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National Parks advice please!

Oakham, United...
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National Parks advice please!

My boyfriend and I are doing a 2 week road trip through Yosemite, Sequoia, Zion and Bryce from June 21st to July 9th but as novice campers/hikers we would love some advice!

We've booked to stay in Crane Flat campsite in Yosemite but apart from that haven't booked any campsites (we've realised this is a big mistake as all the big campsites seem to have been reserved months ago). Can anyone suggest good campsites in or near Sequoia, Zion and Bryce?

Also any general tips about how we get around within the camps, good hikes for beginners, essential equipment or things we really should know about beforehand would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!

10 replies to this topic
Long Beach...
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1. Re: National Parks advice please!

worse comes to worse you can sleep in your car in utah

http://blog.goodsam.com/17951

LA
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2. Re: National Parks advice please!

I suggest you get ahold of the Lonely Planet Western USA guidebook which will cover all 4 of these regions. You really need more help than we can give you if you are arriving in 2 week without already having planned this. The guide will be able to give some other camping options seeing as how Yosemite, Zion, Bryce, and likely SEKI are already fully booked and have been for months

High season and you are going to have the same problems in Zion and Bryce

Go to the Utah page for options there

Edited: 07 June 2018, 06:33
Melbourne
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3. Re: National Parks advice please!

>>good hikes for beginners<<

For Yosemite check out www.yosemitehikes.com the hikes are arranged by the four major areas and are also ranked for difficulty. Of course you don't actually have to do all of any hike. You can turn around and come back at any point. For example: lots of people do Upper Yosemite Falls only as far as Columbia Rock.

Long Beach...
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4. Re: National Parks advice please!

Each of these National Parks have their own forum Page, so do post on the specific forum pages.

Recreation.gov handles all federal campgrounds, so check there for availability and cancellations.

Zion- I know South Campground accepts reservations 2 weeks in advance, they go very quickly so be ready to book as soon as it becomes available.

Sequoia/Kings Canyon- there are some FCFS options, arrive Sunday-Thursday. check the NPS website there are a few nearby National Forest Campgrounds if the National Park Campgrounds are full.

Long Beach...
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5. Re: National Parks advice please!

What is your itinerary? Where are you starting/ending?

https:/…family-camping-checklist.html

Santa Monica...
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6. Re: National Parks advice please!

I found the National Parks websites to be very comprehensive. And it's an important resource for road closures, construction and other up-to-the-minute information about each park. The California ones will be busy, you'll need reservations. You can stay outside the parks, for example, we stayed in Three Rivers prior to getting into Sequoia. Up early the next day, into the park before the construction started. I was happy to see a bear right away, too (early, no cars = more wildlife viewings).

Oakham, United...
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7. Re: National Parks advice please!

Thanks so much for all your help everyone; we'll make sure to check out all those books and websites you've suggested!

So as it seems most the campsites are already booked up, it is possible to camp outside the parks (especially Yosemite) and drive in for the day? Also the recreation website shows some campsites as 'walk ups', what time do you think we need to arrive to get a site? Any other help is so appreciated!

Long Beach...
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8. Re: National Parks advice please!

You have Crane Flat booked for Yosemite? Do you need more nights in Yosemite? Tuolumne Meadows is opening early and the campgrounds will be reservable on Friday.... "Reservations for Tuolumne Meadows for June 14 to July 14 will become available Friday, June 8 at 10 am PT."

https:/…campgrounds.htm

Zion, South Campground- you can make reservations 2 weeks exactly before your arrival date. So you are still to early to reserve. There is a private Campground in Springdale.

Sequoia- have you had any luck? Sometimes it is easier to use reserveAmerica.com

(easier searches) and get redirected to recreation.gov

Can you give us your full itinerary? Where did you see 'Walk-up' - (that often means first-come, first-served)

(You are new campers-- you probably want a campsite with bathrooms, probably water...)

Edited: 07 June 2018, 12:24
Oakham, United...
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9. Re: National Parks advice please!

Thanks for all the help everyone!

We are almost there with our plan, we have now got Crane flat booked (Yosemite), Sunset Campground booked (Sequoia), South Campground booked (Zion), plus private campgrounds booked near Bryce, Escalante and Antelope Canyon. Then we are going to try FCFS sites at Kaibab and Ten X near Grand Canyon.

Now we are just working out which hikes want to do/which we think we are fit enough to do and what to bring.

Thanks again, we are so excited!

Long Beach...
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10. Re: National Parks advice please!

Looks good!

For GCNP, also try for Desert View Campground (FCFS). And keep checking for cancellations at Mather Campground. Even when you arrive, I would stop by and ask the host/Ranger if there are any cancellations.

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