Important: I have overnight parking passes for the following people:
· Tom (one of Kevin's "+6")
No one else on the RSVP list will be able to camp.
(Apologies to Monaire, Alex and Harbir -- i was unsuccessful in reaching you three by e-mail to get payment or other confirmation before the parking pass deadline.)
Info and instructions for participants:
Click here for directions from the I-580/I-680 junction to the park entrance.
And here are two files that will help you navigate once you get to the park:
1. Finding each other: Cell phone reception is terrible to nonexistent at Del Valle, so we must resort to other means.
- Radio: If you have a two-way radio, you can contact me on channel 1 starting about 2 p.m. on Friday, and Kevin (also on channel 1) starting about 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
- I am planning to hike in (with a cartload of gear) around 1:30 p.m. on Friday. Let me know ahead of time if you want to go along on that trip and I will wait for you at the trailhead (see item 5a).
- Kevin and I are meeting at the boat launch around 4:30 p.m. on Friday. We will be inflating and loading our boats and paddling to the campground around 5 p.m. Feel free to join us for that trip.
2. Entering the park: I will put the overnight parking passes in envelopes, marked with participants' names, and ask the ranger at the entry kiosk to hold them. So when you drive up, tell the ranger there is a pass for you. Then you will just need to pay $3 per boat and $3 per boat inspection. The ranger will give you a boat inspection form and will probably direct you to the marina, where the boat inspection takes place. In any case, make a hard right turn after you pass through the entry gate and just drive to the last parking lot -- that's where the marina is.
3. Boat inspection: Prominent signs mark the entrance to the inspection point. Fill out the inspection form before you drive up to the inspection point. Also make sure your kayak is clean and dry or you will not be permitted to launch. You may have to loosen tie-downs so the inspector can feel inside your boat. And have your life jacket(s) accessible -- the inspector will check that there is one for each boater.
4. Setting up and launching: If your setup is time-intensive, you can use the boat staging area in front of the restrooms, near the boat launch. If you are able to offload quickly, you can just drive straight down to the launch ramp .
5. Overnight parking: The parking passes say that overnight parking is in the East Beach parking lot, adjacent to the marina parking lot. So at some point after unloading boats and/or camping gear, you will need to move your car to the East Beach lot.
6. Getting to the campsite:
- Location: The campsite is on the east shore, approximately 0.6 miles north of the marina. I will have my big blue tent set up shortly after check-in (2 p.m.), so you can use it as a landmark.
- Hiking: Depending on your gear setup and when you arrive, you may want to hike in to the campsite initially. If that is the case, you can unload at the trailhead, which is next to the restrooms near the boat launch. From the trailhead, follow the Shore Trail for 0.67 miles. The campsite is just past the intersection with the Hetch Hetchy trail.
- Paddling: After launching, go right and hug the right (east) shore of the lake for about 3/4 mile. You will pass a small cove (directly across the lake from another small cove) at about the half-mile mark. The campground is on a beach on the right (east) shore before the next cove.
7. What to expect at the campsite: To aid in your load planning, here is the site description from the rental permit, with amenities in bold: "Hetch Hetchy is a WALK-IN group camp on the east side of the park, on the lake, one mile walk north of the marina. NO VEHICLES ACCESS ALLOWED. There is water at the site, EVERYTHING else MUST BE CARRIED TO THE SITE INCLUDING WOOD. GATHERING WOOD IN THE PARK IS PROHIBITED. This is a nice boat-in site: boats must be off the water by dusk. The site has four 10-ft picnic tables, a 10-ft serving table, an extra-large BBQ, a drinking fountain, a fire circle, and 2 chemical toilets. No alcohol is allowed in the camp. Site capacity is 150." ( Click here for the Del Valle camping handout -- be sure to read the "Group Camping" and "Campground Rules" sections).