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Old 10-02-2013, 07:39 PM   #1
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Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

Seeing as its extremely hard to get the real story on what exactly shutdown means, I thought I'd post my experience. The situation is changing day by day, so don't assume anything, but don't stay home and mope either!

Drove through the park west to east this afternoon (Oct 2), entering at Arch Rock and exiting at Tioga Pass. Signs but no barricades and no rangers at either entrance. I saw only one ranger the entire way, driving down Big Oak Flat Rd. Fewer than 10% of pull outs were blocked off, and people were stopping to enjoy the scenery in all the usual places - as long as you don't leave your vehicle and take off hiking I saw no evidence that you couldn't enjoy the drive as usual. Traffic was maybe a little lighter than a normal fall weekday afternoon, but there were plenty of people doing the same as me. I did not go into the Valley so can't speak to that, but if you need a Valley fix there are pullouts with good views of the Valley from Ge Big Oak Flat Rd., and of course there's Tunnel View.

USFS campgrounds easy of Tioga Pass wee OPEN (Tioga and Ellery at least, and I would guess others too). Aspens are just a hair before peak at 8000-9000' (lots of yellow but not much red yet). It's a great time to visit this area.

Seeing Tuolumne Meadows without its usual fringe of cars was a highlight of the trip.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:37 PM   #2
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Re: Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

Interesting. So many USFS campgrounds are actually run (basic maintenance, fees, etc) by the big concessionaires so maybe they won't shut.

I just got back from S UT and people were really pissed, since it's a long way to get there, and many of the non-Fed accommodations are lackluster.

Also just read about some people who got jammed on a CO River trip. Yikes.

But OTOH maybe some opportunistic types will get nice accommodations when things (unexpectedly) reopen, or get to the front of the line for spaces on river permits, climbing permits, Ahwahnee rooms, etc. I sure feel for the poor folks who paid for nice Nat'l Park vacations only to get screwed.

Rob
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:18 PM   #3
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Re: Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

Glad to hear some USFS campgrounds are open. The best ones over here have shut down, right at peak leaf season (hurting TONS of small businesses and families too since most schools have a Fall break week this coming week).
I'll be in Colorado looking for camping middle of next week so I'm hoping it's over by then or that some of the USFS campgrounds in N Co or southern Wyoming are open. I don't mind boondocking but that's what everyone else will be doing to if everything is closed.

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Old 10-04-2013, 12:06 PM   #4
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Re: Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

USFS campgrounds at Whitney Portal...all CLOSED, and actively patrolled. Whitney Portal Store is open, and there are plenty of people going up the mountain despite not being able to collect their permit, but there are also some sitting at the store moping instead.

Alabama Hills...OPEN, but there are a lot of people packed into nooks and crannies so you might have to search a bit for a spot.

Also, should have mentioned this sooner, but BLM has gated the road to the campgrounds in the Merced River canyon below Briceburg, so they are CLOSED.
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:55 PM   #5
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Re: Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

This sucks. I have a question for anyone who camps at USFS cg's often. Some where I am going are left open in the off season, with free camping but no amenities (No restrooms, no hosts, no water, no anything). What's the concensus on whether they would close those, since they are already basically closed?
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:39 PM   #6
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Re: Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

In theory, the reason they are closing facilities is because there is no one to maintain them (clean the restroom, etc.), so facilities that are normally unmaintained should be unaffected by the shutdown.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
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Re: Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogmobile
In theory, the reason they are closing facilities is because there is no one to maintain them (clean the restroom, etc.), so facilities that are normally unmaintained should be unaffected by the shutdown.

You mean like the Vietnam Memorial in DC that now has a fence and someone to keep people out?

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Old 10-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #8
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Re: Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

Here in Tahoe the Zephyr cove area is run by concessionaires and is still closed. The marina is making all the boats leave their births. The paddle wheel boat can't run and the campground is closed.

Thanks for sharing about Yosemite. Sounds like it is a possible trip. I thought that because Tioga and Ellery are National Forest they would be closed.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

Saw several CG's closed along Sonora pass that are normally open this time of year but others were not blocked off. Most were ran by a concessionaires.
Oh well.
I can see a huge park, but BLM stuff? Most BLM is low maintenance. They just loose. The price to maintain vs. entry fees will be basically moot. Over a long period might be another issue but they still have to take care of the place. Probably cost more to do the shutdown than to just continue as normal when dealing with the small time stuff. Big time parks...that's a different story. They have huge budgets for all sorts of stuff that has nothing to do with camping or thoroughfares.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:59 AM   #10
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Re: Yosemite - Firsthand report from Shutdown Day 2

So how do you close BLM land? I'd guess that it's just a liability thing, where if someone gets hurt, they can't sue and say that it was because there was no on there to tell them not to look down into the active geyser, or pet the nice fluffy wolf.


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