After an eight-month winter in Yosemite high-country wilderness, the season for camping, hiking, and backpacking is finally upon us.
- The giant Tuolumne Meadow Campground opened last weekend
- Tamarack Flat and Yosemite Creek campgrounds, located on spurs off Tioga Road, opened this week
Half the campsites at Tuolumne Meadows, more than 150, are first-come, first-served, and all the sites at Tamarack at Yosemite Creek are first-come, first-served, providing an opportunity far removed from the valley mayhem.
“The Lyell Glacier is fully covered with a snow wall and the surface is heavily sun-cupped,” Derrick Muico, a Yosemite wilderness specialist told the SF Chronicle. “The main thing,” he said with a laugh, “is just how green it is. There’s so much fresh grass.”
In Yosemite Valley each day, 22,000 people have been jamming into 5 square miles and creating three-hour traffic jams on the 12-mile valley loop. From Yosemite Valley, it’s only 8 miles by helicopter (and 55 miles by car) to Tuolumne Meadows, but the trip right now is like taking a space shuttle into a new orbit.