31191 Hardin Flat Rd. Groveland Ca. Ranger Station: (209) 962-0103
Mobile Voice and Data
Verizon Internet card is NOT usable without a booster, we found no cell service from any carrier. Park Internet works for basic email and maps.
RV Restrictions for all California – know your length limits before you tread in California. In California your RV weight limit is 20,500 pounds on any one axle. National weight code for Motorhomes on the Interstates: U.S. Code, Title 23, Section 127 allows buses and motorhomes a maximum single-axle weight of 24,000.
California Weigh Station or scales are for commercial vehicles and rental trucks, RV’s only have to stop if flagged down somehow.
Does California require I have a special license to drive an RV? Your state driver’s license if it allows you to drive you RV is good in California for same type of RV use as permitted to you in your state. California drivers need an endorsement and meet medical requirements.
Winter time driving and chain requirement in California. – Please refer to this document in the section labeled RV’s they say they may require both out and inner duals to be chained together under some circumstances. Use the document in the link above to get all the details. Too complicated for my brain, as my CPU is out of date, and I am shy on memory.
California Tolls suck but they are the law, and this is how you deal with them if you are wealthy enough to California. Gees with all these fees, it’s no wonder everyone is said to be on government assistance.
Everyone needs fuel – List of California Truck Stops – Nothing in the area, look at Stockton area for Pilot and Flying J Hwy 99.
Points of Interest
Yosemite National Park had a $20.00 entrance fee. (Go Early no parking otherwise, they have a quota on how many get in the park per day)
This Thousand Trails park is hard not to like, the location is just too pleasant. The employees for the most part are in good spirits and do not give you the impression that they are watching your every move. They treat everyone well, and are just plain wanting to make sure everyone is happy as they can be within their control. The campsites just up the hill from the river in the wooded area seem to give RV’s a bit of grief in getting level. We saw a couple of luxury coaches on blocks with the wheels nearly 2′ in the air. We chose to park in what they call the meadow section, our site is perfectly level, no road noise, and dark enough to sleep. We are very happy. Bring lots of blocks just in case you choose the creek area. The creek is wonderful, and the park has a great mountain feel. There are no discount grocery stores within an hour and half of here, so make sure you have everything you need. This park currently keeps its employee and annual sites on the opposite side of Hardin road from the main camping area. That is really great, and I hope they keep that up. Annual sites are fine, if they are not junking up the campground, and taking the main sites away for the weekend, and passing members.
Have to climb what they call Priest grade, it is very steep and very windy, and we had a few rigs around blind corners in our lane, we were able to give them the space they needed by hugging the guard rail. These corners really are too sharp for anything more than 15 MPH in a large RV, just know that, live by that, and it is an easy trek. Be sure to gear all way down to prevent smoking the brakes on the return trip. Cars behind you may hate how slow you’re going, but if you upset your rig, they will be stuck on the hill all day while they clean up your mess! This road is a replacement for a steeper road, Old Priest Grade, that is now off limits to large rigs.
Town at the top of the grade. If you need gas, get it here, it is the best price on the mountain, but it very expensive.
Finally, the open road
We arrive at Thousand Trails. They sell Gas! It is $1.00 more per gallon than down in the valley. Don’t buy gas here! There is another fueling station about 10 Miles up the road in the Park that is 10 cents a gallon less. Gas should never be cheaper in the National park than outside the park. People don’t seem to know about the one in the park, and fuel up here. This station is busy. The one in the park is on the left, just a 1/4 mile past the sign that says no fuel in Yosemite Valley. Take the first left when you see this sign, or go back 22 miles to the small town just the west side of Groveland.
Country store part of the park. This store is at the fuel station on the corner of Yosemite Lakes Road and Hwy 120, so turn right just before the store.
Entry Road to Yosemite Lakes Thousand Trails, about 1-mile-long 15mph speed limit, and no bikes are allowed on the road. The good part is we will not hit bikes with our RV’s, the bad is we have to walk or drive to the store from the camping area.
You will see this section of the campground on the left on the way down to the campground. It is closed right now.
There are YURTS on the left as you go into the park, they overlook a hill and appear nice as far as YURTS can be.
Arrive at camp.
Trash cans are really tall. You have to throw the trash in. We watched several people miss, and perfected our shot based on their failures.
Playground – Does not offer much for kids over 4 years of age
Headed to YURT, Getaway Cabins, Tenting area.
Any closer to the creek and you would be in the creek
Laundry is open to the public on Hardin Flats road, and to members via a parking area behind the ranger station. Only member laundry facility we have encountered that is shared with the general public. Considering the surrounding area, Thousand Trails is probably doing a great service to the community.
This park is no doubt a beautiful park set at the front door of one of America’s most prized national parks. It really is worth the windy climb up the grade to get here. Get in the night before you want to see Yosemite, then leave the camper about half hour day break and take in the spectacular scenery. The sunrises and sunsets are awesome in this National Park.