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#37735 - 06/21/14 09:41 AM Walk Up Campground Availability
ace Offline

Registered: 06/18/14
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Going up Sunday. Will there be campgrounds available with no reservations?

#37958 - 06/25/14 11:05 AM Re: Walk Up Campground Availability [Re: ace]
ismay Offline

Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Tagging onto this thread - a question about pre-Whitney camping. We've done the Whitney trail backpack before, planning in advance: glorious! Just got a last minute opportunity to join someone's 7/4 trip, and I am trying to figure out how to camp 2 nights at altitude beforehand, when we have no camping reservations on a holiday weekend!

1) Would there likely be walk-in campsites (2 tents) available at WP trailhead if arriving before noon on Fri 7/4? There is one night limit, so we would have to stay at Tioga Pass or somewhere along 395 Thu July 3rd.


2) Would there be any first-come first served campsites available in WP or Onion Valley (ie near Whitney and at altitude) arriving midday on Thu 7/03 and staying 2 nights?

I know one cannot predict exactly, just trying to get a sense of what we should do (not averse to dispersed camping if that's the only way). Thank you! I really appreciate the expertise and the stories on these forums - they are addictive!

#37959 - 06/25/14 11:44 AM Re: Walk Up Campground Availability [Re: ismay]
Joe the Hiker Offline

Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 32
Loc: SC
I don't know how this would work because your going on the holiday weekend, but when I was at the WP, there were a ton of campsites. When I first arrived on Friday, I couldn't find the walk in trailhead campground (it was my first time up there). I ended up in the overflow parking. From the overflow parking looking down east. You will see the Ravine Walk-in campground. It's not far at all from the portal. We set up there. We were the only ones camping there! It is $2 cheaper and each site has bear boxes and fire rings! You can also stay more then just one night. After our Whitney backpacking trip, we spent Monday night at the Trailhead Campground. It wasn't that crowded (but I'm sure this will be different for you) but each site did not have it's own fire ring, bear boxes are near your car in the parking lot, and it has the one night stay limit.

Trailhead Campground: 36 35.233'N 118 14.353'W

Ravine Campground: 36 35.267'N 118 14.293'W

I would go for the Ravine Campground myself if I were you. It's just an extra 100 yard walk to the portal.

Have a great trip!

#37960 - 06/25/14 11:45 AM Re: Walk Up Campground Availability [Re: ismay]
Paul Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
There are 2 sets of walkin campsites at the trailhead. The first is called the backpacker campsites and are limited to 1 night. These sites are situated between the overflow parking and the trailhead.

There are new walkin campsites below the overflow parking. These sites were added less than 2 years ago, and are rarely used or known about. There are approximately 12 of these sites and each have a bear box and table, along with a level pad for tents. As far as I know, there are no night restrictions, except, it is not easy to carry large items to them....

While up at the Portal, Memorial Weekend, I visited these sites. No one was using them.....they are off the beaten path.

Either talk with the camphost at the family campsites, or Doug at the store since he participated in the building of the sites.

The camphost actually is in charge of the sites.

Oh, there is water also.


#37962 - 06/25/14 12:15 PM Re: Walk Up Campground Availability [Re: Paul]
ismay Offline

Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
that is very good news! thanks, both

#37968 - 06/25/14 01:03 PM Re: Walk Up Campground Availability [Re: ismay]
wazzu Offline

Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
If there is nothing available at the Portal, try Horseshoe Meadow. There are 3 campgrounds and all are first come-first serve. There is a 1 night limit, but I've never heard about anyone being asked to leave after 1 night. Being a holiday weekend, it might be different.

The Horseshoe Meadow campgrounds are "walk-in". You will have to carry your stuff to the campsite. Shared bare boxes and fire rings, water and pit toilets. I've stayed there multiple nights without a problem.

#38007 - 06/26/14 08:43 AM Re: Walk Up Campground Availability [Re: wazzu]
ismay Offline

Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 3
Loc: CA
Thank you! Seriously considering Horseshoe, because of the higher altitude for acclimatization, and that's where we will be hiking the day before.