RV camping in our national parks is one of the best ways to experience their beauty, and Yosemite National Park is no exception. With nine campgrounds that can accommodate RVs, you’ve got options, too!
Keep reading to learn about the best RV camping in Yosemite (and nearby).
Inside the Park
1. The Pines Campgrounds
Three RV-friendly campgrounds are all in the same basic area of Yosemite and, in addition to being the only three that require reservations, they share a lot in common.
The Lower Pines Campground, Upper Pines Campground, and North Pines Campground are all located on the valley floor (about 4,000 ft elevation) in the heart of Yosemite National Park along the Merced River. At nearby Yosemite Village and Curry Village, you’ll find stores with everything from essentials to park-inspired gifts, several restaurants, showers, and equipment rentals.
The proximity to Half-Dome (a giant rock formation) and Mirror Lake make Lower Pines a popular spot and one of the best places for RV camping in Yosemite.
Despite it being a popular place, the camp hosts and park rangers at Lower Pines run a tight–but friendly–ship, so it stays pretty quiet.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have amazing views of Half-Dome without ever leaving your campsite.
Reservations can be made up to 5 months in advance, but they go fast. The season runs from April through October.
The paved roads around this campground are easy to traverse by bike. Bring yours or rent one and avoid the hassle of driving or waiting in long shuttle lines. The shuttle service that runs through the park has several pick-up and drop-off points around Lower Pines, and there are many park trailheads in the area.
There are no showers at Lower Pines and no hookups. Showers are available for a fee at Curry Village. The campground does have flushing toilets and complementary bear boxes, though!
Upper Pines Campground is the only Yosemite campground that is open year-round, making it a popular spot for camping in the winter. It’s a bit rockier than the other two Pines, so if you plan to sleep under the stars, be sure to bring a good sleeping mat. In the winter, the rocky ground can get very slippery. Bring shoes with good traction or crampons to help you get around safely.
The sites at Upper Pines are some of the most level in the entire park, making for some of the best RV camping in Yosemite without having to spend a lot of time trying to level your rig.
Like Lower Pines, Upper Pines is in close proximity to several trailheads. If you’re winter-rigging, rent some cross-country skis in Curry Village and explore!
North Pines Campground is across the Merced River from Upper and Lower Pines. It’s open from mid-April to late October.
In addition to all the amenities you’ll find at the other two Pines campgrounds, North Pines is very dog-friendly (though note that many of the trails in Yosemite are not).
Wildlife isn’t shy on this side of the river. Keep your dogs close and leashed, use your bear box, then get ready to see some Yosemite fauna!
2. Crane Flat Campground
Crane Flat Campground is located on the western edge of Yosemite. It’s been closed for major renovations and is set to reopen for the 2023 season.
Crane Flat is one of the best places to RV in Yosemite if you like to camp near dense forest. Surrounding the camp, you’ll find copious red firs, sugar pines, and lodgepole pine. Once you venture onto some of the trails, you can see vanilla-scented Jeffery pine trees and western junipers.
Most impressive for forest lovers, though, is that Crane Flat is located in the center of two groves of giant sequoias–Tuolumne Grove and the Merced Grove. The hike from the campground to either of these groves is an easy 3-mile round trip.
3. Tuolumne Meadows Campground
In the opposite direction from Crane Flat sits the Tuolumne Meadows Campground at the east end of the park. Like Crane Flat, however, Tuolumne Meadows is closed for massive renovations. It’s set to reopen in 2024 or 2025.
Tuolumne Meadows is the largest campground in Yosemite and sits close to several trails, scenic viewpoints, the Tuolumne River, and even a few lakes. It has a small store with essentials and a gas station.
Tuolumne differs from the valley and other more wooded campgrounds in Yosemite in that it’s relatively flat and clear in spots.
4. Hodgdon Meadow
On the western edge of the park, you’ll find the Hodgdon Meadow Campground. This campground is pretty isolated, about 25 miles from Yosemite Valley, with the nearest gas station and convenience store at Crane Flat. Driving to Yosemite Valley will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
Many visitors call this campground one of the best places to camp in Yosemite because of its distance from the attractions in the valley. It’s quiet and secluded, away from main roads. Do note, however, that it can be difficult to find a level spot at this facility.
