How great is the risk of theft in Yosemite?
January 6, 2010 11:13 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I are planning a back country loop in Yosemite National Park mid to late May. How great is the risk of theft if we hike in to Little Yosemite Valley camp early and leave pretty much everything in our tent for the day while we summit Half Dome? (Personal recommendations for the park also accepted – check after the jump.)

Is there even likely be a site open at LYV camp early (say 9–10am)?
We just got confirmation of our wilderness pass reservation (yay!). Starting in Yosemite Valley, we’ll do Half dome, head through Merced Lake, Vogelsang, Lyell Canyon, to Tuolumne Meadows. Haven’t really settled on a route back to the Valley. We’ve got eight days, seven nights on the permit.
posted by SirNovember to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've left sleeping bags, clothes and that sort of thing in tents in backcountry areas all over the U.S., including Yellowstone, and nothing has ever happened. I've never left anything valuable (iPod, camera, etc.), but I've left lots of nice backpacks, camping equipment, pots and pans, etc.

I like to think that there's an unwritten law of the backcountry that you just don't screw with people's stuff in a tent.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 11:30 AM on January 6, 2010

Response by poster: Nothing especially valuable, just the gear (and not especially nice gear). I wouldn’t worry if it was really out there, but Little Yosemite Valley campground is nearly on the way to Half Dome, and I’m told that lots (lots) of people make the ascent.

It's not the backpackers, but the day-hikers I’m concerned about.
posted by SirNovember at 11:40 AM on January 6, 2010

This is word from a very reputable climber-friend of mine: the campground you are talking about is hike in only I believe....very unlikely someone is going to steal your shit but possible. In the climber campgrounds people regularly leave $1000's of gear out all the time. rare to have problems... in the hike in only campgrounds it is even less likely.
posted by psylosyren at 11:42 AM on January 6, 2010

I don't know personally, but I've been able to get this kind of info by calling a real live person at the park office. They should have access to crime report stats, and they would certainly have an idea of how quickly the various campgrounds fill up at different times of year. People who work there all the time have a better sense of these things than those of us who have just stopped in for a day or a week.
posted by vytae at 12:34 PM on January 6, 2010

Ditto vytae: call the park. The number is (209) 372-0200. Whenever I have had questions about weather, trail conditions, or what-have-you, I have found the rangers in the parks to be extremely helpful and informative.

(I'm in the planning stages for a loop through Yosemite in late April, and am planning to call them myself to get a sense of likely weather and snow conditions.)
posted by SuzB at 3:01 PM on January 6, 2010

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