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Tenting World’s Information to RVing Yosemite Nationwide Park


When you consider nationwide parks, there are just a few locations that instantly come to thoughts. Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Zion, and, after all, Yosemite. With its beautiful landscapes, iconic rock faces, and pristine wilderness, Yosemite is without doubt one of the nation’s hottest outside locations. It’s a must-visit place for hikers, backpackers, and rock climbers, though it has loads to supply anybody who appreciates breathtaking surroundings on an epic scale.

Ansel Adams spent his life attempting to seize the essence of this stunning place, capturing a few of his most memorable pictures there. However, you may’t actually recognize what Yosemite has to supply till you go to it your self. Right here’s make that occur and what it is best to see and do when you get there. 

Yosemite National Park
Picture by Unaihuiziphotography/Getty

Why Go to Yosemite in Your RV?

Overlaying practically 760,000 acres, Yosemite is epic in measurement and scope. There may be a lot to soak up right here {that a} single go to solely scratches the floor of what the park has to supply. By visiting in an RV you’ll have the right base camp to your outside adventures, with a cushty and heat setting to return to on the finish of the day. Hike the paths, soak within the surroundings, and luxuriate in an exquisite campfire after sundown. It is a place that any adventurous traveler or outside fanatic will fall in love with, and most definitely return to once more sooner or later.

Yosemite National Park
Picture by jssuley/Getty

When to Go to Yosemite

As with most nationwide parks, Yosemite is open year-round and accessible three hundred and sixty five days a 12 months. For those who’re RVing, it’s greatest to go within the late spring by early fall, avoiding possibilities for main snowfall on the decrease elevations. You’ll discover that all the park’s areas are open from June by September, though it’s the busiest time of the 12 months for vacationers. Be ready to share the roads and parking heaps, as even on weekdays, it will possibly get very crowded. 

Yosemite within the Spring

Spring brings warming temperatures and a sluggish, gradual thaw to Yosemite Nationwide Park. The park’s quite a few mountain peaks proceed to be shrouded in snow, however at decrease elevations, winter is in full retreat. Daytime temperatures common within the mid-50ºF to mid-60ºF vary within the Valley, falling into the low- to mid-30s at evening. All temperatures are colder at altitude, though a lot of the backcountry stays closed all through March and April. Snow showers should not unprecedented right now of 12 months, however most days are clear and sunny.

Crowds stay at a minimal however proceed to develop all through the season, making this an excellent time to go to in the event you’re seeking to keep away from visitors jams. By Could, Yosemite is ramping up for the busy summer season season, with loads of guests making their approach into the park.

Observe: As a result of excessive visitors volumes, a reservation could also be required to drive into the park from 6:00 AM – 4:00 PM every day from late Could by the tip of September. Guests who’ve a tenting allow won’t want a separate entry reservation.

Yosemite within the Summer season

The nice and cozy summer season climate causes the park’s winter snows to soften off, swelling its streams and rivers. That is excellent news for guests who’ve come to soak up Yosemite’s quite a few waterfalls, as they’re at their peak in June and early July. Because the summer season wanes, the waters retreat, with some drying up altogether. Temperatures common within the higher 80s in Yosemite Valley and higher 60s at greater elevations throughout the day and as a lot as 20ºF cooler at evening. Hotter circumstances are attainable all through July and August, so make sure to convey loads of water on any backcountry excursions. Rainfall is minimal, however showers do happen all through the park all summer season lengthy.

Most of Yosemite’s 2+ million guests come throughout the summer season, which may make getting out and in of the park a problem. The overwhelming majority of these vacationers spend the majority of their time within the Valley, which implies backcountry trails are normally quiet and largely empty. Visitors jams on the roads should not unusual, so be affected person and alter your schedule accordingly. Fortunately, there may be loads of beautiful surroundings to get pleasure from alongside the best way.

Observe: As a result of excessive visitors volumes, a reservation could also be required to drive into the park from 6:00 AM – 4:00 PM every day from late Could by the tip of September. Guests who’ve a tenting allow won’t want a separate entry reservation.

