Camping Overview: Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park Highlights
- White Wolf Campground, a summertime favorite, is set at 8,000 feet in elevation along Tioga Pass Road. Sites are tucked in among granite boulders and lodgepole pines. Trails to Lukens Lake and Harden Lake lead directly from camp. If you tire of blackened hot dogs, you can get a home-cooked meal at neighboring White Wolf Lodge.
- Popular with anglers and swimmers because of its setting alongside Big Creek, Summerdale Campground is only a mile from the southern entrance to Yosemite. With a base camp here, you can get up early and beat the crowds to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Or you can get a fresh morning start on the hike to Chilnualna Falls.
- At 10,087 feet, Saddlebag Lake is the highest lake to which you can drive in California. Set in a stark landscape high above treeline, the lake and its neighboring 20-site campground are only five miles from the Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite. A boat taxi shuttles hikers and anglers across the lake to the 20 Lakes Basin in the Hoover Wilderness.
- If you seek the seclusion of a grove of aspen trees or the convenience of a fish-filled stream just a few feet from your tent, you'll love Boulder and Aspen Campgrounds in Lee Vining Canyon, just east of Tioga Pass. Camp here in autumn for an unforgettable fall color show.
- Bridalveil Creek Campground is a perfect base camp for exploring Glacier Point Road's many day-hiking trails, and it boasts unexpected luxury in the form of flush toilets. Stay as long as you like for sunset at Glacier Point and enjoy a blissfully short drive "home."
Campgrounds are located throughout the park. You'll find one in Yosemite Valley, one at Hodgdon Meadow, and one at Wawona. Utility hookups are not available, but all campgrounds have toilets and tap or stream water (treat stream water before using). Eating facilities, stores, and lodging are available in Yosemite Valley, Wawona, and El Portal year-round; and at Tuolumme Meadows and White Wolf during the summer season.
To make a campground reservation, call 800-436-PARK (7275). If you are calling from outside the U.S. or Canada, dial 301 722-1257. The TDD number for the hearing-impaired is 888-530-9796.
You can lodge inexpensively in the park in a tent cabin with nearby bathroom. What more do you need? But if you're looking for a cushier night's sleep, stay at the Ahwahnee, a graceful old building built in the heart of the Yosemite Valley. Even if you camp, brunch or a quick drink at the Ahwahnee is highly recommended.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication