As with most things in Yosemite, bigger is better. Same goes for Upper Pines Campground (this spot has 238 campsites yo!). It very well may be the...
This massive campground has 304 spots-- some even for horses and a handful of group and backpacking sites. Here you can find Mountaineering School,...
This circular campground is surrounded by the towering mountains, the Seasonal Creek, and lush green plants. Harden Lake and Lukens Lake are nearby...
Camp 4 definitely stands out with a giant rock in the middle of the campground. Maybe not a rock as big as Half Dome (is anything that big?), but a...
Ten Lakes trail is only 2 miles away and tents can be set up all along the winding Yosemite Creek in this amazing campground. Dip your toes in the...
North of Yosemite Valley, this sprawling campground is based around the burbling Tamarack Creek. This site is ideal for those seeking a quieter...
Lower Pines is equally as cool as Upper Pines Campground. The site is smaller with 60 spots, but the relaxed vibe and convenient amenities remain...
Next to the Merced River, at an elevation of 4000 ft, and towards the southern end of Yosemite National Park, lies Wawona Campground. Wouldn’t it...
Crane Flat is a popular campground northwest of Yosemite Valley. Wake up to the sunlight filtering through the branches, and stop by the...
This campground offers many more secluded camping sites. Porcupine Creek forms a semicircle around this gorgeous patch of woods and it is a great...
Hodgdon Meadow Campground is definitely a “no-frills” experience. The sites are rather vanilla, a little tight, and privacy is limited. It’s also a...
This is a GREAT camp group. We loved it! Lot's of trees and privacy (very quiet). The hike to the top of El Capitan starts from this camp group, and it's a great hike (LONG-16.8 miles), but awesome, totally worth the views. On the way we saw a black bear and her cub, which the rangers said was a rare sighting. It was scary, but awesome! The only drawback to this campsite is the entrance, you have to come down a steep dirt road with a lot of bumps, we drove our (new) Prius and we made it pretty good (no scratches), but an RV would be almost impossible. Other than that it was great!
Upper Pines: not for getting away from people. You are crammed in. People will walk through your campsite. But it really can't be beat location wise. You can shower at Curry Village. Bring a bike! And something to float on in the river. And cold beer.
Camp here and hike up to Lower Cathedral Lake, about 5 miles, for some of the most beautiful sights you will see. Make sure to get up and out early so you can picnic lunch up there, hang out and make it back by sunset.
Lyell Canyon Creek, about 3-5miles outside the Meadows has amazing spots along the creek to put up a hammock and enjoy some reading in the woods.
Yosemite is BIG, just realize that if you are coming in on one side of the park and have to get to the other, it could take you 1-1.5 hours
Super packed and high traffic. People come and go at all hours of the night! Didn't sleep at all both nights even though I was tired from hiking Mt.Dana, the lakes, etc. When it rains, which it did, a small rivers flows thru, watch where you pitch your tent
Yosemite is big and a lot of hikes have some serious vert, be prepared with your water, trail mix, blister pads AND bug spray. We don’t need “hangry” (hungry + angry) people on the trail.
All four seasons in Yosemite offer a different, gorgeous experience. I personally prefer the Fall above the rest, but they're all magnificent and varied. Spring is my second favorite. Beware traffic in the valley during the Summer.
Visited in November to a pleasantly half-empty campground, full of climbers and fellow New Zealanders. I'd suggest coming a little earlier as the Tioga Road gets closed around this time. Good temperatures for walking. A bear wandered past my tent one night, which was exciting. Go easy on bringing food with you as you have to lug it to your campsite bear locker, and there's a well-stocked shop in the valley.
Was a very crowded campground, even during the weekdays. Camped next to a family with a dad yelling at his kids the whole time. Even when one kid was sick and throwing up he was still yelling at him! The best part about it was its location, as we stayed there in between our nights in the valley and our backpacking trip in the Yosemite backcountry. It is very conveniently located for that, only a couple of miles from the junction of Tioga Rd and the road into Yosemite Valley. It served its purpose as a place to sleep, but that's about it. Definitely the low point of the Yosemite trip, but the bar there is very high.
