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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These camping spots fill up pretty quick in advance. But we checked for cancellations and got lucky because the storm was coming through in a bunch of people canceled. So we slid right in not minding the weather at all, it made for a great photographs. The campsites are very close together, but it’s a small price to pay to sleep on the valley floor. It allows you to wake up super early and beat the huge crowds to have Yosemite to yourself.
I love Yosemite! While the campsites are very crowded, I don’t care. The natural beauty of this place forgives every shortfall. I will return again and again.
The view up the valley walls is amazing.
I’m so grateful that Yosemite has a portion of Upper Pines open for camping!! It felt appropriately socially-distant even though there was no gap sites between bookable sites. Thank goodness for escapes into nature during times like these…
Being able to sleep under the stars in Yosemite Valley is a dream come true. The campground is crowded but the scenery makes up for it. Everywhere you look is an Ansel Adams portrait. Lots of trails leave from the surrounding area. Bathrooms are clean but its a trek to the showers. Have fun.
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It’s a good place to stay when you are in Yosemite because it’s central and close to popular hikes. But spots are small and sanitary are old and not very clean. Hosts are kind and helpful. It’s full all days and it’s a huge campground so there is a lot of people but still quite. Good enough but not the best campground!
This campground is one of my absolute favorites in the valley! It's centrally located near the Merced river, Mist Trail trailhead, and a short walk from Curry village if you need supplies and a fresh shower. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! Book early :)
Just a small walk to Happy Isles, which is the start to many good hiking trails. The campground is huge and not a lot of privacy at each site. Bathrooms nearby and picnic tables at each site. Came here for a Geomorphology College Class Trip and collected research for a project about rockfall safety in the valley. From camp one can hear the sound of occasional rocks cascading down from the mountain face behind camp. Very crowded during spring and summer, book early! Such an incredible place that deserves to be kept pristine, do not forget to clean up after yourself so we may continue to share this experience with others after us.
Even tho you are practically on top of each other at this campground it’s totally worth it in my opinion just to sleep in Yosemite valley. I could have and wish we had spent a whole week here.
FYI, they are not joking about wildlife here, bear lockers are there for a reason and the animals are so comfortable and used to people they get close to camp. We were sitting at our picnic table around 9pm while there were plenty of other sites with people awake and outside and a coyote was right behind me, a few feet, searching for food. He was not threatening but it’s still worth noting their confidence.
Another note, when we road tripped thru California in October there were fire bans at every campground so bring your stoves!
It's almost impossible to get a spot at the campsites in Yosemite Valley these days, but if you do you are lucky. There are a ton of campsites here so it always seems overcrowded, but it does give off a good community vibes with lots of groups and families around. If you bring a bike you can easily get to anywhere in the Yosemite Valley in minutes without having to worry about walking a couple miles or parking your car. Several of the top hikes are within walking distance of the campsite