Yosemite National Park
Picture by edb3_16/Getty

Yosemite within the Fall

The climate in Yosemite turns into much less predictable within the fall, with wild fluctuations in temperature and an elevated likelihood of snowfall beginning in October. How early that snow arrives dictates how a lot of the park stays open, with backcountry trails and areas shutting down for the 12 months because the snow accumulates. In September, the typical excessive temperature remains to be within the decrease 70s, however by November, it drops to about 50ºF. Autumn blizzards can shut roads, so make sure to test the park’s web site for the most recent circumstances.

The summer season crowds diminish considerably after Labor Day, but the climate circumstances stay heat and steady all through September. That may be a in style time to go to Yosemite and nonetheless have full entry to the park. In October and November, the variety of guests drops dramatically, however climate circumstances are tougher to foretell. When the snow begins to fly, trails and campgrounds start to shut for the 12 months, vastly limiting entry.

Observe: As a result of excessive visitors volumes, a reservation could also be required to drive into the park from 6:00 AM – 4:00 PM every day from late Could by the tip of September. Guests who’ve a tenting allow won’t want a separate entry reservation.

Yosemite within the Winter

Yosemite Valley and the Wawona space stay open to car visitors all winter lengthy, however different components of the park are fully shut down. The park is usually sunny right now of 12 months, however temperatures could be chilly. The common excessive temperature within the Valley throughout the winter is 53ºF throughout the day and 28ºF at evening, though it isn’t unusual for the mercury to drop a lot decrease. Heavy snows are attainable at any time, with some street closures attainable. Verify the Yosemite web site for the most recent data.

Winter is the quietest time to go to Yosemite Nationwide Park. Guests are few, and visitors is at a minimal. Because of the climate circumstances, vacationers ought to costume heat and be ready for probably difficult circumstances. Particularly in the event that they plan to go climbing, backpacking, or tenting.

Yosemite National Park
Picture by SpemHere/Getty

The place to Keep

Yosemite has 13 campgrounds which can be open to guests, every with its personal options and facilities. Of these, solely Camp 4 is off limits to RVs, though motorhomes and journey trailers should not beneficial in Tamarack Flat, Yosemite Creek, and Porcupine Flat. All others are open to RV tenting.

Reservations are required in any respect campgrounds and could be made by recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. There aren’t any first-come, first-serve RV campsites throughout the park, and guests with no reservation shall be turned away. Websites could be reserved as much as 5 months prematurely and go shortly, so make sure to ebook early.

The park affords free wilderness permits for backpacking and tenting within the backcountry. Apply to your allow nicely prematurely in the event you plan to camp in a distant a part of Yosemite. The paths there are extraordinarily in style with hikers and backpackers and the park makes use of a lottery system at hand out most backcountry permits. It is strongly recommended that you simply apply 24 weeks prematurely of your deliberate go to.

Yosemite RV campgrounds embody the next:

  • Higher PinesOpen all 12 months, this campground has 238 websites and accepts RVs as much as 35 ft in size.
  • Decrease PinesOpen April to October, this campground has 60 websites and accepts RVs as much as 40 ft in size.
  • North PinesOpen April to October, this campground has 81 websites and accepts RVs up 40 ft in size.
  • Wawona: Open all 12 months, this campground has 93 websites and accepts RVs as much as 35 ft in size.
  • Bridalveil Creek: Open all 12 months, this campground has 110 websites and accepts RVs as much as 35 ft in size.
  • Hodgdon Meadow: Open all 12 months, this campground has 105 websites and accepts RVs as much as 35 ft in size.
  • Crane Flat: Open June to October, this campground has 166 websites and accepts RVs as much as 35 ft in size.
  • White WolfOpen July to September, this campground has 74 websites and accepts RVs as much as 27 ft in size.
  • Tuolumne MeadowsOpen June to October, this campground has 304 websites and accepts RVs as much as 35 ft in size.

