Yosemite RV camping can be a bit of a challenge depending on the size of your RV, but it is one of the all time ‘best-of-the best’ places we have ever been. We can’t wait to go back again. The scenery is just amazing with all the huge rock faces, overhanging cliffs, beautiful rivers and lush green meadows. Just when you think you have seen it all you discover all the magnificent waterfalls. The waterfalls give the valley a unique and enchanted feeling unlike any other place we have ever been. Nowhere on earth are there
so many waterfalls in one place.
Where to Stay
Yosemite RV camping can be a great experience depending on the size of your RV. However, if you have a 40′ RV or motorhome there are only twelve sites in the Yosemite Valley that will accommodate 40′ or longer. There are six camping RV sites located in North Pines Campground and six camping RV sites at the Lower Pines Campground. If your motorhome is 35′ or less and/or your trailer is 24′ or less you won’t have a problem finding a good RV camping site in Yosemite. Keep in mind though all RV camping sites book up extremely fast – so you’ll want to make reservations way ahead. See list of Yosemite RV Camping parks below.
As you enter into Yosemite Park the highway you’ll take to get to the valley is a nice drive. You’ll drive several miles and then you’ll enter a long tunnel. When you exit the other side of the tunnel you’ll feel as though you just entered another world. The shear beauty of the mountains and the waterfalls are absolutely breathtaking. On this particular trip, we were riding our motorcycle. We stopped as soon as we exited the tunnel and took this picture. The picture is nice, but it doesn’t even come close to being there and seeing it in person.
Picture Spot on Other Side of Tunnel in Yosemite
When we last traveled to Yosemite we took our 33′ motorhome. We had the motorcycle on the back of the motorhome and we were also towing a car behind the motorcycle. Think we were 53′ length with everything. At that length we found there just wasn’t a good spot for us to park the RV and camp in Yosemite National Park.
Our solution was to stay just outside the park at Bass Lake Campground. Bass Lake is beautiful and is a fun place to visit, too. See our Bass Lake Campground page (coming soon).
RV camping outside of Yosemite worked out so much better for us. The road into the Yosemite valley is a one-way loop. When it gets crowded (and it gets crowded) navigating the valley in your car can be a real challenge – even in a small car.
The crowds can get very heavy in the valley during a nice afternoon – especially on the weekend. The road would often times be grid-locked, or at best ‘stop and go.’ We’d usually find a good place to park the tow car and we’d get around on our bicycles. There are some great paths for bicyclists. Sometimes we took the motorcycle, which worked out well also.
Loved all the paved bike paths in Yosemite!
Also, most sites in Yosemite RV campgrounds are close together. They didn’t appeal to us as much as Bass Lake – just too crowded. We love meeting new people, but we also enjoy a little space, too.
Yosemite RV Camping
RV Parks to Consider Depending on Size of Rig
Hodgdon Meadow Campground
Quiet camping in a natural surrounding. Many trees, but sunshine in the morning, too. Park has 105 sites and will accommodate RV’s up to 35′. It’s located on the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120), about 45 minutes northwest of Yosemite Valley and adjacent to the Big Oak Flat Entrance Station. Elevation is 4,900 ft. Cost: $20/night. Each campsite contains a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker, and is near a bathroom with potable water and flushing toilets. Visit Hodgdon Meadow Campground for more information.
Crane Flat Campground
Crane Flat Campground is located in Yosemite National Park in Central California at 6200 feet in elevation. It is 17 miles (30 minutes) from Yosemite Valley and contains family camping sites and can accommodate both tents and RVs. There are no electric, water, or sewer hook-ups (a dump station is located in Yosemite Valley, as are showers for a fee). Cost: $20/night. Visit Crane Flat Campground for more information.
North Pines Campground
Beautiful Yosemite RV camping with many trees, some waterfront sites, and views of the giant granite cliffs that are Yosemite. There is much wildlife. Free shuttle to other points in Yosemite is available at the campground entrance. There are no hook-ups, no dump station (though there is one in Yosemite at another campground) and the roads through this park are extremely tight. There are 81 sites and some will accommodate RVs up to 40′. Cost $20/night. Visit North Pines Campground for more information.
Tuolumne Meadows Campground
Peaceful and rustic camping in Yosemite. Might be a little tight if you have a large RV. It’s located on the Tioga Road at Tuolumne Meadows, about 1.5 hours northeast of Yosemite Valley. Elevation is 8,600 ft. Reservations can be made for half the campsites. The other half of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are 304 sites and can accommodate RVs up to 35′ in length. Cost $20/night. The dump station is just west of the campground. Visit Tuolumne Meadows Campground for more information.
Upper Pines Campground
This Yosemite campground offers beautiful scenery. Although … you’re very close to your neighbors. It’s recommended you get a site in the last loop along the stream. Roads are very narrow, so be careful. It’s located near Curry Village in Yosemite. There are 238 sites and maximum RV length is 35′. Cost: $20/night. Visit Upper Pines Campground for more information.
If you like camping in undeveloped RV parks, you might like this campground, which is located one mile north of Wawona in Yosemite. There are 93 sites and some will accommodate an RV up to 35′ in length. There’s potable water and flushing toilets, but no other services. Cost $20/night. Visit Wawona Campground for more information.
There are lots of hiking trails in Yosemite with views of spectacular waterfalls. While riding our bicycles we found a great hike up to Vernal Falls. The views are utterly breathtaking with Half Dome off in the distance. Our dream would be to visit Yosemite this year and take the long hike to the top of Half Dome. We’ve heard it’s a 2-day hike, while others we’ve talked with say they’ve completed it in one very long day. Guess we need to get in better physical shape before we tackle the Half Dome hike. Hopefully by the time we plan our next trip to Yosemite we’ll be in better shape!
The Merced River runs through Yosemite National Park. During the summer, it’s a great place for kayaking, canoeing, and tubing. Or …. if you feel like being lazy for a bit — it’s a nice place to have a picnic and soak in the beautiful scenery.
Enjoying a picnic on the Merced River
Bears – Yosemite RV Camping
Most people know there are bears in the valley. It’s very important to not leave any food in your car – not even in the trunk of your car. You may return to your vehicle to find that it was broken into by a hungry bear.
Are you ready to plan a Yosemite RV camping trip? It’s truly a magnificent place to visit and is without a doubt one of our favorite national parks.
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