extra fee "for his trouble".

Not my cup of tea.

Pat
Someone should report him. I don't think that the park service would look too favorably upon an individual scalping tickets for profit.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:12 PM   #12
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Nope, I was online at 7am and on the phone at the same time but was not able to get a reservation.
We made reservations at Yosemite Pines RV Park in Groveland which is about 20 miles west of the park. When we get out there we will keep an eye out for a first come first serve site in the park.
Keep checking! We were looking for a spot and I checked every 10-15 min for months and finally secured one at Hodgdon Meadow, not on the valley floor. They DO open up through cancellations. If you find one that you can use, get it! You can keep looking and cancel the one you don't want.

Another alternative is to park yourself in front of the reservation office on the valley floor. They will take care of reservations that are cancelled less than 24hr prior to arrivals. Then if you get a spot, you may lose one night at Yosemite Pines but that might be a price to pay.

Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:05 AM   #13
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It's True!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfrodge View Post
Campsite reservations sold on Craigslist?

I think I've heard it all now...
Lumatic,

This was just posted this morning in San Francisco's Craigslist:

Yosemite Camping Reservation

You can also post a "wanted" ad as others have recently.

Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:42 AM   #14
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Here is my blog entry regarding getting the reservation: Yosemite and Bishop | Nuestra casa rodante - Our Airstream, travels and such...
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