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Old 10-23-2007, 07:21 PM   #1
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Yosemite - in December Winter?

I'm thinking of going to Yosemite around X-mas time in December of this year. I've searched the posts for Yosemite, but none geive me any good ideas of what Winter camping is like up there....

I know that most sites up in the park are dry camping, but with a 28' trailer and a 19 ft tow vehicle, I think I'm gonna have a tight fit in anything in the park, so I thinking of right outside the park.

Can anyone give me their thoughts on the weather / road condtions in Yosemite that time of year, as well as recomendations on full hook up campgrounds right outside Yosemite? I'm looking at Yosemite Lakes & Yosemite pines per the suggestion someone had outside the park, but open to aony other suggestions as well.

Stay at Yosemite - Welcome!

Yosemite Lodging, Camping, Cabins, and Campground

Internet access (in my own trailer via wi-fi) would also be important for me as well.

Thanks.

Kevin
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
I'm thinking of going to Yosemite around X-mas time in December of this year. I've searched the posts for Yosemite, but none geive me any good ideas of what Winter camping is like up there....

I know that most sites up in the park are dry camping, but with a 28' trailer and a 19 ft tow vehicle, I think I'm gonna have a tight fit in anything in the park, so I thinking of right outside the park.

Can anyone give me their thoughts on the weather / road condtions in Yosemite that time of year, as well as recomendations on full hook up campgrounds right outside Yosemite? I'm looking at Yosemite Lakes & Yosemite pines per the suggestion someone had outside the park, but open to aony other suggestions as well.

Stay at Yosemite - Welcome!

Yosemite Lodging, Camping, Cabins, and Campground

Internet access (in my own trailer via wi-fi) would also be important for me as well.

Thanks.

Kevin
Kevin,

The Tioga Pass road on the east side will be closed, of course. There are three entrances on the west side. The center entrance, up the Merced River, is the lowest in elevation. The north and south entrances may experience temporary closures. The campgrounds in the valley will not be crowded. Yosemite in winter is a wonderful place. If you have a generator, determine the hours it is allowed, it should keep your batteries charged. Free transportation inside the valley.

Bill
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:40 PM   #3
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Hi Kevin,

We spent a few days around Xmas in Yosemite over a couple of winters, in a pop-up trailer

It was great (even the time the snow that fell while we were out to dinner at a restaurant in the valley caused our 'wings' to collapse).

If they haven't changed the rules, Upper Pines (or Lower Pines, whichever is open that time of year) is first-come, first serve in Dec/Jan...and we never had a problem finding a spot.

I don't think you'd have much trouble pulling your trailer into one of the sites (unless there's been a heavy snowfall right before your arrival).

That time of year, it seemed the campground was usually 1/3 to 1/2 full.

In terms of Internet access, here's some info: Yosemite National Park - Internet Access (U.S. National Park Service)

If you opt for staying outside the park, it's about a 45 minute drive into the valley from the park entrance gate.

Over the years, we visited both ways (staying out and staying in) and we found it much more relaxing and enjoyable to stay inside.

Yosemite is one of my favorite places, any season of the year...Best wishes for your trip!

Lavonne
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:54 PM   #4
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Cold, but manageable..

Our neighbor (retired NASA engineer/bike racer..) is both summer and winter campground host at Yosemite in his Bigfoot Motorhome, which handles winter well, for weeks at a time. He spends summers up high, and winters in "Upper Pines Campground" inside the park. He's tried to get us to join him, without success so far, though other friends regularly head there and cook Thanksgiving dinner in RV, with occasional snow flurries to add to the holiday spirit... If you need real detailed info, PM me and I'll try to find his e-mail address.. The commercial RV parks outside Yosemite are at lower elevation (snow unlikely..) and have full hookups, but the trip in and out will be slow...

Sites are available, and Route 120 arrival (from northwest) has some pretty steep grades getting in and out, but with patience and flexibility it is do-able. You should look for "cold weather camping tips" for ideas on how to keep hoses and tanks from freezing, and how to manage electricity with generator, as suggested above. Solar and battery power aren't likely to help keep you warm in winter there.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:02 PM   #5
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Currently the only options with a trailer are SR120 and SR41. SR140 is closed to vehicles over 28' (I believe total length) due to a rock slide and the subsequent repairs to the road. SR41 only really makes sense if you are coming from the south. SR120 does have a very nice grade (Priest) from the intersection with SR49 but it is manageable.
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:31 PM   #6
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Yosemite is wonderful!

Yosemite is absolutely wonderful. Off season is the best! Even if lots of snow you won't be disappointed!

Good advice in this thread, be sure you protect your pipes from freezing, etc. No hookups in the park. The commercial places outside the park are truly quite a distance...to drive especially in winter and possibly bad weather. Just be sure you have chains or cables and/or 4 wheel drive on your tow vehicle if you go in and out of the park in winter if the weather will require. Some areas of the park are closed during winter months, but the valley floor is great. Many concessions are at a minimum so finding food, etc. is also limited to a few vendors and it may be important to note if driving in/out during the days.

I highly suggest going to the Awhanee Hotel and visiting! They have a great little bar that has soup and sandwiches in the winter and is a perfect place to enjoy. Their much more formal dinner is great as well, but a bit more spendy.

We went about a year ago in the fall and here is a thread if you haven't looked at it, some folks commented on their winter excursions there!
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ite-26038.html

Have fun, and take lots of pictures!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson)
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:06 PM   #7
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Yosemite Pines

We stayed there in July. The entire campground is dirt roads so it got very dirty and if there is moisture you will be in mud city. People ruuning the park were very nice. At least 45 min to the park entrance. The "priest" grade was quite impressive in a 34' motorhome, slow going up and very careful with brakes coming down.
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:27 PM   #8
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We had a grand time at Upper Pines a couple of weeks ago in our 25' wide body, and you shouldn't have any trouble getting into a site that fits. We went in through the southern 41/Wawona entrance, but 120 should be a similar experience. 140 is pretty much out of the question for us towing types.
As the other good forum folks have mentioned, it will be chilly, if not downright snowy--but beautiful, spectacular, wonderful, awesome, and well worth a little white-knuckling through a few turns to get there. And as CaddyGrn suggests, do take some time to visit the Awhanee. We always go there for at least one lunch and a mosey around, enjoying the fact the we, as taxpayers, own a bit of it.
Happy winter wandering!
Janet
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:15 PM   #9
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Janet, great photo. I hope to go there next winter with a 4x5 Cambo.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:57 PM   #10
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Make it happen and don't look back. I think the north entrance is always open and the adventure is for sure open.
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:32 PM   #11
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Yosemite in the winter. That's where we're headed, for New Years! We're staying at High Sierra RV Mobile Home/RV Park, in Oakhurst. We'll do the drive into the park during the day to visit. We cant wait.
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