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!
Working on Converting a 2014 Sienna AWD Limited for rock climbing and back country skiing
Previous Rig: 1996 EB Dodge with Contempo Top