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Old 06-09-2016, 05:27 PM   #1
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Mammoth Yosemite 2wd camping

So I just got granted vacation days for July 20 through the 25th, would like to try out some camping with the family, we are looking for a campsite that is 2wd friendly, we are planning on taking the 395 up, and doing a couple day trips into Yosemite, all reserved campsites have been gone for months now, can anybody recommend any cool places to camp that are stillwithin a reasonable distance to the park, we will be tent camping and have four kids ages four through 10

Any help would certainly be appreciated, thank you
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:47 PM   #2
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Keep checking the recreation.gov site for reservations multiple times a day.b frustrating, yes but we have had luck catching a cancellation. Staying in the park, on the valley floor, especially at North Pines CG, is very special and worth it - although Big Pine can be a bit congested, so much so I might skip that one unless the site was good.

Outside on hwy 120 there are a couple of places. Good Luck.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:29 PM   #3
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Tuolumne Meadows is a good campsite in the park as well.. and a little less hectic than the valley floor. Same thing as Ray, hit refresh a bunch.

Also check June Lake and Twin Lakes, just south of the park on 395.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:47 PM   #4
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Ah, good reminder Robb -
There is lots of free dispersed 2wd accessible camping between Mammoth and Lee Vining, and off the scenic loop road. Stop at the visitor center in Mammoth Lakes and grab their free OHV maps and ask about disperse camping. You do need to be self contained.

FYI - we have stayed overnight, top up, in the rest stop off 395 just north of M Lakes turn off a number of times. Just can't whip everything out and set up camp, but most rest stops allow 8 hr stay. There are some BLM land areas
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Old 06-09-2016, 07:59 PM   #5
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You also might be able to snag a tent site at the Mono Vista RV Park right in Lee Vining. It's crowded, but they have decent showers and restrooms. Not really camping, but access to Yosemite is perfect from there. Just head up 120 into the park. 12 miles from Lee Vining to Tioga Pass. Also, don't miss dinner at least once at the Whoa Nelly Deli/Marathon Gas Station. Almost a 5 star restaurant. Live music on Thursday and Sunday usually.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:47 PM   #6
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in yoesimite camp 4 is a walk in camp ground. Its hit and miss this time of year. if you are doing in van camping you could just sleep in the parkin area. Its worth checking out. Also you are allowed to camp in the parking lot at glacier point till october i believe.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:13 PM   #7
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There are a few spots west of 395 on 120. At the crest area, Saddlebag lake is really nice but small. It's one of the highest CG's in California and the views are outstanding. There is a lower camp at the road but if you drive back to the lake there is another first come first serve camp. The marina serves an OK breakfast. Tuolumne Meadows might be tough to grab a spot in...it's very busy but I feel the area has the finest scenic beauty in the park which might be debatable. Another really good camp that is first come first serve is the primitive CG called Porcupine Flat. Kind of busy but there is a bit more room between the neighbors and your site. Yosemite Creek is similar. White Wolf has the larger RV's. Tamarack Flat is by far the best IMO. It is a primitive CG (heads but no water) but is large and you usually can get a site if you arrive early around 10AM. It's the most quiet CG I've ever been to on average inside the park. The nice thing about Tamarack is it's fairly central to most of the park attractions and usually cooler at that time of year compared to the valley floor. Most people want to see the valley and at least Glacier Point and the drive times are very reasonable from Tamarack. The drive from 395 to the valley floor is not a short drive and staying outside the park along the 395 corridor limits your visit times in the valley.
The main thing to grabbing a first come first serve site is to avoid weekends and try for mid week. Even then you might have issues. 1der is correct about the valley floor sites if you don't mind hoping for an opening.

I've got other suggestions on my web site about places over in the Mono Lake area and spots on this side of the Sierra's but several are more off road in nature. Still it might be worth a look. It just sounds like you're limited on time. Lots to see in that park with only two days to explore.

Have a good time.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SixCardCharlie View Post
..... Also you are allowed to camp in the parking lot at glacier point till october i believe.
I'm gonna say no SCC, they will roust you. I deal with the park service yearly with their astronomy program and they don't even want us sleeping out there . However Bridalveil CG is a nice more modern CG along the drive to the point and is another first come first serve spot. It has running water and similar to the valley's camps.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:25 PM   #9
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Get ready for heat and mosquitos if you're camping in that area. They are already both pretty bad. I definitely recommend Whitney Portal near Lone Pine but it's a helluva climb up to it and may only work for you on the way there or on the way back. We were there last night. Mosquitos already out but it's comfortable at 7800. Lots of the Yos campgrounds weren't open yet and the rest full, even Tamarack Flat was full early. We stayed just outside the park on Tioga Lake with several other folks who found the campground closed. Get the Ultimate Campground Project app and it will find you tons of lesser known spots.
+1 on the Whoa Nellie in Lee Vining.



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Old 06-10-2016, 12:36 AM   #10
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I'm gonna say no SCC, they will roust you. I deal with the park service yearly with their astronomy program and they don't even want us sleeping out there . However Bridalveil CG is a nice more modern CG along the drive to the point and is another first come first serve spot. It has running water and similar to the valley's camps.
Ive actually stayed there for a few nights. The map/information paper that you get when you go in actually says you can stay there till a certain month in the year.

I think it was october. I could have read somthing wrong and just got lucky lol..
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