Suggestions for Reserving a Campground in Yosemite Nationwide Park

  • All of Yosemite’s campgrounds are fully full from April by September. Reservations are required for any keep throughout that point. Ebook loads early in the event you hope to get a spot.
  • Reservations aren’t obligatory for late fall by winter, however it’s a good suggestion to ebook your campsite forward of time anyway.
  • The Nationwide Park Service lists the opening and shutting dates for all campgrounds on the Yosemite web site, however these dates are tentative. Climate can influence when these areas open to guests and the way early they shut within the fall. For those who’re making reservations for early spring or late fall, plan accordingly.
  • Dump stations could be discovered on the Higher Pines Campground all 12 months spherical and close to Wawona Campground and Tuolumne Meadows Campground throughout the summer season.
  • No campsites in Yosemite Nationwide Park supply hookups of any type.
  • Showers could be discovered within the Curry Village pool locker room however should not accessible wherever else within the park.
  • All Yosemite campgrounds that settle for RVs have faucet water accessible and common bogs.
  • Guests to Yosemite might camp throughout the park for as much as 30 nights per 12 months. From Could 1 to September 15, they’re restricted to 14 days, with solely seven of these nights at Yosemite Valley or Wawona.
  • Quiet hours are from 10 pm to six am. Generator use is allowed from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM, midday to 2:00 PM, and 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Generator use isn’t permitted at different instances.

Staying Exterior the Park

As you’ll count on with one among America’s hottest nationwide parks, there are many locations to remain exterior of Yosemite as nicely. Inns and lodges could be discovered all through the world, and there are a number of wonderful Good Sam campgrounds discovered a brief drive from the park’s entrance. These embody:

  • Yosemite Lakes RV Park: Positioned simply exterior the nationwide park, this campground has 35 RV campsites with full hookups, Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers, and onsite laundry.
  • Bass Lake at Yosemite RV Park: Discovered simply minutes away from the doorway to Yosemite, this campground has 89 RV websites with full hookups, Wi-Fi, restrooms and showers, laundry, and a snack kbar.
  • Excessive Sierra RV & Cellular Park: Positioned half-hour from Yosemite, this campground affords 29 RV campsites, most of which have full hookups. Wi-Fi is included with the keep, and there are restrooms, showers, and laundry amenities on the premises.

 Put money into a Good Sam Membership and save 10% on nightly stays at Good Sam Campgrounds.

Learn how to Get Round Yosemite Nationwide Park

back view of active family of two, father and son, enjoying valley and mountain view in yosemite national park, california, active family vacation concept (back view of active family of two, father and son, enjoying valley and mountain view in yosemit
Picture by noblige from Getty

The drive to Yosemite Nationwide Park varies considerably relying on the course you might be coming. For those who’re arriving from the north, take I-580 to I-205 or Freeway 99 south to both Freeway 120 or 140 east to achieve the park’s entrance. Guests arriving from the south will journey on Freeway 99 north to Freeway 41 north, heading into Fresno and finally the park itself. Take a look at the NPS web site for detailed driving instructions to Yosemite from main surrounding cities. 

Yosemite could be reliably accessed from Could by September, however throughout different months of the 12 months, some roads could also be closed resulting from snow. For those who plan to go to exterior of the summer season season, make sure to test the park’s web site for data on any present street closures. You may as well discover a record of roads which can be closed for the winter on the web site as nicely.

For those who aren’t staying within the park, you may reap the benefits of the YARTS public transit system to keep away from the hassles of discovering a parking place and coping with visitors jams. The service runs year-round, though there are extra energetic routes and buses throughout the summer season months. Tickets could be bought prematurely of your go to.

As soon as contained in the park, guests will discover a free shuttle system that may assist them get round with out the necessity for a automobile. As an illustration, the Yosemite Valley Shuttle operates from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM and arrives at designated stops each 12 to 22 minutes. Different shuttles could be present in Tuolumne Meadows and Mariposa Grove, with one operating between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows as nicely.

The shuttles are an effective way to see the most well-liked areas of the park with out having to maneuver your car and discover parking all through the day. At peak journey season, the parking heaps refill shortly, and RV parking is at a premium any time of the 12 months.

