Yosemite is one of the premiere national parks in the United States. With its stunning High Sierra scenery, glorious waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and 100s of miles of hiking trails to explore it all, Yosemite is a must-visit for any outdoor lover. But finding a place to camp in the park during the busy summer travel season can be an exercise in advanced planning, patience—and a little luck. Fortunately, there are a few options available to campers who can’t score a prized campsite reservation in the Valley in the form of a few smaller, first-come, first-served campgrounds in remote areas of the park. While these sites are pretty spartan, they offer a quieter Yosemite experience while still providing access to the park’s popular destinations, trails and viewpoints.
Located on the west side of the park, just a short distance off Tioga Road (Hwy 120), the Tamarack Flat Campground offers 52 first-come, first-served campsites for tent campers. The campground can be accessed through the Big Oak Flat Entrance Station, and is approximately 7 miles northwest of the Tioga Road–Big Oak Flat junction. Campsites are located in shady pine forest, and are equipped with picnic tables, fire pits and food lockers, and the campground has vault toilets. All food and scented items should be secured at all times. Potable water is not available, but water can be acquired from nearby Tamarack Creek; water should be treated (boiled or filtered) before drinking. Trash service is not available, so campers should pack out all trash and waste items. Dogs are permitted, but must remain leashed. This location is only open seasonally, typically late June through September; sites are $12/night.
From the Tamarack Flat Campground, the picturesque Tenaya Lake is 45 miles farther east on Tioga Road. There are picnic areas here for enjoying the view, and the lake is nice for fishing and paddling around on kayaks and SUPs. Another 15 miles east is the expansive and spectacular Tuolumne Meadows. Several short and long hiking trails originate from here and lead into Yosemite’s amazing backcountry. Near the often overflowing Tuolumne Meadows Campground is a small cafe, grocery store, post office, and outdoor gear shop. Going the other way, Yosemite Valley is 20 miles southwest. Here you can take in views of the famous El Capitan and Half Dome, walk to the base of Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls, and visit the park’s visitor center, galleries, shops and restaurants.
Cool camping site. But, dont listen to the weather app. It said it was going to be 35 to 40. But, actually was 20 degrees. So, pack smart. Bring extra water and firewood. Store is not near.
Is close to Yosemite valley, 12$ a night, first come first serve , show up at 7:30 am, check out is around 10 am.
Follow the river down to some golden waterholes ;)
I know that you don’t know me but trust me! Tamarack Flat is an awesome campground and definitely worth being a short 30 minutes away from Yosemite Valley. It is first come first serve but I have never had any problem acquiring a campsite. While it is remote, it is beautifully scenic and with many campers nearby, you don’t feel like you’re out in the wilderness alone. There are bear boxes at every site as well as a fire ring/pit. I would highly recommend camping here if you are tent camping or have a small unit. You will not be disappointed.
site: first come, first served. wooded. only tents/small camper vans allowed. Semi-private. large. amenities: no water. attractions: 30 minutes to Yosemite Valley. I would go camping here (just drove through checking out the campground).