Mammoth Lakes / Yosemite
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Oct 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm #1281165
I'm thinking of heading down to Mammoth Lakes and then over to Yosemite this weekend and am hoping for some ideas.
I won't be backpacking on this trip, more sightseeing and light hiking. I'm ashamed to say I've never been before! Does anyone have anything good/bad to say about Camp 4 and/or the Curry Village tents? We'll be heading in from the East on Tioga Pass.Oct 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm #1795389Art …BPL Member
is Tioga Road still open ?
I haven't paid attention, you may want to check.
Camp 4 is a squalid array of camp sites for vagabonds.
that said … I've stayed there.
Curry Village is a noisy crowded tourist trap.
that said … I've stayed there too.Oct 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm #1795404Yuri RBPL Member
Can't say much about the camp sites, but the tmeps will be in the mid 20s at night – so be ready. Also there is some old snow and some trails up high are hard to find due to snow and little traffic.
Oh, we had coyotes visit us in the middle of the night – which was a bit unsettling.Oct 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm #1795424
Tioga Road was fast and clear on Oct. 22.
On the East Side, campgrounds at 7000' elevation stayed above freezing, but water was freezing at 10,000' shortly after sundown. There was still some old snow at 12,000'.
I have nothing good to say about Camp 4 or Curry Village.
–B.G.–Oct 26, 2011 at 9:29 pm #1795440Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I am with other others… curry village and camp 4 aren't great, EXCEPT that are in Yosemite valley, which even with the worse crowds is spetacular. You just need to have the perspective that that the camp is pure utility (to sleep) and you will be fine. If you want to spend mega bucks you could see if there is room at the Awanhnee. I have never done this, but it looked very nice the few times we had lunch there. Lunch was wonderful but quite pricy.
I don't have alternatives to suggest.
–MarkOct 27, 2011 at 11:05 am #1795623
I'm not sure what is still open but there are first-come first-served campgrounds on the Tioga road that will be much nicer than valley camping. White Wolf comes to mind and there are others closer to Crane Flat (and the valley). These aren't quite as convenient re: access to valley activities but I prefer the shortish drive (nice scenery) to camping w/the masses.Oct 27, 2011 at 11:15 am #1795624
I haven't come close to hiking all the trails out of the valley but the Mist Trail has been my favorite so far.
Up the Mist Trail to Nevada Falls and then down the JMT to get back to the trail head. I wouldn't recommend using the Mist Trail in the down direction.Oct 27, 2011 at 11:23 am #1795627
"first-come first-served campgrounds on the Tioga road"
The problem is that this late in the season, virtually everything along the Tioga Road is locked up for the season.
—B.G.–Oct 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm #1795674
# Yosemite Valley: Upper Pines and Lower Pines Campgrounds are open; reservations required. Camp 4 is open on a first-come, first-served basis. North Pines Campground is closed for the season.
# Outside Yosemite Valley:
Hodgdon Meadow and Wawona Campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Tuolumne Meadows, White Wolf, Tamarack Flat, Yosemite Creek, Porcupine Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Crane Flat Campgrounds are closed for the season.Oct 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm #1795682
Thanks for the info. Looks like Hogdon Meadow/Wawona Campgrounds are my best bet with such short notice. I may check into one of the Mono Lake campgrounds for one night before heading over the pass to Yosemite.Oct 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm #1795694Ken RossBPL Member
I was on the East Side 10/21-23. Tioga Road was open and clear and the weather was perfect for fall hiking. There was patchy snow above 11000 ft from the early October storm but the trails were clear and there was no problem finding campsites. Facilities along Tioga Road are closed for the season, but some of the national forest campgrounds in Lee Vining Canyon are open. Stealth camping in the pumice around Mono Craters is an option if you've got 4WD (easy to get stuck if you don't). This late in the year, you may be able to get a site at Pines campground in Yosemite Valley on a walk-in basis, especially if you arrive early. Call 209-372-0266 for availability. Wouldn't recommend Camp 4 or Curry Village.Oct 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm #1795709
"Stealth camping in the pumice around Mono Craters is an option"
Some of the campgrounds there were closed before the end of September, but there is a lot of unmanaged camp space without water.
–B.G.–Oct 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm #1795749Dave TMember
Drove past turnoff to Tioga Road today, and it's still open. Aspens were great on Monitor a week ago, and pretty much done today.Oct 31, 2011 at 5:18 pm #1797199
How did it turn out?Oct 31, 2011 at 8:44 pm #1797294
…it's only Monday give a guy a break. :D
We drove down to Mono Lake and took some pictures of the tufa, dinner in Mammoth Lakes, and spend the night in one of the few motel's in Lee Vining. We woke up early and drove over Tioga Pass into the park. Pretty great way to first experience Yosemite in my opinion. We stopped at a few places for photos, Tuolumne Meadows and Olmstead Point, before driving further into the main valley. Traffic started to pick up for what I thought would be a quite time in the park. I don't want to think what this place is like mid-summer! We had made reservations for one of the unheated Curry Village tents two days before and it was ready for us when we got there around two in the afternoon. The spacing on the tents were pretty close but we were fortunate to have only one close neighbor which was another couple withou kids. I was concerned about how noisy it was going to be at night but I didn't need to use my earplugs. We then went to the Sentinel Bridge location for sunset photos of Half Dome. After it got dark we went and made dinner in one of the picnic areas near the Ahwahnee. No cooking is allowed in Curry Village and the nearest picnic area is the one near the Ahwahnee! After dinner we went back out to the meadow near Sentinel Bridge for some star photos. The next morning we woke up to take some sunrise photos of El Capitan and then drove up to Glacier Point before heading back home over Tioga Pass.
I think next time we'll try and come around September to camp up at the higher elevations from Tuolumne Meadows to Tioga Pass. If you camp at Curry Village bring your own lock for the bear-proof boxes in front of the tent. I had a zip tie that worked for keeping my Bearvault and cooking gear safe.Oct 31, 2011 at 9:53 pm #1797309
Glad to hear it went well. I agree that entering where you did and gave you a really nice overview of the park.
There's a ton of hiking/camping to be done off of 120. I've only done a bit (May Lake, Glen Aulin, Vogelsang) but I keep seeing more and more that I want to do. Next on my list are Glen Aulin to Hetch Hetchy and then some route or another from 120 to the valley.Nov 1, 2011 at 6:52 am #1797349Art …BPL Member
You stayed in Lee Vining and missed the Mobile Gas Station Restaurant ??
of course maybe he has shut down by this late in the season.Nov 1, 2011 at 7:13 am #1797352
We missed it on the way in as the South Tufa are further south. We hadn't been to Mammoth Lakes before either so it was nice to drive the 20 miles to get there. It was good too because gas was cheaper there. On our way out Sunday we stopped at the Mobile gas station just before 395 and bought some fries to go. It was their last day and the fries were delicious. Too good in fact that I won't drive by again without getting some.Nov 1, 2011 at 8:52 am #1797388Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Gourmet food at a gas station. Pretty much their whole menu rocks, I I always try to stop thereNov 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm #1797843
Photos of the trip:
More photos can be seen in the Picasa Web Album.Nov 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm #1797851Jay WilkersonBPL Member
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Great pictures Eric!!!Nov 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm #1797861
Thanks for sharing.
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