Locations to Go

There may be a lot to see inside Yosemite Nationwide Park it may be laborious to know the place to start. That can assist you get began, we’ve gathered a few of our favourite locations that must be in your “can’t miss” record.

Yosemite Valley

If you consider the quintessential landmarks in Yosemite, you’re in all probability occupied with Yosemite Valley. Tunnel View Outlook is the most well-liked photo-op in all the park, welcoming guests in a grand vogue. At this breathtaking vista, you may take a photograph of El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, and Half Dome all in a single shot.

Down within the valley itself, you’ll discover dazzling meadows and boardwalks all through the world with among the most scenic climbing within the park. You possibly can spot waterfalls and wildlife, or spend hours watching world-class rock climbers tackle Yosemite’s most iconic climbing routes. And while you’re able to seize one thing to eat, head over to the well-known Ahwahnee Resort for lunch or dinner or the Village Retailer for snacks, drinks, and different objects. 

Wawona & Mariposa Grove

The Wawona space wasn’t added to the park till 1932, nevertheless it’s one of many must-see locations on an RV go to. Positioned about 25 miles from Yosemite Valley alongside Wawona Street, the drive is a spectacular one, with loads of nice views. That features among the most spectacular waterfalls in all the park, together with a number of different awe-inspiring stops alongside the best way. 

Among the best locations to stretch your legs is in Mariposa Grove, dwelling to just about 200 large sequoia timber. Essentially the most spectacular of these is one known as Grizzly Big, which is estimated to be over 2000 years previous. The tree stretches over 210 ft within the air and has a circumference of greater than 92 ft on the base.

Additionally, make sure to drop by the attractive Huge Bushes Lodge and the Pioneer Yosemite Historical past Heart to be taught concerning the wealthy historical past of the Native Individuals that after known as this space dwelling. The museum is open all 12 months lengthy and supplies some unbelievable insights into the Yosemite space previous to it turning into a nationwide park. 

Tuolumne Meadows

The Tuolumne River meanders by this stunning meadow, which is about in a basin and surrounded by granite domes. It’s much less crowded than Yosemite Valley and affords large views of the Cathedral Vary. It’s a in style vacation spot for hikers and backpackers, with quite a lot of wonderful climbing trails accessible from the world, together with routes that wander deep into the park’s backcountry. 

Take a drive alongside Tioga Street, which runs by the Tuolumne space, providing 47 miles of scenic views and turnouts en route. Tenaya and Siesta Lakes are each positioned on this stunning meadow and supply nice swimming and fishing spots when the climate permits. Or take a brief hike to Soda Spring, a chilly, carbonated water spring that flows straight out of the bottom.

Glacier Level & Half Dome

glacier point and half dome

At Glacier Level, you’ll discover among the best viewpoints within the park. It has sweeping views of Half Dome and quite a lot of different granite formations from this view. Plus, it’s a nice location to identify towering waterfalls like Yosemite Falls and Vernal Falls. Head to this location close to the tip of the day to catch among the greatest sunsets possible. 

Half Dome is without doubt one of the most recognizable options in Yosemite Nationwide Park, drawing 1000’s of climbers and hikers on an annual foundation. The granite dome dominates the horizon all through the area and is really probably the most well-known sights not simply in Yosemite, however in any nationwide park within the US.

For those who’re not climbing or climbing it—that are vital undertakings—Mirror Lake is without doubt one of the greatest locations to see Half Dome up shut. There’s a two-mile paved path in Yosemite Valley that takes you proper to the bottom of the well-known rock. 

Issues to Do

Yosemite National Park
Picture by bluejayphoto/Getty

You gained’t run brief on actions in Yosemite. Listed below are just a few of our favourite methods to move time contained in the park.

Mountain climbing

In fact, climbing is on the high of the record. There are tons of lovely climbing trails for all ages and talents. You’ll discover at the very least 10 climbing trails in Yosemite Valley alone, together with Bridalveil Falls Path which is a simple, half-mile hike that takes you to the bottom of this titular waterfall.