Once you get in Yosemite, there are many free visitor shuttles. They’re a great way to get around, take advantage of them!
Yosemite is kinda a famous place, so it gets the crowds to match. If you’re not into that, avoid traveling there between June-August (spring and fall are equally as rad).
The Mist Trail leading up to Vernal Falls and higher up to Nevada Falls is a must-go for waterfall lovers
Wawona Campground is a great alternative to the valley (not quite as hectic in the Summer)
Winter is a seriously epic (and peaceful) time to see Yosemite, cabins are a great option this time of the year!
Be sure to grab a breakfast sandwich from Degnan's Deli off of Norsthside Dr/Village Dr in the Valley! It's one of the things to which I look most forward upon each return to Yosemite. They also offer gluten free bread.
If you're wondering how you can pitch in to keep Yosemite beautiful, there's an event every Fall called "Facelift" wherein hikers/climbers of all levels convene, hang out, and pick up tons of trash. Check it out! http://www.yosemiteclimbing.org/
This is a great campground for exploring various areas in Yosemite. It's a short drive to Yosemite Valley, but far enough away from all the traffic and crowds, which makes it a great spot for relaxing in the evenings. It also makes a good base camp for exploring areas off of Tioga Road. There is also a general store nearby. We camped here in August and did not encounter any bears.
This is a great car campsite to stay at while visiting and exploring the Tuolumne Meadows and Tioga Road trails. Loop A is closest to the water and really gorgeous, but all the sites in Loop A are very close together. There are some sites in Loop D that are more spread out and while you can still see your neighbors, you won't necessary hear them. Make sure to explore Lyell Canyon (as far as you want to go), the Cathedral Lakes (super impressive 7-8 mile round trip), and Glen Aulin High Sierra camp (12 miles round trip). We've also stayed here as a great first night campsite after driving in and before heading out on various backpacking trips.
Perfect for last minute risk takers with no reservation. Large camp, and yet miraculously quiet. Good for groups. Delighted to find both campfires and puppies were allowed. Bring your own wood in, because the land has been picked clean of kindling. We drove a Prius in too! Felt a little yuppie, but hey, there's a lot of Yosemite to explore and not a lot of gas options.
Campsites are a little close together, only Loop A is open during the off season. Chatted with the rangers last weekend, and they're planning on opening Loops B & C this upcoming weekend (April 9th). Must arrive by EARLY Friday morning to get a spot for weekend. Call NPS for availability.
We camped at site 30. We enjoyed it. Definitely the most private camp, and since the gate is locked, we were at the end, and there weren't cars driving by constantly. Plenty of room for 2 tents. Only downside is that the site is not flat anywhere. So you need to be OK with sleeping downhill. Wouldn't recommend this spot with a RV/camper, as the parking space is further from the site than others in the loop. Very close to Merced River, the pups loved it!
Five of us stayed in Upper Pines campground this weekend (November 11-13). Although it is the "off season" it seemed like every spot was full, but it is Yosemite. We were in site number 70. It was on the inside of the loop, which I think gave us a smaller campsite. We had three tents and were pretty close to other campers. We didn't spend too much time in the campsite, because we were in Yosemite and wanted to explore! It was pretty cold in our site, and that side of the valley. The sun is often hidden behind the cliffs. But the location cannot be beat. You are in the valley with all the adventures right there! If you want a less crowded campsite you might want to camp elsewhere.
Woke up at 7am on wed and thinking about the mountains and 15mins later packed and drove 310miles to Yosemite to see this beauty. Didn't know the weather was going to drop 26-29degrees for 2 nights but I survived the cold and the hike. You just have to be there to see the valley and the pine trees 🌲. Telling you how gorgeous Yosemite is just won't cut it.
Even though we decided the day of where to stay and showed up at 6pm in August, there was plenty of spaces to put up a tent. It gets cold at night, but the morning walks and the views around the camp are amazing. You can basically go right out of the site and look over a valley. Great first Yosemite experience.
Went in August when there were less people on the trails, and also got a wilderness permit 7 months in advance so we could do some backcountry camping to get away from the crowds. You can also walk up and get a wilderness permit on the spot if there are extras, but they limit people out there and it's better to book in advance.
