Best Camping Near Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Camping

By Alex Murphy

Yosemite National Park is known for its sweeping views, thick forest with giant waterfalls, and massive rock walls.

One of the first official National Parks and made famous by the writings of John Muir, the Yosemite Valley in California has been attracting visitors for more than 100 years, and for a good reason.

However, with its popularity, finding campgrounds and other spots to stay can be tricky for visitors. In many spots, reservations are required, and in the summer months, shuttles are often needed to get visitors around the park. That's why planning ahead is key for anyone looking to visit.

Here's a look at some of the most popular campsites anyone traveling to Yosemite National Park can check out.

Map of all Yosemite National Park Camping

Yosemite National Park Camping

There are several campgrounds to choose from within the park, but reservations are recommended, so visitors should plan ahead.

On Campendium, the Upper Pines Campground is the most popular destination in the park. Both Upper Pines Campground and North Pines Campground are popular for tent camping and RV camping. Although neither provides hookups, there are basic amenities like a picnic table and fire ring at each site.

Another campground in the park that is popular is Lower Pines Campground. This campground is known for its views of Half Dome; the massive rock wall made even more famous when Alex Honnold climbed it without a rope in the movie Free Solo.

Camping Near Yosemite

There are plenty of campgrounds and camping options outside the park that have quick access to Yosemite Valley.

This includes sites in National Forest like Sweetwater Campground in Stanislaus National Forest and Dry Gulch Campground in Sierra National Forest. Both areas have great views and are good alternatives to Yosemite camping.

There are other unique options near Yosemite National Park like Willow Placer Campground, a BLM campground located on a river, or Mariposa Fairgrounds, a county park with campsites an hour from the park. This location has water and electricity available for RV campers, making it a popular stop, so it's a good idea to get a reservation.

Yosemite RV Parks

The beauty of Yosemite National Park spills over to plenty of campgrounds nearby with flowing rivers and thick forests.

Visitors can find some of the most popular campsites at RV parks like Yosemite Ridge RV Resort and Indian Flat RV Park. Both have full amenities at each campsite, plus public showers and other options.

Yosemite Lakes Thousand Trails just outside the park is another option for RV campsites. Finding an available campsite can be difficult, so you'll make to make a reservation well in advance.

Free Camping Near Yosemite

If free tent camping in Yosemite is your goal, you'll need a wilderness permit to make that happen. However, if you're in an RV, there are some great camping options in the surrounding National Forests. It's important to note that some of these areas have closed due to wildfires and other issues so it's good to check with the National Forest Service for updates on where and when you can camp.

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Recent Yosemite National Park Campground Reviews

Yosemite Village, CA

North Pines Campground

Aug 01, 2022

"It’s all about the access"

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VERY difficult to book. We were online the second reservations opened, but weren’t able to get a spot. (We also have a longer rig so there were a limited number of spots for us to choose from in the first place.) But we got lucky and were able to snag a cancellation. It’s worth it though! The Yosemite shuttle stops nearby and you are walking...
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20 reviews
Groveland, CA

Dimond O Campground

Aug 01, 2022

"Good Access to Yosemite"

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The main draw here is access to Yosemite. You are 30 minutes from Hetch Hetchy and from the Big Oak Flat entrance. But we also enjoyed the nearby Middle Fork stream. You can access the water from a short trail that runs down from the campground or drive less than 5 minutes to the day use area. Great way to cool off! Our site was large and...
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20 reviews
Yosemite Village, CA

Upper Pines Campground

May 10, 2022

"Camping in the Valley "

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I wanted to add some balance to some negative reviews I’m seeing for this campground. It’s literally in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The camp staff were friendly and the bathrooms and facilities were totally acceptable the whole time we were there. The people who complain about it being crowded… well, it’s a public space meant for...
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13 reviews
El Portal, CA

Indian Flat RV Park

May 06, 2022

"Highly recommend "

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Very accommodating staff, extremely convenient location with well equipped facilities. We received a prompt - no hassle refund for our second night’s stay when we decided to leave a day early. Would stay again!

8 reviews
Groveland, CA

Dimond O Campground

Apr 30, 2022


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We camped here two nights. We could hear bear footsteps outside our tent both nights. On the first night bears bothered and took things from our neighbors camped on our right side. The second night bears bothered and took things from our neighbors camping on our left side. It is extremely important to use the bear proof boxes at each...
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2 reviews