This first come first serve campsite is at the base of upper Yosemite falls trail. The scenery you get from staying here is truly bliss, the way the mountains look around you are so picturesque that it is truly art alive. Being there really gave me perspective on how truly amazing our planet is. The campsite is in between a grove or trees and so it’s shaded from the heat. There’s bus stops that take you all through the valley and a valley loop trail if you desire the more scenic route. The best campsite experience!!
We stayed here in May 2019 in a car with a roof top tent (tepui). Since it was early in the season the campground was pretty empty. The sites by the river are nice for the river noise to fall asleep too, but as we later found out they also flood when it rains. Overall, I think this is a good alternative if you can't get any camping in the park. Pros:
- Available when Yosemite National Park isn't
- Close to the park
- Has wifi and hot showers Cons:
- Bathrooms could use some work
Sierra Campground off the beatin path. Full hook ups in summer. Closed in winter. Tall pines block satellite feeds. Spotty Cell service. Daily, weekly, monthly rates. Lots of trees dropped due to bark beetle. Pool, group camping, ball fields, disc golf
Beautiful campground within walking distance to multiple waterfall hiking trails. Close to the village. Right in the middle of the valley. Be aware of the time of year if you stay here, traffic in the valley can be nasty. And it may not be fun after a day of hiking to have to drive back into the valley
2 adults and 1 kid in the basic cabin over Easter weekend a few years ago. We really enjoyed our stay and the property. Petting zoo animals were adorable. Nice location to Yosemite. Friendly interactions with staff.
Spots large enough for almost all size rigs. Tents too. Good bathroom amenities and swimming pool/spa. Playground. Walking distance to town. Great walking paths. Choose to camp under the shade of the pines on a dirt pad or in the clean, parking lot style section.
This place never lets us down.
After a wildfire forced the closure of Highway 395, I ended up at Lower Lee Vining Campground for a night. Pleasant campground with clean pit toilets and a river toward the back side. Pay and put the envelope in the box. I got in late, but had lovely neighbors who invited me to sit by their campfire. They came up every year for the past couple of decades and said since the installation of bear boxes (which everyone uses), they had not seen any bears in camp. (The infamous "Yosemite bears" used to come down into camp apparently.) Cheap, nice, quiet and shady. I'd stay here again.
This is a large campground with many many sites, but most are well spaced so you don't feel too crowded. The campground is maintained well. We stayed in the north-west part of the campground, and our site was classified as a "walk-in site." We did have to park about 20 yards away, but this was totally worth it to have a site literally right on the lake. During our time here, there was a massive ladybug migration which was really cool. Huntington Lake is beautiful and quiet - motorized boats are not allowed. there are a couple of stores, and a couple of marinas on the lake, so it's easy to pick up supplies and ice if needed. On the south end there is a little cafe that sometimes hosts live music as well.
Close to Happy Isles and Mirror Lake/Meadow, this campground is convenient for day hikers. it's one of the better spots in Yosemite Valley, somewhat off the beaten path, so to speak. Access to the Merced river is also close-by, so you can cool off after a long day of hiking. It's no secret that this is a high-use high-traffic area, but braving the crowds is worth it to spend a few days and nights under the Yosemite sky.
Great location, very close the park. The river was beautiful. We weren’t lucky enough to catch anything but our neighbors caught three trout. We happened to be there for Cinco De Mayo and they had a cute party with a food truck (it was yummy) and a piñata for the kids. We had a great week here and Yosemite is epic!!!
Yosemite Valley is pure magic and Half Dome Village is no exception. It’s definitely more “glamping” than camping and the tents feel like cabins and are very close together. Bathrooms are nice and there’s a store, bar, cafeteria, coffee shop and pizza place to take care of your needs. It does have a bit of a party atmosphere at night as folks from other campgrounds gather at the bar/pizza spot but the tent area was pretty quiet (save for me hearing someone peeing outside my tent one night…). Dark at night, bring a headlamp or flashlight.
Biggest complaint is the price. Location can’t be beat but it’s so expensive for canvas tents that aren’t super clean and are smushed together. I love Half Dome Village but next time will probably camp elsewhere and shuttle in for pizza and beer.
If you are a new camper, that likes to be around a lot of people, any of the Valley campgrounds are great. For me, it is way too busy. I want to get out of the city, and with the amount of people I felt claustrophobic.
With that said, Yosemite is one of the most majestic places on the planet, and I don't care where you camp, just go! Each site has a bear box, please be sure to use it, you will encounter numerous wildlife while you are here, and they all want your food! They also come with fire pits and picnic tables.
I didnt spend alot of time at my campground due to the fact that the valley has numerous hiking trails, so many waterfalls, lectures nightly on different environmental topics.
