About Upper pines campground, Yosemite National Park
Upper Pines Campground is located in breathtaking Yosemite National Park in Central Californias rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain Range at an elevation of 4,000 feet. The site is situated in the heart of Yosemite Valley, an awe-inspiring landscape containing many of the famous features for which Yosemite National Park is known. Within Yosemite, visitors can gaze upon waterfalls, sheer granite cliffs, deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, vast wilderness areas and much more. Natural Features: Yosemite Valley is forested with a diverse mix of California black oak, Ponderosa pine, incense-cedar, White fir, and Whiteleaf Manzanita, which offers a pleasant combination of sun and shade. Through the trees, Yosemites telltale granite cliffs peek through, and the gentle, refreshing Merced River flows nearby. Recreation: Yosemites trails, cliffs, roads and rivers provide endless recreational activities for any kind of visitor. Hiking, biking, rock climbing, fishing, horseback riding, rafting, auto touring, cross-country skiing and photography are all very popular activities within the park. Hiking trails range from the easy paved, two-mile roundtrip walk to Mirror Lake/Meadow, to the grueling but rewarding 14- to 16-mile trek to Half Dome (permit required). Both of these trails begin near the Pines Campgrounds, and there are many additional trailheads within Yosemite Valley. Rafting the Merced River is a fun way to cool down on a summer day when water levels are sufficient. Yosemite Valley also offers numerous guided bus tours, educational programs, museums, ranger-led activities and an art center with workshops. Facilities: Upper Pines Campground is the largest of the three reservation campgrounds in Yosemite Valley It offers paved roads and parking spurs, flush toilets, and drinking water. Each campsite contains a picnic table, fire ring, and a food storage locker. Yosemites free shuttle bus stops near the campground entrance. Nearby historic Curry Village offers a general store, restaurants and bar, amphitheater, coin showers, and tours and activities desk. Nearby Attractions: Glacier Point offers sweeping views of Yosemite Valley, Little Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and Clouds Rest, among other notable landmarks. The Tioga Road offers a 39-mile scenic drive past forests, meadows, lakes and granite domes. Beautiful Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is home to spectacular scenery and numerous wilderness trailheads.
Drive In, Walk In
National Park Service
Upper pines campground, Yosemite National Park is located in Yosemite National Park in California
Take Highway 41 north from Fresno, Highway 140 east from Merced, or Highway 120 east from Manteca into Yosemite National Park. Follow signs to Yosemite Valley and the campgrounds.
27 Reviews of Upper pines campground, Yosemite National Park
This campground is great if you would like crowds and lots of bear activity. The views are gorgeous, the campgrounds are fairly clean and have access to many amenities such as small stores restaurants and call the touristy stuff that Yosemite Valley has to offer. This would be a great place to take your family if you are not big on roughing it. It is good for younger children and a good first exposure to the outdoors. Also, if you eat at the Hotel restaurant the squirrels get inside and run around :-).
Very busy campground in the heart of the valley. I came here after a long backpacking trip to do some light dayhiking. I was blown back by how many people were here.
Other than that it is a decent campground. It has nice bathrooms and a sink to do dishes (that was full of food and made me worried about bears). Bus stops are close by and so are several hiking trails.
Holy cow! Yosemite Valley is CROWDED. Believe everything you hear. I still recommend staying somewhere in the Valley just for the experience of it all at least once, but if you are interested in using any of the facilities, be prepared for crowds.
RV or Tent camping is the main thing here, sites are organized and packed close with a bathroom facility at the top of the loop. No showers (located at Half Dome village for $5). Close walk to the Mist Trail, The John Muir Trail, and the valley public transit system. I do not recommend driving in the Valley during the day unless you’re headed somewhere out of the valley.
Be prepared for your neighbors to have a lot of gear, with a lot going on. The City In The Woods is an apt description of the Valley floor peak season. In the end, if you’re willing to travel even just a mile beyond where the pavement ends, relative solitude can still be yours.
If you want to stay in a yurt, cabin, or other enclosed structure, look at one of the other campsites in the valley.
Book ahead for these sites, they fill up fast aspcecially during peak season. Expect to be in close quarters with others, but remember you’re in Yosemite.
First to Review
Sites are moderate sized with bear locker, picnic table and fire pit. Campground has flushing toilets, sinks. Campground is close to curry village where showers, pool, market and pizza are available. Campground is near happy isles, where the trailheads for vernal falls, Nevada falls and half dome begin. Great camping spot to see Yosemite valley! Also is pet friendly.
This is a very busy campground in the Yosemite valley. It’s very close to many of the major hikes and visitor center but it is a bit cramped. It’s still incredibly beautiful and we loved every minute of it
Great location, close by many amazing hikes! Make sure to make a reservation in advance, we were lucky enough to get 2 nights but we took some of the last spots.
super big spots, with great coverage. Make sure to place everything in the bear box!
This was our first time at this campsite….loved it! It was extremely difficult to get a spot for 4 days but well worth it. Great access to the Half Dome village. There is a free shuttle to get around the valley but I recommend bringing or renting a bike to get around. Beautiful scenery and great hikes to choose from. There was a lot of wildlife to see every where. If you want to try to get an extra day, you can get on a waitlist in the village the morning of the day you need. I suggest you get there super early because people have been known to sleep in line to get a spot. No showers at the campground. Our RV easily fit into our spot and there were a lot of RVs of all sizes. The spots are pretty close to each other and there are a lot if sites at this campground. There is drinking water available at each of the restrooms. You can buy firewood and ice at the campground.
Standing at your campsite in Upper Pines at Yosemite, you can turn around and see probably 50 people, tents, cars and RVs around you at any given time. So while the sites are an okay size and there are trees everywhere, this is not a site to come for solitude or privacy. Rather, you come here for its amazing location in Yosemite Valley and to use it as a basecamp for hiking, biking, and generally exploring the area. If you want something outside of the valley with a bit more privacy, I highly recommend the Tuolumne Meadows campground instead (but again, you'll be missing out on the valley location).
Okay flush toilets and drinking water. Each site had a fire ring, bear box and picnic table and lots of s’mores going on each night. Generally a friendly vibe and decently quiet from around 11pm to 6am, which is about all you can hope for in a campground with over 200 sites. The lovely Merced river is a very short walk away and nice for a quick splash and there's a shuttle that runs frequently that stops at the camp (though walking is often quicker since the bus can fill up in the summer).
Tip: You can book Upper Pines about 5 months in advance (new blocks open up on the 15th of each month) and they often fill up within a minute or two. The official site says "within 20 minutes." So if you want to book a site for August you'll be calling first thing in the morning on March 15th.
Easy parking & plenty of space to spread out. Dog friendly! Bathrooms are clean. super close to the Half Dome and Vernal waterfall trailheads.