housekeeping camp yosemite

A Week at Housekeeping Camp in Yosemite National Park

By Heather

I’ve written about my love for Housekeeping Camp before. We stayed there again the week we were in Yosemite to hike Half Dome.

A note: I’ve updated the original post with details about laundry, rails/ladders for the bunk beds in the cabin and more.

When we arrived this time, we were put in cabin No. 102 – right next to the very, very  busy and noisy road. Five days would have been a long time to live with something like that, so we went back to registration and asked if it was possible to be placed in another unit.

After several minutes, the woman behind the counter said, “You’re in a river unit, no extra charge.”

I knew I heard river unit, but my mind wouldn’t allow me to believe she had actually said river unit. The river unit is the holy grail of Housekeeping campsites! River view units line the tranquil Merced River. You’re closer to the beaches, the cute little bridge that runs by camp and it’s just prettier and nicer and totally wonderful in every way.

Well, not only did we have a river unit just five feet from the river, we had a river unit with a view of Yosemite Falls!

Check it:

It was wildlife central there, too. This squirrel eating a pizza crust is hilarious:

We did not give that to him, by the way.

Every morning, I woke up thinking “I can’t believe this is our campsite.” Every day, we kicked back and drank coffee or booze or water or all three and watched deer graze, ducks quack and green rafts float by.

As mentioned about, though, all was not great. You’re probably wondering what I could possibly have to complain about with a campsite like this and the peace it must have filled me with.

It did fill me with peace until around dusk, when the bullstuff started.

“Elmer! E-L-M-E-R-R-R-R-R!”

Every single night, it started and continued until quiet hours began at 10 p.m. The calls echoed all over the campground.

“Elmer!” “ELMER!” “E-L-L-L-L-M-M-E-E-E-R-R-R-R-R-R!”

Some people, like our neighbor’s children, would scream it at the top of their lungs and in unison. They were fond of doing it after a long period of silence, so you’d be nice and relaxed when it started again.

The Elmer story is based on the story of a young boy going missing one night in Yosemite. You can read more about it here, starting with the post by Darren (no relation to my Darren!).

It doesn’t really matter to me what the story behind the call is at this point. It happened decades ago and people are abusing it by using it well past desk and screaming it. It’s obnoxious and I wish Housekeeping would do something to discourage it. It was part of my feedback for them in the survey I filled out. We can’t be the only people who were totally annoyed by this. Right?

Other than that, though, we had the most incredible week. Yosemite gets better and better every time we go.