Be sure to reserve your site well in advance. Spring is best time to go, but seriously, just go!
We went in August and the water was beautiful.When we went it was drought season and so no fires allowed, even in the designate grill area. The sites are large and mostly private. Bathrooms were very nice and the host was awesome.
Every time I go to Yosemite, I stay at Diamond O. All of the camphosts through the years have been amazing. This is north of Yosemite Valley. Away from the hustle. It's got a great river/creek going through it and several smaller waterfalls and swimming holes nearby. Clean bathrooms, clean grounds. You will want to keep your eye out for wildlife. I even woke one morning to cows in our campsite!
The campsites are lovely with some privacy. The bathrooms are adequate. Everyone seems to stay up late and wake early to enjoy the park. Be prepared for some traffic and long drives to places within the park. The bear lockers are easy to use and convenient. Ultimately, it is stunning!
Summerdale is a little gem right outside Yosemite. The sites are well spaced and private, unlike what you will find in the park. My family and I have visited Summerdale about 10 times so far, and it is one of our faves.
Fishing: Can be GREAT! But at times, has been really bad. We've often caught our limit each day (trout) and snagged some crawfish to boot. But, we've also had a couple of experiences when we didn't get a single bite.
The Creek is lovely - good for swimming wading, and has several slow shallow spots where you can put your chair in and enjoy the afternoon. I have seen beavers in the creek south of the campground.
Facilities: Pit toilets, trash service and piped water. All good quality and well maintained. The campground is CLEAN. I've never seen a cleaner campground.
HWY 41 noise: Yes, its there fairly consistently from about 8am-6pm. Passenger cars are not terribly noticeable, but larger vehicles and noisy vehicles are more so. Nights are punctuated by an occasional Harley accelerating up the hill, and an occasional hot rod blowing by. But most times, the creek makes enough noise that it drowns out all but the loudest highway noise.
Wawona has been our yearly family vacation destination since I was a kid. We never grow tire of it! The river and swimming holes are close by and accessible to all, sites have ample space between each other, there are clean restrooms, and all sites have their own bear box. There's a local store nearby in case you need to pick up something. The road to the valley from Wawona is windy, I'd say about 45 minutes. It's a nice play to stay away from the Yosemite crowds and we'll keep coming back year-after-year.
This campground is a 45 minute bus ride from Yosemite Village. I sent an email the day before to check availability but didn’t get a response. I called the day-of and was excited to find they had a space with hookups, despite it being spring break week. Maybe the predictions for snow in Yosemite kept the crowds away? There were three amenities at this campground that were a pleasant surprise:
1) The YART bus (that shuttles you into the park) stops at the hotel next door. It doesn’t run frequently, and we had to catch it really early (7 am), but it was $20 for a family of four (round trip), and that included admission to the park. It was so easy to leave the RV parked, not worry about driving in and parking, having no concern about snow/chains/etc.
2) The Cedar Lodge next door has an indoor and outdoor pool available for the RV campers to use. The outdoor pool was closed for the season, but the indoor pool was heated to at least 100 degrees so it made our morning swimming delightful.
3) The Cedar Lodge next door also has two restaurants, a bar/casual type and one slightly fancier. We ate at the casual one and it wasn’t great, but it was nice to have someone else make dinner after a long day in the park.
The folks checking us in the office were very nice and helpful. The campground has four unisex bathrooms that weren’t fancy, but functioned. There were a handful of shower stalls as well. The one I used had amazing water pressure and plenty of hot water.
We were worried about the proximity to the road, but there were almost no cars on the road for most of the night. There is no cell service in the area. The campground does offer 24 hours of WiFi for $9.99. We didn’t purchase, so I’m not sure how strong/fast the signal was.
Overall, we had a great stay!
Beautiful area. Beautiful view. Nice restrooms. Good fishing and hiking in the area!
I go to Rock Creek every year! Nice campground, good fishing, wonderful hiking! Stop by Pie In The Sky Cafe to get wonderful fresh fruit pie! Hike up to Heart Lake and Gem Lakes.
Backcountry camping with several swimming spots, decent fishing and meals and hot showers! If you feel rich, this is a place for a big treat. Tent cabins with basic sleeping set up and a nice spot to sit around a group fire. The ranger talks can be a little much but easy to sneak off and enjoy the quiet. Food is fantastic and the folks who work there are super friendly. A nice loop is to walk in via Tenaya Lake, pass through the Mansfields and over to Merced Lake - a very doable 15 mile one day. Exit out through Happy Isles - about the same distance.
Great little hotsprings in a relatively accessible spot. They are situated right by the creek and I loved how quiet and unused the area is. The canyon can get chilly (esp. in winter months) just get from your campfire to the springs to your tent quickly.