Kinds of Yosemite camping

yosemite camping

Yosemite camping is a way for campers to sleep under the stars (or in some cases, inside of a tent). It is the only national park where you can pitch your own tent and cook your own food. Other types of “camping” at Yosemite include making reservations to camp overnight in one of the hotel-like rooms within the park, staying at one of the many High Sierra Camps, or camping inside of a tepee.

Where are some good campgrounds to stay?

A tree in front of a body of water

The most popular Yosemite campsites are near Yosemite Valley, but there are also some great campgrounds that are located in areas like Tuolumne Meadows and Hetch Hetchy. One of the most notable “non-valley” campgrounds is White Wolf. This campsite is located along Tioga Road and is a good starting point for hikes through Tuolumne Meadows. White Wolf is typically open from July to mid-September.

The best Yosemite camping site depends on your interests and what you want to see. Yosemite Valley offers many different types of campsites, from the car-camping type that are accessible by car and close to stores, restaurants, and lodging, to secluded “backpack” campsites not accessible by cars. Other popular camping spots in the park include Tuolumne Meadows and Hetch Hetchy. Looking for more of a private, secluded type of camping experience? White Wolf is located along Tioga Road (Rt. 120) and offers tent cabins that are great for overnight campers who like to get away from the hustle and bustle of Yosemite Valley.

What is the difference between Yosemite camping and others?

A view of a tent

The biggest difference between Yosemite camping and other national parks is that you are allowed to camp in the park for free. No reservation or permit is required, except in certain areas of the park. You can camp anywhere outside along most roads, although it will be difficult to find secluded spots near trails during busy summer months. Another benefit of Yosemite camping is that you can set up camp just about anywhere, including parking lots and picnic areas. There are also certain areas of the park where backcountry camping (camping in non-designated areas) is allowed.

What kinds of Yosemite camping will I find?

There are three main types of Yosemite campsites:

1-“car-camping,” “backcountry camping” and High Sierra Camps. Most of the campgrounds in Yosemite Valley are considered car-camping sites, where you drive your car to a site, then set up your tent. In most cases, the roads leading to the campgrounds are large enough for RVs.

2- The second type of Yosemite campgrounds, “backcountry camping,” is located in the less-traveled areas of the park. Camping is typically found along popular hiking trails and can only be reached on foot or by horseback (no cars). There are no campgrounds with bathrooms or running water at these campsites; however, some do have composting toilets, bear-proof food storage, and water that can be filtered from nearby streams. Backcountry camping permits are required by the park service.

3- The third type of Yosemite camping is actually staying in one of the High Sierra Camps. These lodges offer different types of accommodations for all budgets, including camping-type lodging with shared bathrooms or more private cabins with electricity. Two of the High Sierra Camps are located near Glacier Point, while the other five are all along the popular hiking trail to Half Dome.

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