Kali C.

Dana Point , CA

Joined March 2017

Easily accessible beach camping

We stayed at this site after a 3 day backpacking trip, so its closeness to civilization was quite welcome. If you are looking for a more remote beach camping spot, you might be better suited elsewhere. This campground is situated on a cliff side above the beach, with ocean view sites costing more than other sites (look for "premium" sites, if you'd like an ocean view). The bathrooms and showers are nice and well maintained. There is a short little trail leading down to the beach and a day use lot as well. My only complaint is that there didn't appear to be enough water spigots spread out throughout the campground, but we weren't there long enough to make a huge difference to us.

Camping among the redwoods

First of all, I did not realize before arriving that the tent sites are walk-in (my fault). That made it difficult to find, but probably not if you know that before. There is a parking lot for the tent sites near the RV sites, and there are plenty of carts to take your gear to your site. I kind of like this setup since it makes it feel a little more remote and you don't get bothered by cats constantly passing your site. We didn't explore the whole campground, since we were in site 5 and were there for such a short time (just a jumping off point for the Skyline to Sea Trail), but the part we saw is spectacularly beautiful. The campground is full of magnificent redwoods with a creek passing right through. The sites each have a picnic table and a very large and roomy food locker. The bathrooms are close and well maintained. The park itself was very pretty and peaceful. We immediately saw a group of 4 deer lounging in the grass upon entering. I wish we could have stayed longer, but I will certainly be back!

Convenient, But Too Crowded

I love Yosemite. I love camping. But this campground is not my favorite. We stayed here, just for the convenience of being close to the trailhead for Half Dome, which was the purpose of our visit. It is also a convenient place to see much of the park and the Valley. However, it is far too crowded for my tastes. And full of touristy people (read: RVs).

Pros: Nice facilities, convenient access to Yosemite Valley via the free shuttle system, convenient access to Half Dome trailhead and other hiking trails, nearby amenities. If you need food or a shower, it's just a short shuttle or car ride over to Half Dome Village to get what you need, including restaurants and a bar. You can even hop on shuttles to Glacier Point and other popular destinations. It is all well shaded and you have access to potable water and flush toilet restrooms. It is also centrally located in the park and you can get to most of the sites with just an hour or so drive.

Cons: TOO MANY PEOPLE. When I camp, I like to get away from people and get away from civilization. If you do too, think about looking into campgrounds outside of Yosemite Valley. When I do camp around other people, it is usually with the understanding that they are also "camping people". The folks you are likely to find in the Valley are not these people. They are tourists. Tourists just don't have the same "campers' code" that you find among camping people. There is an unspoken rule that is honored among campers. And up at the top of that is respecting other campers' campsite and property. We had people walking right through our site as a shortcut to the restrooms and I even had someone steal my hammock in the middle of the night from right next to my tent. The next time I stay in Yosemite, I will avoid staying in this area.

Conclusion: Convenient, but loud and crowded. Beware of thieves.

The Perfect Weekend Getaway

I can't emphasize enough how much I love camping here. We came here for about 5 days a few years ago, and had a great time. The campground has ample shade, provides benches, food storage lockers (definitely use them, the island foxes are adorable, but ruthless when it comes to stealing your food), and pit toilets. Choose a site a good distance away from the pit toilets if you have a choice. This should go without saying, but this campground is on an island, so you need to take a boat to get here (Island Packers out of Ventura). Word of wisdom--pack wisely when you go, as the campground is maybe a half a mile to a mile from the boat landing. If you have a ton of loose items and a ton of bags, expect to make many trips back and forth. When we went, we took our kayaks to get the most out of our week on the island. You can also rent kayaks (I THINK you have to make reservations ahead of time), and the kayaks are already on the beach waiting for you. We took our own, however, so we could tour on our own. I believe when you rent you have to go with a guide. We had to make a reservation for our kayaks, for an added fee, but they help load them and paddle them for you to the beach. We stored our kayaks on the beach during our time there, but brought a chain lock to lock them together to prevent anyone from taking them on joy paddle. There are also a great number of different hiking trails that leave from the campground that can keep you busy. Another note for the campground, the time we were there was EXTREMELY windy. The way the campground is situated, it is in a narrow valley that acts as a wind tunnel when it is windy out. Many of our neighbors did not do a good job of staking down their tents and some of them nearly blew away. If you are looking to really get away from it all, this is probably for you.

Great campground, if you find the right site

My friends and I had a great time at the Furnace Creek Campground over this past long weekend in Death Valley. Fortunately my friend chose the perfect site (134), because some of them are very exposed and crowded together. There are some trees scattered around the campground, but some sites are far more shaded than others. Ours was a "walk-in" site, meaning that the parking was some distance from the site (maybe ~100 yards, not significant). Our site was in complete shade, while others were very very exposed, and the trees offered great privacy and even a spot to hang my hammock. The restrooms were a short walk away and the dumpsters were a bit further. For the walk-in sites, each site has one dedicate parking spot, but there is an overflow parking area for additional cars. They did not seem to closely track how many cars each site had, but people seemed to do a good job of self-regulating. As for the campground itself, it was pretty centrally located and we got to the main sites pretty easily from there. It is right next to the visitor center and close to the Furnace Creek Ranch, where you can find a grocery store, saloon, and even a pool with showers that non-guests can use for a $5 fee. We were a short drive away from Golden Canyon, Badwater Basin, and the Devil's Golfcourse. Stovepipe Wells and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes weren't terribly far either. The Racetrack was quite a long drive away, however, about 3 hours (much of that on a rough, unpaved road).