Best Camping Near Yosemite National Park

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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.

Recent Yosemite National Park Campground Reviews

Yosemite Village, CA

Wawona Campground

Jun 09, 2024

"Great Park, Ok Campground "

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Verizon speeds were good here. High enough to hit my plan cap of 50Mbps download and 3Mbps upload. No usable T-Mobile or AT&T. Verizon and T-Mobile speeds taken from a roof mounted Pepwave antenna. No Starlink obstructions at site 10, other loops could have issues. Some solar shading in the morning and afternoon. Highway 41 is in good shape...
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Tin Tumbleweed
147 reviews
El Portal, CA

Indian Flat RV Park

May 21, 2024

"Nice location (proximate to Yosemite) but lots of downside"

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If you're coming at Yosemite via El Portal (the entrance that puts you right in Yosemite Valley, rather than the entrance that puts you right at Mariposa Grove to the south), this is the last commercial campground before you hit the park about 30 minutes up the road. The Good: Unlike ANY RV site in Yosemite, you will get power, water & sewer...
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rmurray847
31 reviews
El Portal, CA

Indian Flat RV Park

Apr 25, 2024

"Clean Facilities, Friendly And Amazing View"

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We came a day early and they were able to accommodate us a spot immediately. We loved that we had access to the swimming pools and hot tub next door. Very clean restrooms and great shower facilities. Being our first time in a travel trailer, we loved it here! Our dog loved it as well. Thank you!

camper-907843
14 reviews
Yosemite Village, CA

Wawona Campground

Mar 30, 2024

"First Come First Served (mid-October through mid-April)"

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We wanted to camp in Upper Pines Campground but all sites were booked for the Saturday night (1/28/2024). So we drove to Wawona Campground. It 's a First Come First Served campground (mid-October through mid-April). We saw a few sites occupied or yellow tabs attached on the posts. At first we couldn't find a good site but we were able to snag...
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Yaz
15 reviews
El Portal, CA

Indian Flat RV Park

Mar 16, 2024

"Small RV Park close to Yosemite NP"

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We camped here on January 26, 2024 before entering Yosemite National Park. It's a small RV Park. I reserved a spot about one week in advance via campspot.com and paid $41.25 (Fall/Winter Rate) +$2 (service fee). When we arrived I checked in at the Cedar Lodge Office because the campground office was not open. I received a card key for the indoor...
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Yaz
15 reviews