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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Yosemite Campgrounds & Bears

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Dennispel

Southeast texas

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Posted: 01/20/12 10:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Help! I'm losing my mind trying to make plans for the Yosemite leg of our 5 week summer family trip. I've been looking at options outside of the park for a few reasons.

1--Reservations--they're not open yet, but I want to be prepared since it sounds near impossible to get them.
2--Hook-ups. Would prefer them, but of course, not necessary, and would definately trade staying in the park for hook-ups.
3--BEARS--This is the one that keeps freaking me out. We have no experience in the Bear department. The biggest thing we have to hide our food from while camping is racoons. I know the campsites have bear boxes, but the Yosemite site says EVERYTHING must go in them. We'll be packed for a 5 week trip, so there is no way everything that is required to go in them will fit. I would love to hear from those of you that have experience and advice on this. I would really rather avoid coming back to find a bear sitting on my couch eating my blueberries or shampoo.

That said--I would prefer to stay in the park to cut down on daily travel time. If it isn't an option--I'm searching out campgrounds that are close and on roads accessible to our approx 50ft combined length, and very limited mountain driving experience. I've read through all the posts that came up in my multiple searches, but I feel like I'm no closer to a decision I can be confident in. Thanks everyone, if for nothing more than listening to my rant! Sarah

* This post was edited 01/20/12 10:42am by Dennispel *


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korbe

Northern California

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Posted: 01/20/12 10:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would just keep food items in your RV while you are away and at night. no biggy.


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Dennispel

Southeast texas

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Posted: 01/20/12 10:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

korbe wrote:

I would just keep food items in your RV while you are away and at night. no biggy.


So, is the bear box requirement for tent campers only? That makes sense to me, but after seeing some of the bear/car videos, I wasn't so confident! Funny thing is, I don't have any real fears of bears being a threat to us, just our vehicles. Thanks for the response!

4runnerguy

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Posted: 01/20/12 10:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The bear boxes are actually quite large. We easily fit all of our stuff in there. Bring a couple of totes for your foodstuffs and personal hygiene products and a cooler or two and you won't have problems. Of course we never bring a full months worth of food with us -- we shop on the road and maybe have a week or tens days worth of food.

Unlike korbe, I definitely wouldn't suggest keeping food in the RV. We seemed to have a "bear trail" right behind our campsite. Never had him come into our campsite, but wouldn't want to tempt him either.


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Smokey Lew

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Posted: 01/20/12 10:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't think you need to worry to much if you use common sense about leaving food outside. Most of the concern is about tent campers who are not careful about food storage. You certainly don't want to leave ice chests or boxes of food visible in your car.

I haven't heard of any cases where bears have attempted to break into a TT but I suppose if you leave food out on the counter or in plane sight through a window, you may have a problem.

It will be interesting to hear what others have to say.


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JRtraveler8

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Posted: 01/20/12 11:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

we stayed at the Mariposa KOA in Midpines. Not a bear in sight. Full hook-up and 50 amp, cable and wifi. It is about 42 miles outside of Yosemite. It is curvy and up and down on way in. We toured in our jeep liberty. Have a great trip.

agesilaus

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Posted: 01/20/12 12:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To my pleasure I actually got reservations for June on the 15th. Let me warn you to be online, and have recreation.gov loaded up with the site and time block that you want. I had a couple windows open with alternatives in each one. At 0700 PST (1000 EST) hit that reserve button. Watch your computer clock for it to click over. If you wait you probably aren't getting a reservation after it took my first choice in North Pines I clicked the other window just to see if it took and it was already taken.

Don't forget that RV sites are very limited.

They give you a very narrow block of time to complete the reservation too so have your CC on hand.

As for bears, don't worry about them. If you are in a hard sided RV just keep your food inside and don't leave anything out on the picnic table when you are done. In the real world you need to worry about those $150 fines you'll face if they find any food left out. You won't need the bear box. If you see a bear just use your head, don't approach them, if you come on one by surprise back off and don't get near any cubs.

If you do backpacking then you'll have more potential problems, and would need a bear safe and would have to string that up in a tree every night.

I have the world's best bear tale but you probably aren't ready to hear it...heh. It took place right in North Pines but many years ago and involved apricot face creme.


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Finally Time

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Posted: 01/20/12 12:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's a long answer. I stay a one or two weeks in Yosemite Valley in spring and fall before the summer mobs. Here are some answers to some of your questions.

Reservations for the summer are brutal. Be registered and logged on to recreation.gov by 7 am on the 15 of the month 5 months ahead of time, with your campsite selected and ready to reserve and you stand a chance. Have a few backup sites selected because they go fast. Here’s a link to a National Park Service site listing the campgrounds. If you click on the link for each campground you will find a link that lists the maximum length of RV for each site.

There are no hookups in any of the campgrounds in the park. In the valley there is a dump station in Upper Pines Campground. Every campground has restrooms scattered around. There is fresh drinking water at the dump station and at the restrooms. My trailer has small tanks so I shower at the public showers in Camp Curry or the Housekeeping Camp. The free shuttle stops next to the campgrounds and will take you to most of the attractions in the valley. You don’t need to worry about driving or parking. There is a good grocery store at Yosemite Village. They have pretty much everything from steaks, fresh produce, to prepared foods.

If you have a hard-sided RV, food and other attractive things can stay in the RV with the windows closed when you are away from the RV. When you check in at the campground, they will give you a list of do's and don'ts. Don't leave anything that looks or smells edible or anything that looks like a cooler in your truck. If you use a portable BBQ, put in the bear box when you are not using it. The bears love to clean your grill. The bears aren’t really a problem, but they do like to occasionally check out the campgrounds at night. The ground squirrels are the ones that are pests about getting your food. I saw one jump up on a table and snatch a hot dog bun off the grill while the neighboring camper was standing there cooking.


Feel free to send me a PM if there’s anything else I can help with

* This post was edited 01/20/12 12:31pm by Finally Time *


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Dennispel

Southeast texas

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Posted: 01/20/12 12:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you, Thank you everyone!! I am going to try my best to get into one of the campgrounds. I just did a test run through the reservation system to get familiar with it.

If anyone has suggestions on sites that are able to accomadate a 32ft 5th wheel, but are not listed for that length, I'd love the suggestion. I did get a couple suggestions for such sites in Upper Pines from a search on here. Sarah

bikendan

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Posted: 01/20/12 12:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

as was said, no hookups in the Valley's campgrounds.
and the bear boxes are big. we kept anything opened food items in the box. anything still sealed or in the fridge, stayed in the trailer.

the park has been very proactive with bear control and incidents are no longer common, like they used to be.

but if you want to completely feel safe and want hookups, stay at a CG outside the park. but be aware, no private CG is close to the Valley floor.
and with a 5th wheel that size, your choices in the park, will be very few and difficult to reserve.


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