Who is afraid of Yosemite?

Yosemite is one of the most visited National Parks of the US. Campsites and lodges fill up quickly after the they open for reservation. There are some first come first serve sites most prominently Camp 4. I have seen some of the sites along the road having free spots, they fill up by early aftrnoon. For Camp 4 you have to queue in the early morning around 5 to get a spot. Nothing of this sounds like a relaxed holiday and stressless cycling through. But…

There are the backpacker sites. I believe all campgrounds along the road have them, in the valley there is a site at North Pine. (It is difficult to find it, once inside campground cross the little arm of the river, it’sright behind there.)

They are for people carrying a wilderness permit. They can stay one night there before and after they go backcountry hiking. The sites correspond to what are the hiker/biker sites along the coast. As a cyclist you do not carry a wilderness permit and it is kind of unclear whether you are allowed on these sites. I was sent there by the rangers in Tuolumne Meadows, they said they did not require the permit for cyclists. The cyclists I met coming up from the valley got a different answer from the rangers there. I took the Tuolumne-habit for granted at all the other sites and stayed at the backpacker sites in White Wolf and North Pine. Anyhow, nobody checks the permits and they probabely would not send you away anyway. Safest bet is to just to pull in in the evening, when there are no rangers at the entrance anymore, fill in your envelope, it’s 6 $ / per person and night.


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