Sweetwater Campground is located on a mixed conifer forested site adjacent to Highway 120, in close proximity to Yosemite National Park. Sites offer camping furniture (picnic tables, campfire pit with grill). Accessible vault toilets are available and potable water is available over the summer season (May – Sep).
Driving from the West toward Yosemite this location is one which will allow you to find a camping option before getting into the big crowds.
The location is relatively dry throughout the later months of the year but offers some great hiking just beyond your camp in the mountainous regions.
I found this campsite while driving down 120 and was completely surprised by it. At this point I had no cell signal and wasn’t really sure what to expect ahead of me until I reached the park. I was on a discovery mission and there it was off to the left hand side of the road with a few small campers nestled closer to the restrooms. I pulled in and was excited to see how large the sites were and how the unique dry area reminded me of camping in Utah and Nevada(though in early Spring this area is much more green and lush).
While there is a campground host at the location the fees for campsites are collected in a check in box a the entrance of the campground. Single sites are$24 with additional vehicles$8 per. This is a bit higher than other forest camps I had stayed at, however in this area in comparison to some of the Yosemite pricing this is a fair pricing.
The camp is pretty basic with fire rings and tables at each site and a vault toilet located centrally at the camp. I did notice spigots throughout camp with signage that these were common use and not for connections for individuals. Dumpsters and trash cans were also available at camp which was somewhat surprising with the animal warnings of the area.
One of the most important sections of the camp to me was the information kiosk. The kiosk warned not only of bears but also snakes in this area and had a few pointers for what to do and how to prepare. There are no bear boxes at this campsite so make sure you are prepared if you come here to stay.
This area is a portion of of the area which in recent years experienced forest fires so there are lots of downed limbs in the area, however these are not supposed to be picked up for firewood so bring whatever you will need at camp. There also are no stores nearby for several miles so bringing your supplies is very important.
- Before you visit this area of California familiarize yourself with Bear Safety and learn not only what to do but how to make sure you are safe at your camp when you are away.
- Make sure you always put your fire out completely before going to bed or leaving camp, this area has been damaged time and time again due to human error and negligence.
Absolutely loved it here! No cellphone service, no showers, and one nature toilet. A true tent camping experience. Fell asleep to the raging river nearby. Recreation.gov states that bear proof lockers are provided but that is not true. This is a remote campsite, you are living in bear country; be prepared and secure you food/garbage. We had no problems with any wildlife and found it peaceful.
We (a team of 6 people) are in SD participating in an adventure race called Questival. This campground had full restrooms and coin opporated showers. The site is pet friendly and has horse stables. Our neighbors were friendly and quiet. The site had a picnic table, fire pit, water spout and full electricity hook ups.
I stayed here for 4 nights while visiting Yosemite National Park. This was the closest campsite that I could get without a reservation (about 15 minutes from park entrance, & 1 hr. from Yosemite Valley) The campground looks like it used to be much nicer but it was obviously burned in the Rim Fire. Even if it wasn't burned, I still wouldn't be too impressed. The sites are pretty close together and the campground is right on the highway so the noise is pretty bad. Also, they are doing some kind of construction around the site so we woke up to the sounds of equipment driving right behind our tent. Also, this place is WAY over priced for what you get. I paid $20 per night plus $8 per night per extra vehicle. If you're planning on spending most of your time in the park, this place can be a decent last resort if everything else in the area is full.