I like the place. Specially in the night. I like the way they have safety things.
We have stayed at Wawona a few times. We only stay there if we have not reserved a site in advance. You can visit the camp office and see if they have any openings the day of your arrival. It is close to the road so there is some noise from it. The river runs close to the campground. It is about one hour from Yosemite Valley.
It’s in Wawona where I discovered my love of the outdoors. It’s close enough to the valley for a day trip down there. There is so much to do in Wawona too though! It’s also really close to the Redwoods. It is a prime spot for a Yosemite trip.
Booking a site in Yosemite valley can be difficult because it’s so busy and popular. Wawona is a great way to stay in the park and get the Yosemite experience. We set up camp and then drove about 40 minutes to Glacier point for sunset. The drive is amazing so its no bother leaving the site for such a breath taking view.
Visited in May last year. Campground was very empty when we camped. Nice location along the Merced River. Campsites have tree cover but aren’t super private. Bathrooms are primitive, but in good condition. Provides good access to Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point. Use bear boxes, bears were active in the area while we visited.
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!
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 nice jumping off spot for lots of the fun stuff to do around Wawona. Jump in the creek for a swim or walk across the road and check out the covered bridge and barn around the pioneer history center. Swimming holes all up and down those creeks. In high tourist season it is worth stopping at Wawona hotel and having a drink and listening to the Piano player in the eve.
Yosemite is one of my very favorite places in The world, but I have yet to camp in Yosemite Valley. One, the valley campgrounds fill up IMMEDIATELY when registration opens in March of each year, and two, I do prefer to be in quieter campgrounds with more space in and between sites. Wawona is within the gates of Yosemite National Park, and is about 25 minutes away from the valley floor - it’s not too far of a drive, but it’s on the windy mountainous Highway 41 into Yosemite.
Wawona is located next to the Merced River, so I chose a riverside campsite. The river was by no means at the heels of the site, but it was less than 50 yards away at the time we were there, and we were there in drought conditions.
Wawona has nice clean bathrooms and we had our own bear bin in our campsite. Camping amongst the trees and next to the Merced was gorgeous and peaceful, and I recommend it it anyone who does not want to camp like sardines in the Yosemite Valley.
CAUTION: be extremely aware of bears while camping in Yosemite National Park! Each campsite in Wawona has a bear bin - USE YOUR BEAR BIN! Bears are known to break into cars to snack from coolers or any food or toiletries are left out. The bear bins are quite large, so coolers do fit inside - bears can still smell food in coolers inside of cars, and apparently recognize a cooler when they peak into your car windows. If you have to leave your cooler in the car, it is suggested that you cover it up with towels or gear to hide it from site. On the same note, do not leave any of your toiletries or snacks inside the tent with you. In general it seems that the rangers seem to have good control over the bears that have been tagged and are constantly monitored, but not all bears are tagged, and even the tagged bears will make their way into Yosemite campgrounds. Be smart and safe in bear country!
Fees: $26/night peak ($18/night non-peak)
Plumbed Toilets: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Picnic Table: Yes
Cooking Grate: Yes
Cell Service: No
Animal Bins/Food lockers: Yes
Love this campground! Large, well kept campground that has the beautiful Merced river running along side of it. The campsites (particularly those in loop C) are pretty large, with adequate space between them so that you don’t feel crowded, unlike the campsites in the campgrounds in Yosemite Valley. Many of the campsites in loop C have river views. The campground is generally pretty quiet during sleeping hours, 10 p.m. - 7 a.m.
As with all the other other campgrounds in Yosemite, there are no showers. You have to go to housekeeping near Half Dome Village in the Valley for access to showers, or bring a solar shower with a water catch basin to stand in (no dirty/soapy water is allowed to seep into the ground or river). However, the bathrooms do have flush toilets. Each campsite allows parking for two cars and the campground has some free overflow parking spots as well if you have an extra car. Many of the sites are large enough accommodate several tents. The bear boxes are large enough for at least two full size coolers and some bags of food and toiletries. All food, drinks (except water) and toiletries must go in the bear box. So if you have more than a couple of people, you may want to coordinate and plan out the food that you bring to make sure it will all fit in the bear box.
About a mile away is a general store and gas station, which is great for stocking up on ice and snacks. Cell service is very limited at the campground, but if you can’t unplug for your entire trip, the Wawona library is about a mile away (turn right out of the campground, then turn left on Chilnualna Falls Rd. and it’s a good ways down the road) and it has free, unsecured Wi-Fi. Yosemite Valley also has decent cell service.
It is about a 40 minute scenic drive to Yosemite Valley, but the campground is close to the Giant Sequoias, so there are still nearby scenic hiking options. Plus, Glacier Point Road is on the way back (along highway 41) to the campground from the Valley, which is perfect for a trip up to Glacier Point for awesome sunset views of Half Dome and some waterfalls. Just be sure to get there at least an hour or more before sunset (especially on weekends) as there may be a line for parking.
Unlike the valley floor campgrounds, you can usually still get a campsite at this campground, even if you are not clicking reserve on the reservation website at exactly 7:00 a.m.
I really enjoy this campground and will definitely go back!