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Old 03-17-2010, 08:30 AM   #1
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Yosemite camping

We are heading to Yosemite in the middle of May for a week and are wondering about food storage. Has anyone had experience with this in Yosemite? We have the PH top, does the Park service considers this like a tent trailer? We would like to keep unopened food in the fridge/freezer as opposed to an ice chest that we would put in the food lockers. Any thoughts or personal experiences would be helpfull. Also any must see things that maybe are not in the guidebooks?

Thanks,Wildhare
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:55 AM   #2
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Re: Yosemite camping

I assume you have reservations already, right?

Our only criteria is that the top be down and all of the windows are closed tight when we are away from the van for a while (like out on a hike). Food in the refrigerator isn't a problem. We have 4WD which puts everything a little higher off of the ground which is helpful. The rangers have never questioned us about not putting food in the food lockers. We also toss food that has been opened. The bear problem has, I think, gotten better over the years...the last time we saw a bear in the valley was at least 20 years ago. But they are still ripping open vehicles. Rumor is that they know which cars are the easiest to get into and they certainly know what ice chests look like.

May is a great time in the Valley...the waterfalls are at their peak! Take rain gear and climb the Mist Trail if you are up to it. The bottom of Yosemite Falls is also very impressive that time of year. There are a lot of people in Yosemite during the prime season but it doesn't take much to get away from them. Tioga Pass usually doesn't open until Memorial Day but if you can drive up to Tuolumne Meadows, it makes for a great day trip.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:34 PM   #3
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Re: Yosemite camping

Similar post:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2946&hilit=bears
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:40 AM   #4
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Re: Yosemite camping

Thanks for the responses! Yes we have reservations for one night at Wawona,three at North pines and one at Hogden Meadows. Hoping the road up north opens early so we can go up there. Glad to hear that we will be able to keep food in the fridge as long as we are carefull.

Thanks,Wildhare
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:04 PM   #5
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Re: Yosemite camping

I have probably spent months of my life in the Valley. I've seen lots of bears. Last I saw was in Upper Pines October 31, 2009 about 2 hours after dusk. It was in the campsites looking for an open bear box to jump head first into which is why you always keep your bear box closed and locked even if you are at the picnic table 5 ft away. What do you do when you are staring at a bears ass eating all your food.

Keeping food in your rig whatever it is, is not worth it. My brother worked in the park for 2 years and had years of experience with bears prior to that. Kept his mini van clean, not spotless but no food, no wrappers, no trash, maybe an old stain on the carpet. Parked over night at park employee offices a bear tore off his rear window.

As general practice the bears checkout the cars from dusk til dawn. I've never had a problem and leave tons of food and messes in the car during daylight but food is never in the rig at night. Bears are scared of people. I believe the bears honestly know "if they (the bear) touchs you a person they (the bear) will be killed". This is pretty much park policy. If a bear is breaking into cars, it is relocated (like 200 miles away), if it returns (which they do) and keeps doing it then it is killed.

If you are asking a purely policy question:
The rangers will not probably bother you if you are in and out of your rig with food in the campground.

If you want to be lazy a good policy all food not in the fridge into the bear box. Only food which stays in the fridge is unopenned. Once opened it goes in the box. But I put it in the box.
Having your rig tore apart and being partly responsible for killing a bear isn't worth being lazy for 5 days.

Oh, sorry no way will Hwy 120 be open accross Tioga Pass. CA has got snow this year and the park even in low snow years rarely opens the road before M-day weekend. The real issue is the road has some huge granite slabs which hold snow for a long time and will slide onto a plowed road.

Tips for the Valley. Start your hikes early. Use the SMB to make breakfast while it is cold out and be at trailhead an hour after day break. You should be able to drive where ever you want and the park will seem magical. Sleep in and slack the park and you will have rangers yelling at you and the park will seem like Disneyland on a Saturday hell. Have a great trip!
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:21 AM   #6
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Re: Yosemite camping

Wildhare, here is the link to the Coulterville Trail you requested.
http://autoramblings.com/sportsmobile/?p=1787

Sorry it took so long...have a nice trip to Yosemite. Maybe we will cross paths.

Dave.
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