If you have ever been camping in Yosemite, you will know that it either takes some serious advanced planning, or the willingness to wing it for same-day reservations! The Yosemite Valley has 10 sites that accommodate campervans, but the majority of them book out months in advance. Couldn’t get the reservation you wanted for Yosemite? You may want to consider using Campnab– for a small fee, they will scan the calendar and alert you when reservations become available. Most campgrounds are open for the peak season. If you are travelling outside of that time, your campground options are limited to Upper Pines , Camp 4 , Wawona and Hodgdon Meadow.
NORTH PINES CAMPGROUND
This campground is a favourite, known for its towering granite walls, beautiful river and booking up super early in advance. Sites before available on recreation.gov five months before your reservation, on the 15th of the month. Seriously. If you are planning that early, you will be rewarded by beautiful wooded campsites and great hiking trails within walking distance.
The site is conveniently located 17 miles from Yosemite Valley, and is open from mid may to mid October. You can see a link to their website here. Sites here can also be booked on recreation.gov fire months before your reservation, on the 15th of the month, however they are usually the last to book as they are not actually in the valley. This is a good back up if you miss out on one of the valley campsites above. Open July till October.
One common strategy if you are unable to get a reservation, is to show up early for one of the first-come, first-served sites. Get to the Campground Reservations building in the heart of Yosemite Valley early (and we mean early) to line up and put your name on the list. You can then enjoy your day in Yosemite, and come back in the afternoon to see if your name gets called for a campground. If you are travelling in the summer season, we recommend aiming to get to Yosemite mid-week to maximise your chances of getting a first-come first-served spot. Miss out when you arrive? Try freecampsites.net- the map is clunky, but there is some gold in there, and a lot of places around Yosemite to camp at in a pinch.