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I'm planning a trip for late June thru Death Valley, to Yosemite, and the N.CA area. Any good campgrounds to consider, especially near Yosemite as it appears that the place is booked for the summer.
Any other info to share would be appreciated.
Plan to leave TN on 6/19 and be in CA from the 22-24????
Then on to OR, WA, BC, AB, MT, and on to MOA in WI

Thanks
 

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Be prepared for the heat, and the crowds. Death Valley averages between 82 - 113 degrees in June, and has gotten well into the 120's. Stay hydrated (Camelbak or similar), get good mesh riding gear with a wicking long-sleeve shirt underneath, and also pick up some sort of cooling vest. And use lots of sunscreen on your face and anything else exposed through the mesh.

Yosemite will be gorgeous, but very, very crowded. You'll probably get stuck in traffic jams as all the motorhomes and SUVs crawl through at a walking pace.

Othewise, enjoy the trip.
 

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Groveland, CA is great camping...

Just outside Yosemite. Pine Mountain Lake Association is a large Private Community Assoc., but they do ahve limited public camping available.

http://www.pinemountainlake.com/default.aspx?Loc=Campgrounds

Historical snippet: the oldest bar in CA is in Groveland, the Iron Door.

There are other campsites in Groveland, if Pine mountain Lake is full! Have a happy and safe trip!
 

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Camping

If you are really into roughing it and carry everything you need with you, be advised the most of the Mojave Desert is under the control of the BLM and you can camp anywhere you want.
Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input, guys. I've been searching the web looking at different places to camp. And finally booked two nights at Trumbull Lake, off of 395 at Conway Summit.

Now, any advice on what not to miss in NorCal. Looking things over on the maps. It looks like I could leave early in the morning and ride west on 120 thru the park and easily do the loop around the north side of the park on 108 back to my campsite. Does that sound like a good day's ride??

From there, I planned on heading north to Lake Tahoe along 89 then 70 from Paxton to Thermolito and someone told me not to skip 36 from Red Bluff west to 101.
Also 96 and 3 look good too. I hope I have enough time.
 

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If you leave early enough in the day you should be able to get into Yosemite from the east and do the Yosemite Valley loop. There are times during the day in the summer when the Yosemite Loop is closed to anyone that does not have confirmed reservations on the valley floor. This is usually from about 10am until 4-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays but I have seen it closed on Fridays and Monday as well. The traffic congestion and limited parking in the valley is the problem so when enough cars have gone through the rangers close it off. The key is to get in early. The loop is actually pretty short but there are at least a half dozen vantage points you'll want to see. Allow 2-3 hours if you've never been there plus lunch time. Bring your lunch if you can. Some of the best views are up at Glacier Point which is 4000 feet above the top of the valley and about a 45 minute ride south of the valley floor. However if you're there on a weekend, see Yosemite Valley first then go up to Glacier, in that order. On the way back from Glacier Point you will come through the Yosemite Portal. This is the famous stopping point and photo op on Hwy 41. You can see several falls, El Capitan, Sentinel Rock, and Half Dome from this vantage point and get them all in one shot! There is good parking but I suggest you take the lot on the right as you come out of the tunnel it is often less crowded and without buses.

Yosemite Pines Campground is about a mile east of Groveland on Hwy 120 if you needed a place to stop on the west side of the park.

By the way, the National Park Pass is no longer available as we knew it. It has been replaced the year with the "America the Beautiful" Pass which encompasses all federal land access including the National Parks, Bureau of Reclamation, BLM, USDA Forest Service, and Fish and Wildlife areas. In exchange for all this extra access the price went up from $50 to $80. Yes, I'm buying one. The NPS needs the money.

http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm
 
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