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Yosemite

National Park

What you need to know for RV camping here

Yosemite is very easily one of the most sought after travel destinations. From the glorious waterfalls to hiking, rafting or even just enjoying the abundance of views, Yosemite NP is a must on your bucket list!

 

There is so much information out there that it can really be overwhelming. So we are here to break it all down and help you make it happen!

Where should I stay?

If you're planning on staying within the park, note that none of the campgrounds have electric hook ups. If you're going in the summer or  winter, you may want to review our posts about camping in those temperatures. You can do that here.

Options for camping

  1. Make a reservation at a campground in Yosemite

  2. Make a reservation at a campground just outside of Yosemite

  3. Try your luck for first come spots

Option 1. How do I make a reservation to stay in the park?

 

The question is how committed are you to staying in the park its self? It's not a secret that getting a campground reservation in the park is a little like winning the lottery. But don't let us discourage you, because there are ways to make it happen.

We found an awesome step by step guide on how to get this done. You can check it out here. The page has a lot of information. Don't let it overwhelm you.

 

Here's a quick summary

1. Check when the campground online reservations open. That's that list -->

2. Decide on dates you'd like to visit. The more popular the travel dates, the more challenging it will be to secure the reservation.

3. Recruit all the help that you can get. Seriously, call your sisters best friends cousin. Let's get this done! (Maybe host a thank you for helping lunch too).

4. Set up an action plan for everyone. This means everyone needs to be registered for www.recreation.gov and know exactly which camping spots they are trying to get.

5. At 6:45am everyone needs to be at their computers with dates filled out.

6. At 6:59am and 59 seconds everyone should be firing away on the "Book Now" button.

This is a numbers game. There are thousands of people bidding for the same 400 spots. Don't be discouraged if you aren't able to get anything this time around. Check back frequently for cancellations and explore the other options.

What campgrounds are good for RV camping in the park that can be reserved ahead of time?

The campgrounds listed below can accommodate 25 foot long RVs.

Also listed are the approximate dates that the campgrounds are open.

Yosemite Valley (most popular) - Technically all one campground.

North of Yosemite Valley

South of Yosemite Valley

Pro Tip

North Pines and Lower Pines may experience floods during May and June, so sometimes prior reservations are not available. The good news is though, that you may be able to reserve those campgrounds just a few days in advance or arrive on a first come basis. It's a good idea to have a reservation at another campsite just in case, and give this one a go if you're planning on visiting during those months.

Option 2. Exploring campgrounds outside of Yosemite

Having a reserved campground outside of Yosemite is not a bad idea because they are typically less crowded, offer better amenities and are easier to reserve.

Here are the websites that we recommend for exploring what campgrounds are available outside of Yosemite.

 

Yosemite has places where you can leave the RV parked for the day and even sometimes for the night (though sleeping in the RV overnight is not permitted). RV parking does generally fill up by late morning, especially during the busy times so plan to arrive early!

Here is where day use parking is allowed

  • Half Dome Village Day Use Park

  • Parking lot west of Yosemite Valley Lodge

  • Across the road from Camp 4

  • Day use parking area at Yosemite Village

 

Pro tip

If you want to avoid the stress of not being able to find a parking spot, you can park outside of the park and take a Yart into the park. This is our recommended way. More information on Yarts here.

Option 3. Trying a first come campground

If you're feeling lucky or hopeful, the following campsites offer first come accommodations for 25 foot long RVs. Note that campgrounds fill up quickly so plan to arrive as early as possible! We recommend camping the night before somewhere nearby to get an early start in the morning. Try to arrive before 8am.

READY TO MAKE A RESERVATION? CLICK HERE

 
 

Option 2. Exploring campgrounds outside of Yosemite

Having a reserved campground outside of Yosemite is not a bad idea because they are typically less crowded, offer better amenities and are easier to reserve.

Here are the websites that we recommend for exploring what campgrounds are available outside of Yosemite.

 

Yosemite has places where you can leave the RV parked for the day and even sometimes for the night (though sleeping in the RV overnight is not permitted). RV parking does generally fill up by late morning, especially during the busy times so plan to arrive early!

Here is where day use parking is allowed

  • Half Dome Village Day Use Park

  • Parking lot west of Yosemite Valley Lodge

  • Across the road from Camp 4

  • Day use parking area at Yosemite Village

 

Pro tip

If you want to avoid the stress of not being able to find a parking spot, you can park outside of the park and take a Yart into the park. This is our recommended way. More information on Yarts here.