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camping at yosemite in mid june

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How ridiculous are the lines for the non-reservation camp spots at Yosemite mid juneish? Does anyone have any recommendations for good dirtbag camping areas near something fun to climb that may still have availability?

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There is usually a line most days for Camp IV in mid summer, but things usually only fill up completely on Friday's and Saturday's. If you show up early most other days chances are you'll get a spot.


Our usual drill goes something like this. Drive all day Saturday and camp somewhere near Sacramento (~12hrs). With about 4 more hours to the Valley we'll try to make it to the gates by about 9am. Our first plan of action is to head straight to Camp IV and see about getting a spot at around 10am.


If we don't get a spot then we'll head back over to Curry Village and hit up the ranger shack for paid car camping. Spots may open throughout the day and there may already be a list of people ahead of you, but it's worked for us a few times.


If that looks bleak we'll head to the Ranger station by the post office for backcountry permits and try to pick one of those up for "hiking" leaving the next day. If you plan to hike beyond Little Yosemite out of the technical "valley" you can usually always get them. With that pass, you can then spend your approach and descent night at the backpackers campground in prep for your trip. Then at least you'll be in the Valley and ready to get in line and start it all over again the next day.


The last option is commando camping... Good luck.

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If you want to make sure you get a spot just arrive in Camp IV parking lot around midnight and throw your sleeping bag down in front of the park ranger shack. There's usually a bunch of spots that open each day but why risk it by getting there late. Plus, if you enter the park at night you may not have to pay. Just make sure you leave at night too.


And, Camp IV is way cool. No where else that I know of do you get to share a camping spot with several others, from all over the world, that rotate in and out each day along with a bunch of bears.


The question I have is which spot in Camp IV is best? I have always stayed on the street edge near a big bolder that we hung out on. You are fairly close to your car there if you have a bunch of gear.


Have fun.

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