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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mobile device showing map of camping locations

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Recent Yosemite National Park Campground Reviews

Yosemite Village, CA

Wawona Campground

Aug 06, 2021

"BEWARE - SITES ARE NOT TRADITIONAL (30-35') RV SIZED & FAR FROM LEVEL"

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As of 8/6/21, this campground is being advertised as RV only (self-contained required) due to ongoing sewage issues/construction. No tenters. There is no water or dump station available. Both available on Forest Drive near the Wawona gas station. Based on the RV sites being promoted (up to 35'), one would think that a traditional 30'-35'...
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Robert Hdez
7 reviews
Yosemite Village, CA

Wawona Campground

Jul 12, 2021

"RVs only....but nobody followed that important rule"

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We saw that the recreation.gov rules said RV's only and it is because they are reconstructing the bathrooms throughout the entire camp. Many CA people did not care and brought 4 cars and tents with no self contained bathrooms as well as 12 family members.....and they were defecating all around the perimeter and in the river. The people that did...
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DAN LOWE
1 review
Yosemite Village, CA

North Pines Campground

Jun 16, 2021

"We loved this campground! "

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Narrow space so we didn't camp with our RV but we did tent camp. There were smaller RVs there and plenty of camper vans. The sites are spacious and in the pines. Great location in the valley. Can walk everywhere or bike everywhere in the valley. AT&T service occasionally let a text go through but completely unreliable. No wifi. We had to put on...
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Julia Murray
38 reviews
Groveland, CA

Dimond O Campground

Jun 13, 2021

"Great spot near Yosemite entrance!"

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Friends were staying down the road at Evergreen Lodge so we tried our luck at a first come/first serve site. Showed up Friday morning at 9:05 am and had several options! We chose site 7 as it was very very flat (compared to many others) and had a great picnic area out back. We stayed here for two nights and would bounce over to Evergreen to use...
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Becca Pariser
7 reviews
Yosemite Village, CA

North Pines Campground

Jun 08, 2021

"Beautiful site, a little crowded"

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Stayed in April 2021. Even with COVID regulations blocking off about half the sites, it felt a little crowded as sites are very close together. Easy to use the dump at Upper Pines. Bathrooms clean. Love that there is a little propane canister can - I never know where to dispose of those! The generator rules are VERY strict which was a little...
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Samantha Rick
14 reviews