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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,036

    Default Hostels and camp grounds.

    You can not just walk ten feet or so into a forest and pitch a tent. You need a permit for that. BLM land is available for camping anywhere, but there are no facilities. The internet is most unreliable when it comes to information about BLM lands. The only reliable information I have ever been able to get is by going to the offices where you can find one, and speak with the personel.

    Mostly you will need to stick to campgrounds. Fortunately these are clearly marked with a little tent symbol or a small green triangle on all good maps. Near the National Parks these are far and few between.

    There are great Hostels in both Flagstaff (The San Francisco Hostel) and Moab (The Lazy Lizard). It is some years since I stayed at them. There is a State Park camp ground on the way to Canyonlands, and also one near Bryce (Kadakchrome SP). There are two hostels at which I have stayed near Yosemite - again at least a decade ago - Yosemite Bug and a private home hostel in Merced. There is a SP campground just north of West Yellowstone, on hwy US-191. I have stayed at all of these, and I suggest you allow $25 - $35 per night. For further info on hostels log into this site, the most upto-date and comprehensive hostel site on the internet.

    24 hr. truck stops, which have all facilities, including showers. laundry and food, will generally allow you to sleep in your car overnight, if you ask for permission. Otherwise you might find yourself towed away as an abandoned vehicle. Problem is, that in the area you will be travelling there are very few truck stops, and none of those are near the National Parks.

    Lifey

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,291

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ruecondorcet View Post
    Just pulling into some forest by the side of the road with picnic tables and such, walking 10 minutes inland and setting up a tent. Or finding a gas station, parking and sleeping there. I understand it is not legal but I assumed nobody cares as long as you don't leave trash out and don't bother anyone. Can you expand on that?
    Planning to do something you know is illegal and then hoping that no one will care is really never a good idea.

    More specifically if you just walk a few minutes from a road and set up camp inside a national park, you could very well find yourself sitting in the back of a park rangers patrol car and facing a significant fine.

    That's not to say there aren't places where you can camp like that legally - national forest lands often do allow you to do exactly what you've mentioned, but there you still have to know where it is allowed. Many National Parks are surrounded by National Forests, but you will have to do some planning and research to see where there campgrounds are and/or where they allow "dispersed camping."

    As far as your specific plans, Yellowstone is amazing, but it is quite a long distance from everything else you want to visit. You could still have a very full trip if you skipped it, and instead focused on the other National Parks in California and especially southern Utah that you haven't included and wouldn't really have much time for if you include Yellowstone.

  3. Default

    Hello, based on your comments I have done significant changes to my final itinerary. I have downloaded an app that tells me how to find campgrounds and I will only be sleeping in them or in public BLM land which I understand is also ok.

    Here is my final itinerary

    Capture.jpg

    I only drive about 300km per day which I'm very happy about, this way I'm not killing myself driving 1400km to Yellowstone and back with very little to do in between.

    Thank you for your help, I truly appreciate the time you spent reading this since you didn't have to do that at all. I hope the USA is as amazing as it looks from afar. I think this itinerary is ok but if you have any advice at all I would be incredibly thankful to receive it

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,756

    Default

    Um....are you aware that CA-1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) has a closure about halfway between SF and LA? Here's the latest from CalTrans:

    [IN THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA AREA]
    IS CLOSED FROM 4.6 MI NORTH OF RAGGED POINT TO 10.3 MI NORTH OF RAGGED POINT /AT MUD CREEK/ (MONTEREY CO) 24 HRS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK THRU 9/30/18 - DUE TO MUDSLIDE REMOVAL - MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE

    There are also a few places where the road is down to 1-lane travel, either with a pilot car (a vehicle to lead you) or just with traffic control folks at either end.


    Donna

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