Lower Catherdral Lake (5mi from Tuolomne Meadows) is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
Lyell Canyon Creek (4mi from Tuolomne Meadows) is a great spot for some book reading in a hammock.
Cute and homey. The combination of people camping in actual tents and the retro bicycles everyone is renting and the smell of wood smoke make for a surreal scene straight out of that kind, magical woodland world you're nostalgic for but that never really existed, except here in Yosemite Valley: one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The campground was full but we let a random Asian kid share our site with us, because everyone should get to experience this place.
Definitely rent a bike and ride the trails around the campground. And walk over to Awahnee Lodge to check out the awesome decor.
As of June 2016, the road was paved and in excellent condition, although there is still a sign that says RV's not recommended. I don't enough about RV's to confirm this. I rolled in on the Monday after Memorial day at eleven AM and campers were clearing out. Spots 1 and 2 are the quietest, with the rest of the campsites being pretty close to each other. El Cap is a solid hike out of the area, around 16.8 miles. Camp was filled for the night, so I'd recommend getting in at or before noon. There is a nice river for water that should be purified/boiled. Highly recommended spot
Definitely away from the crowds of Yosemite Valley, at least an hour away. Once you turn off Tioga Rd and onto the access road, it's about 20 minutes til the campground. The road was once paved but is now partially a dirt road full of pot holes. If you care about your sedan, avoid this campground. RVs don't even try it. Most of the campsites have some shade and are very close to the water. The bear boxes are not all the same size. Most are 18" and some are taller. My mom's ice chest wouldn't fit and we had to convert everything into mine. Come prepared; the store is quite a drive away. This place is gorgeous and my favorite mountain getaway. It is great for small kids since it's mostly shallow water, but there are some swimming holes.
Upper Pines is a large campsite with both tents and RVs. The location is incredible as you can see many of the notable landmarks right from your fire pit. My husband and I stayed on plot 202 and it was great. Close enough to restrooms without being blinded all night by the lights, enough flat land tents, and a few great trees for any hammock campers. Loved every minute of being in this campsite.
Camped here the first weekend in November and loved it. Campsites are first come first serve so get there in the morning to secure your spot...they were all full by the time we got back that night. Right next to a river. Some campsites are packed a little tight but we managed to snag campsite number 30 which is a little more private. Not right in Yosemite Valley but the drive is beautiful and not a big deal to drive in. I would definitely recommend!
Really nice campground. Pretty basic. Few bathrooms that start of clean, but end up like campground bathrooms. No hookups. Lot of Europeans in RV's were at this campground when we were here. Very quiet. Saw a few bears. Good biking and hiking nearby. Yosemite is pretty special
Camped at 208 over thanksgiving week. A bit crowded, as it was one of the only campgrounds open. Curry village is very close, there is a store there in case you forgot anything or need a replacement (or need a bit of whiskey). The park bus system has a pickup/drop off location just outside the campground also. Easy access to trailheads is definitely a plus.
Hi! I am planning a camping trip during Easter weekend but have no idea where to start! Is there a way of camping at Glacier Point (website says the roads are closed)? We only have 3-4 nights, which top campsites would you recommend for views, accessibility to hikes and overall awesomness?
Although I greatly prefer camping in the backcountry (backpacking), over New Years the snow level made that impossible and instead camped here. Even with snow and frigid temps, the place was packed. Wish it was a bit more spaced out - but c'mon, YOU ARE IN YOSEMITE. IT'S BEAUTIFUL.
For tens of thousands of years, humans have changed, and have been changed by, this place we now call Yosemite. The Ahwahneechee lived here for generations, followed by the arrival of Europeans in the mid-1800s. The rugged terrain challenged many early travelers, with just a few - only 650 from the mid-1850s to mid-1860s - making the journey to Yosemite Valley by horseback or stagecoach.
By 1907, construction of the Yosemite Valley Railroad from Merced to El Portal eased the journey, thereby, increasing visitation. Today, 3.5 million people enter the park’s gates to explore. We learn from the stories of those who walked Yosemite’s trails before us, allowing appreciation of their lasting footprints that led to conscious preservation.