Camping In California

Photo by Matthew Jones

Camping in California is fun! Growing up here and still living here, I can honestly say that memories are often made when you choose to camp during your California vacations. There is a time and place for hotels, but not always :)

California camping is the best way to avoid hotels and cut costs. Yosemite National Park and the surrounding area has many choices for you to choose from. Camping for those who want to pitch a tent or for those in RV's and trailers is available. In Yosemite Natl Park there are many places to camp. The key is to make your reservations early.

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Places To Camp In Yosemite Valley

Besides camping in the valley, you can camp up to the east or to the west of Yosemite National Park. The campgrounds that are for camping in California to the West are:Bridalveil Creek. This campsite is found on your way up to Glacier Point. Just take Glacier Point Road and follow signs to Bridalveil Creek.

There are 110 camp sites that are available on a first come, first serve basis. It will take you 45-50 minutes to drive up from the valley floor. It is a 26 mile drive. Bridalveil Creek is at 7,000 feet in elevation. Lots of mosquito's up here. Bring bug repellent. For more information call (209) 372-0200.

Picture courtesy of Matthew Jones

Up on this road is also Horse Camp. This is a place that has horse camping sites. You must have a reservation and a group to stay at Horse Camp.

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Crane Flat and Hodgdon Meadow This campsite is open year around. 271 campsites available. It is about a 45 minute drive to Tuolumne Meadows from Yosemite Valley.

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This campsite is open year around. Less than a 45 minute drive to the valley floor. They have 93 campsites. There is not a lot of shade or flat ground at here at Wawona. At this location there is a family campground. Pets are allowed if they are on a leash. Pets cannot be left unattended. Tents, trailers and RV's are allowed here. 

The group campsite does not allow pets and is only for tent camping. (they'll bust you if they catch you sleeping in your vehicle.)

Neither of the campsite have electricity, water or sewer available. In the summer months there is a dump station that is close by. For more information call (209) 372-0200.

If you want to go camping in California and go to the east of Yosemite then here are your choices:

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Tuolumne Meadows Located at an elevation of 9000 feet. It is the most beautiful 2 hour drive to the valley floor. You will drive 55 miles along the famous Tioga Pass. Up at Tuolumne are breath taking domes and many, many crystal clear lakes surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

The lakes are regularly stocked with fish. Campsites for tents, trailers and RV's are available. 304 sites are available. $24 a night to stay here. No electricity, water or sewer up here. No dump station either. Pets are allowed, on a leash only, in the family campsite.

LOTS OF BEARS AND MOSQUITOES in Tuolumne Meadows. Please use bear canisters when camping. Bring LOTS of repellent! For more information you can call (209) 372-0200. Tioga Pass is closed during the winter months because of all the snow. Tuolumne Meadows is one of the best places to go camping in California.

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Camping Near Yosemite If Yosemite Campgrounds Are Full

Tamarack Flat, Porcupine Flat, Whitewolf and Yosemite Creek. These campsites are all along Tioga Pass Road. There are 253 campsites are available between these four campgrounds. Mainly tent camping. A few trailer and RV spots are available. All sites are on a first come and first serve

basis. Close by is Tuolumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake. These are great places for fishing

If the campsite is not on a first come, first serve basis then you may make reservations up to five months in advance. (877) 444-6777 is the number for US and Canadian callers. If you are calling internationally, please call 518-885-3639. Phones are answered between 7 am and 7 pm, Pacific Time.

Check in and Check out time is by noon each day. No trailer or RV can be longer than 40 feet long. The maximum stay at any campsite is seven days. Quiet hours in campsites is 10 pm to 6 am. Camping in California is great at any of the above places.

If you don't have all your camping gear or need to replace some gear, then I recommend the Camping Gear at REI.

Here Is A Printable Camping Checklist!

Campgrounds Just For RVs, Motor-homes, 5th Wheels & Trailers

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