Tips for Yosemite

I’ve been in Yosemite for three days now. Make that a week. Here’s what I’ve learned:
There’s several routes into the Yosemite Valley from the PCT. The shortest is via May Lake, which gives you a good view of Half Dome but doesn’t give you the chance to climb it. For that, take the Yosemite Valley Trail. The southernmost route, which has two camps with bear lockers, is via Vogalsang Camp. You could also hitchhike from Tuolumne. Hiking in via May Lake it was a short shuttle ride for me to get to Curry Village.
The Curry Village Lodging front desk will give you a towel and show you where the showers are, for free, if you tell them you’re a PCT hiker. If you need privacy try 4235 on the handicap showers. You have to pay $5 if you go to Housekeeping Camp, and they’re not as good. Laundry there is about $2 plus 75¢ for soap. There’s free WiFi in quite a few places, including Curry Village, the library and the employee wellness center, and none of it worked for me. It was easiest just to pay $6/day and sit in the lobby of the Yosemite Falls Lodge.
Regarding camping, I gorilla camped all six nights. There are lots of places to do this. You might try the rocks behind the Curry shower building, or one of the ledges popular with climbers. Camp Four walk in tent camping is popular with climbers but fills quickly like everything else. Get there early the day of, registration is $5 per person there at the booth and all parties must be present. Tent cabins run about $86, and there is also a free backpackers campground near the Awhanee for wilderness permit holders.
Breakfast at the chow hall in Curry Village is big but unspectacular and the cost is $10.50. A quarter pound bacon cheeseburger runs $11 at the Yosemite Village grill, and sandwiches nearby are rumored to be delicious at about $8. Update: the one I had, the Italian with pesto, was just ok. The Awhanee offers luxurious atmosphere and superb service at $30-60/plate for dinner, out of most hikers’ budgets, but maybe a nice place for a drink or a homemade dessert. The cheesecake is delicious ($10). Buses loop through the Valley every fifteen minutes until 7p.m., then every half hour until 10:00p.m. After that, any of the front desks can call the park shuttle van to take you where you need to go throughout the night until the buses start running again. The bus stops running out to El Capitan on October 15, and the ice rink opens November 21. I didn’t see any bears, but squirrels were rummaging through anything and everything including open tents, bear lockers and garbage, and a brazen raccoon walked over to my pack, unzipped the hipbelt pocket, took out my fruit snacks and ate them right there in front of me while I cursed him. I found the employees to be exceedingly kind but also consistently reserved as you might expect anyone living full time in such a serene setting where there is also a distinct ‘us and them’ design to be, so don’t hesitate to be the one to strike up a conversation.
Regarding resupplying, the Yosemite Village grocery is the largest of three stores in the park that sell grocery type foods and it has everything, at a price: quinoa for $10/lb; Idahoan potatoes and Knorr sides at $3 apiece; flank steak at $6/lb; bread at $5+ per loaf; and Triscuits, poptarts or nature valley bars at $4

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