Yosemite National Park Campgrounds are at a premium and not always easy to get. Especially since a swag (hundreds) of the best sites were lost to a flood a few years back and are awaiting replacement. We guide you through some of the pitfalls and opportunities open to families with children or teenagers in what remains despite the population pressures - one of great remaining family camping adventures.
Like many activities within Yosemite the prime source of much of your information should come from the NPS. Here is their advice on how to make the most of family camping opportunities in Yosemite:
A camp site may consist of up to six people and two cars. 13 Campsites exist but they are not all open all year round in Yosemite. Only four are open all year and they are quite difficult to get into without booking months or years in advance for the summer. Higher elevation campgrounds have very limited opening times. The camps are similar with fire-pits and bear proof food facilities. As it is almost impossible to get a campsite on weekends or in the summer it is best advised to keep away from these times.
The best advice we can give is to look to get into a campsite away from the valley itself. These more natural looking campsites are first in best dressed and you don't need a reservation. May and June are even difficult in these sites as well however due to excess snow. Als it's best to show up before 8.30 am during the busy time to get a site or call the camp status line on 209/372- 0266. Happy Camping :) Below you will find video of some of the best campsites.
There are four main campgrounds in the popular valley area. As mentioned they are all open all year round and have running water. Also they book out months in advance except four Camp 4 which operates on first in best served basis and does not accept RV trailers. Coin operated showers are available at nearby Camp Curry.
Pretty and pretty busy - especially in the summer months. Located Near Curry Village where you can have a nice shower for a couple of dollars (at the time of writing). The camp accepts pets and RV's.
The lower pines campground like the upper is also not a quiet place. But it is set in a great location with good clean facilities.
North Pines Campground is located by a river a little over 1km from Mirror Lake
Yosemite Wawona Campground Review
Away from the busy crowds and set by a waterfall near Glacier Point, this camp is beautiful with a little snow on it.
Video: Early Cold Morning at Bridalveil Creek Yosemite Campground.
Only a fer km from the tall trees, with flush toilets this is a good site to the south.
One of the biggest and least crowded options for camping in the park.
For more detailed information on each of the camps than given below you can visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/campground.htm which has information under the following category headings: Location, Elevation, Open, Reservations, Number of sites, RV length, Trailer length, Dump station, Groceries, Showers, Pets.
Map of all the great camping spots around Yosemite.
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