Bear boxes are not usually needed here, so if you want to avoid a surprise bear sighting, this might be the place for you! The boxes are available, just in case, but they aren’t required like they are in the valley.
5. Wawona Campground
Located on the southern edge of the park, Wawona Campground sites line the sparkling Merced river. Even if you aren’t fortunate enough to get a riverside spot, you can hear the rush of the water from nearly any site on the campground if you keep your windows open.
The campground is about 27 miles from Yosemite Valley, but it’s only a short distance by car to the Mariposa giant sequoia grove. Historic Wawona is also close by, where you’ll find the Yosemite History Center, a visitor center, a market, and some of the park’s oldest structures.
Like to fish? This campground is among the best to RV camp in Yosemite if you like to catch trout. The river is full of them in this area! Remember to bring tubes or floats for the river, too. This stretch of the river is great for swimming and tubing.
Note that generators are only allowed to be on for 2 hour sessions throughout the day, but that means the campground does stay relatively quiet.
6. White Wolf Campground
White Wolf Campground is situated at the north end of Yosemite National Park. The campground is close to the main road and is an easy drive in.
This high-altitude camp sits at about 8,000 ft and features lake access via a few different trails. Lakes not your thing? A small stream trickles through the campground, and there are myriad rocks that are perfect for little ones to climb.
The campsites here are larger and relatively well spaced. With room to enjoy the seclusion of the beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder White Wolf is one of the best RV camping spots in Yosemite.
7. Bridalveil Creek Campground
Located in the south-central region of Yosemite National Park, you’ll find Bridalveil Creek Campground sitting at about 7,200 ft in elevation. This campground has been closed for some time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s set to reopen for the 2023 season (July through September).
Bridalveil is a first-come, first-served campground, unless you need a group site or a horse site–for those, reservations are required.
The campsites here are nestled among red firs and lodgepole pines. Trails of varying degrees of difficulty surround Bridalveil, and the views from nearby (7 miles) Glacier Point are priceless.
Outside the Park
If you’re not lucky enough to get a spot inside the park, or you prefer to stay close but outside the park boundaries, you’re in luck. Check out these great places to RV camp around Yosemite.
8. Yosemite Lakes RV Resort
Just 5 miles outside the western border of Yosemite, Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes RV Resort offers stunning views with top-notch amenities. Although you’ll be outside the park, this is still one of the best places to RV when visiting Yosemite.
The Tuolumne River winds through the resort property, giving visitors lots of opportunities to fish and swim (or even try their hand at panning for gold!). If you’re RVing with kids, you’ll be happy to know the resort offers activities (game room, mini golf, horseshoes, and the like) and has a large playground. On top of that, several easy trails are accessible from the property.
Full hook-ups at this location make camping a little easier in your RV. Visitors praise the consistent water pressure at the resort, too; you won’t have to forego a nice shower after a long day of playing in the woods!
9. Indian Flat Campground
Also on the western edge of the park is Indian Flat Campground. This location has varying levels of hook-ups for your rig, so make sure you book appropriately. One thing visitors love about this campground is its plethora of level RV spaces!
The coolest thing about this beautiful, scenic campground is that you’ll have access to an outdoor pool at a nearby hotel, as well as to their restaurant and bar. River access is within walking distance, too. So, if you love the freedom of RVing but want something a little less rustic than staying in the park, this may be just your place.
Yosemite Valley is about a 45-minute drive from the property, and you can get there by shuttle.
10. Yosemite Westlake Campground & RV Park
Yosemite Westlake Campground and RV Park is about 24 miles from Yosemite, to the west of the park. This campground is a full hook-up joint, with tons of space to spread out.
The camp hosts are extremely knowledgeable about Yosemite (including rules and regulations in the park), as well as about the area around the camp.
