Do you dream about sleeping among the granite rock walls of the Yosemite valley? Have you heard of Camp 4?
Yosemite is impressive and beautiful.
We arrived in CD’s Honda civic. We had come from Colorado via Utah, Nevada, Southern California, and Highway 101. The mountains were a welcomed site. We were road weary and our legs were begging to hike all day.
We rolled into Camp 4. I can’t remember if we were seeking Camp 4 or if we just needed somewhere interesting to camp.
Welcome to Camp 4, Yosemite
Camp 4 is a campground and a community. It is a lifestyle choice than a housing choice and this is obvious when you are there. It is a famous home base for climbers.
The cost was $6 per person per night. There are 30 some walk – in sites. There are rocks for bouldering, granite mountain sides for climbing, and trail heads for hiking.
We were greeted with a list of rules. You must remove all food from your car and place in designated lockers. Camp 4 is loved by bears almost as much as by climbers.
We followed all of the recommended procedures. I cleaned the car, used the bear lockers, kept a clean campsite, and properly disposed of my dish water.
I convinced CD to use our largest tent. Who knows why we packed this way but we had CD’s sleeping tarp from the PCT, a new backpacking tent, and my old six person tent. It seemed logical that I would be less likely to be mauled by a bear in a six person tent than in a two person tent. CD didn’t agree but was kind enough to go a long, however.
Bears and Messy Campsites
The bears showed up at dusk, right on schedule. You could hear the classic: “hey bear” and “get out of here, bear”. Neither the bears nor the campers were particularly concerned.
The campground was relatively rowdy and a bit messy. Chip bags and beer cans were rolling around. Nobody really cared. Everyone was happy. I admit feeling a bit judgmental of the other campers food storage habits.
We passed by tons of climbers on our way to the trail.
A few hours later, the climbers from Camp 4 were below us and this was the view we found.
Ultimately, I slept with one eye open but still felt rested. I reaped the benefits of being surrounded by free-spirits. They were having fun and it showed.
It is unlikely that I will stay at Camp 4 again since they don’t allow sleeping in the parking lot and the sites are not accessible to our van. If we sell the van, I will likely be too old and spoiled to sleep on the ground in Camp 4. I guess you never know.
As John Muir said: “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”.
Please check out our blogs for other National Park adventures.