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Yosemite National Park

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YOSEMITE IS A WONDERFUL PLACE TO VISIT AND A GREAT PLACE TO CAMP. PEOPLE HAVE ENJOYED CAMPING HERE FOR GENERATIONS. HOWEVER, GETTING A CAMPSITE IS NOT AS AS EASY AS YOU MIGHT THINK. I’D LIKE TO GIVE YOU A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF WHAT CAMPING IS LIKE HERE AND HOW TO GO ABOUT GETTING A CAMPSITE. TO BEGIN WITH, YOSEMITE HAS 13 CAMPGROUNDS. 4 OF THESE ARE OPEN YEAR ROUND AND ARE LOCATED IN YOSEMITE VALLEY, HODGDON MEADOW, AND WAWONA. HIGHER-ELEVATION CAMPGROUNDS ARE ONLY OPEN FOR A LIMITED TIME IN THE SUMMER. ALL CAMPSITES IN THE PARK HAVE A FEW THINGS IN COMMON. THEY’VE GOT BEAR-PROOF FOOD LOCKERS, PICNIC TABLES, AND FIRE PITS WITH GRILLS.

EACH CAMPGROUND ALSO HAS FLUSH OR VAULT TOILETS AND EITHER RUNNING WATER OR CREEK WATER. CREEK WATER NEEDS TO BE TREATED BEFORE DRINKING. NONE OF THE CAMPGROUNDS HAVE HOOKUPS. HOWEVER, THE PARK DOES HAVE 3 DUMP STATIONS. PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW ABOUT CAMPING IN YOSEMITE IS THAT IT’S VERY HARD TO GET A CAMPSITE IN THE SUMMER. IT IS ALSO HARD TO GET A SITE ON THE WEEKENDS IN SPRING AND FALL.

Plan In Advance

THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR YOSEMITE VALLEY. THE 3 CAR CAMPGROUNDS IN YOSEMITE VALLEY ARE RESERVATION ONLY EXCEPT IN THE WINTER. RESERVATIONS FOR THESE SITES ARE MADE UP TO 5 MONTHS IN ADVANCE AND CAN SELL OUT IN HOURS OR EVEN MINUTES. SO ONE KEY TO CAMPING IN YOSEMITE IS TO PLAN FAR IN ADVANCE. THE OTHER KEY, THOUGH, IS TO KNOW THAT MANY OF THE CAMPGROUNDS OUTSIDE OF YOSEMITE VALLEY HAVE CAMPSITES THAT DO NOT REQUIRE RESERVATIONS AND ARE FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED.

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THESE CAMPGROUNDS HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF BEING MORE NATURAL AND LESS CROWDED THAN THE ONES IN YOSEMITE VALLEY. WHILE IT’S POSSIBLE TO FIND FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE SITES AT ANY TIME OF YEAR, MAY AND JUNE CAN BE DIFFICULT SINCE MANY OF THOSE CAMPGROUNDS ARE STILL CLOSED FROM SNOW. TO GET A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE CAMPSITE, YOU NEED TO SHOW UP IN THE MORNING AT THE CAMPGROUND YOU WANT TO STAY IN. SOME CAMPGROUNDS ARE FULL BY A.M. DURING THE BUSY SEASON. SO THE EARLIER THE BETTER TO MAKE SURE YOU GET A SITE.

For More Information

YOU CAN CALL OUR CAMPGROUND STATUS LINE ANYTIME TO GET A CURRENT UPDATE OF CAMPSITE AVAILABILITY. THIS INFORMATION IS UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE DAY ONLY AS CONDITIONS CHANGE. SO THAT COVERS THE BASICS FOR HOW TO GET A SITE. ONE LAST TIP I’LL GIVE YOU IS THAT CAMPSITES ARE LIMITED TO 6 PEOPLE AND TWO CARS, WHICH IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHEN PLANNING YOUR TRIP. IF YOU DO HAVE MORE THAN TWO CARS IN YOUR GROUP, THERE IS SOME OVERFLOW PARKING AVAILABLE NEAR EACH CAMPGROUND.

THERE ARE OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CAMPING IN YOSEMITE, AND WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE. YOU CAN LOOK THERE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THINGS LIKE CAMPFIRE REGULATIONS, GENERATOR USE, SHOWER AVAILABILITY, AND FOR MORE TIPS ABOUT HOW TO MAKE THOSE ADVANCED RESERVATIONS. WE HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT VISIT TO YOSEMITE AND A WONDERFUL TIME CAMPING..