Yosemite Westlake is less rustic than camping inside the park, but not as amenity-heavy as some of the other properties outside the park borders. Note that, while Wi-Fi is available, you must be pretty close to the camp host’s house (this may be a pro or a con, based on what you’re looking for!).
11. Yosemite Pines RV Park
Yosemite Pines RV Park also lies to the west of the park entrance, about a 25-minute drive away. The convenient location, combined with the campground’s amenities, make it one of the best places to RV camp around Yosemite!
The property has a convenience store, deli, and lots of activities, like a pool, volleyball court, horseshoes, and petting zoo (Yes. A petting zoo!). This is an extremely family-friendly place to park your RV. What’s best about the activities is they’re all included in the price of your site. You can even check out a free pan at the general store to go gold panning.
12. Golden Pines RV Park
If you like higher elevation, consider parking your RV at Golden Pines RV Park. This campground sits at 5,000 ft and is surrounded by the Stanislaus National Forest. Near to June Lake and Gull Lake, the property is secluded, quiet, and relatively untouched.
Golden Pines has a small playground for the little ones. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s something to keep the kids occupied between more exciting adventures. It also has a pool!
And speaking of other adventures, if you want a shorter trip than going all the way into Yosemite, check out Calaveras State Park. Only about 2 miles from the campground, you can marvel at the ancient giant sequoias.
13. Bass Lake at Yosemite
A mere 18 miles from the southern entrance to Yosemite, Bass Lake is another great place to RV camp in the area, especially for families. The site’s recreation room has games and activities (like billiards) to keep both kids and adults busy when they’re not out enjoying nature. There’s a crystal-clear pool, convenience store, and even a lodge to hang out in, with a roaring fire in winter and plenty of activities throughout the year.
Bass Lake, itself, is only about a 10-minute walk from the campground. There, you’ll find all kinds of water activities, like stand-up paddleboarding, skiing, fishing, swimming, and canoeing.
The campground has something for everyone, except maybe someone who wants a truly rustic experience.
14. Summerdale Campground
Summerdale Campground is only 1.5 miles from the entrance to Yosemite, which is why it makes our list for one of the best places to RV camp in the area.
At this location, you’ll be surrounded by both meadow and forest. Nearby Big Creek offers great fishing. Nelder Grove is also close by, where you can walk among giant sequoias.
This campground only has vault toilets, and the RV spots can be snug, but its proximity to Yosemite can’t be beat. Make sure to check the size of your site when you make your reservation.
15. High Sierra RV Park
Close to Bass Lake and the city of Oakhurst, High Sierra RV Park is also just about 13 miles from Yosemite on the banks of the Fresno River. You can back your RV into a spot right on the banks and easily go for a dip in one of the many (chilly) swimming holes!
Pull-through sites and full hook-ups also make this campground a desirable location for RVers. Note that the sites are fairly small, though. Check the width of your rig against the size of the site when making your reservation.
There’s a nice dog park on the property, and if you’re there in the right season, wildflowers abound.
Enjoy Yosemite RV Camping !
There are so many great places to RV in and around Yosemite National Park, you really can’t go wrong anywhere!
Remember that reservation-required sites within the park fill up fast. Book early and be flexible! And if you do end up at Yosemite without a reservation, you can always try your luck at a first come, first served campground.
If you can’t get a site within the park for the dates that you want, but you’re not comfortable winging it, check out any of the private campgrounds listed about for equally remarkable stays.
Eager to learn more about RVing and other great spots for your RV vacations? Then visit our RV Camping page for more blog posts to helps you plan your travels.
- About the Author
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Ronda Lindsay is a professional writer and editor who has worked in government communications for nearly two decades.
Growing up in Portland, Oregon, she fostered her love of nature and the outdoors by exploring the Pacific Northwest’s many natural playgrounds before moving to the Washington, DC, area to see what the eastern side of the country had to offer. She’s also spent plenty of time camping, hiking, and floating around central Texas, where she now lives.
With a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in professional writing, Ronda loves to learn and write about the latest trends in outdoor adventuring and share that information with Beyond the Tent readers.