For those who’re searching for a extra reasonable climbing expertise, take the Yosemite Falls Path on a two-mile, round-trip hike to Columbia Rock. Or proceed on to the highest of the Falls. It’s a extra strenuous hike however value it if you wish to see the most effective views of the waterfall.

The hike to the summit of Half Dome might be essentially the most well-known hike in Yosemite. The 14-16-mile round-trip trek isn’t for the faint of coronary heart, climbing 4,800 ft in elevation, together with 400 ft up a set of metallic cables close to the highest. The hike requires 10-12 hours to finish and could be harmful in inclement climate. The rewards for reaching the summit are monumental, nonetheless, providing a tremendous sense of satisfaction and among the greatest views possible.

Yosemite National Park
Picture by Alisha Bube/Getty

Water Actions

Swimming is allowed nearly in all places within the park, with just a few exceptions. Enter the rivers and lakes by sandy seashores to protect rocky shorelines and watch out for swift currents and chilly water—significantly in late spring and early summer season.

Guests can go white water rafting on the Merced River or take a kayak out onto Tenaya Lake for a extra serene expertise. Fishing is allowed in all lakes and reservoirs year-round and stream fishing runs from the tip of April by the center of November. You’ll want a California fishing license in the event you’re over the age of 16.

Rock Climbing

Yosemite is without doubt one of the hottest rock-climbing locations in all the world, with among the greatest climbers on the planet visiting the park to check their expertise. The stable, vertical face of El Capitan is a favourite of many thrill-seekers, however there are all several types of climbs to be discovered all through Yosemite Valley.

Lots of the huge partitions discovered throughout the park can be found for multi-day ascents, though a Wilderness Climbing Allow is required. Alternatively,  you may climb the cracks within the partitions of the Merced River Valley. And plenty of climbers like to deal with the granite domes surrounding Tuolumne Meadows, that are a lot much less crowded than the favored Yosemite Valley. 

Mountain climbing is a harmful exercise and lots of the routes present in Yosemite are among the many hardest on this planet. All climbers ought to have loads of expertise, ability, and correct gear earlier than embarking on an ascent.

Yosemite National Park
Picture by Bakstad/Getty

What to Carry and Learn how to Put together

Earlier than visiting Yosemite Nationwide Park, right here are some things to know:

  • Groceries can be found in Yosemite Valley year-round and seasonally at Wawona, Badger Go, Glacier Level, White Wolf, and Tuolumne Meadows. Whereas we suggest stocking up earlier than arriving, it’s pretty simple to restock if wanted.
  • Cell service is obtainable in jap Yosemite Valley and on a extra restricted foundation in Tuolumne Meadows, Wawona, and Crane Flat. For those who wander out of these areas, it’s largely nonexistent. Take into account bringing two-way radios to remain in touch along with your group and packing paper maps for navigating.
  • Temperatures and climate circumstances can range vastly from one part of the park to a different, with the valley normally a lot hotter than areas at greater elevations. Carry layers of garments to maintain you heat, even throughout the summer season months.
  • Clear skies are frequent in Yosemite, however a rainstorm can develop anytime in hotter climate. Pack a rain jacket and preserve it with you always.
  • Hold all meals correctly saved inside your RV always. Any meals left exterior can appeal to bears, even in a busy campground.
  • Campfires are allowed at most campsites as long as they continue to be inside a fireplace ring. Wooden could be obtained at comfort shops positioned in and out of the park.
  • Mosquitoes is usually a nuisance in the summertime, significantly in Tuolumne Meadows. Carry bug spray to assist preserve the bugs at bay.
  • Discovering water contained in the park isn’t a problem, however you’ll wish to both boil or filter it earlier than consuming.
  • Plan on arriving within the park early within the morning. Visitors is particularly unhealthy between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. For those who come earlier or later than that, you’ll encounter fewer slowdowns.
  • Steer clear of the wildlife. It’s in opposition to the regulation to come back with 100 yards of a bear or 25 yards of different animals.

Historical past of Yosemite Nationwide Park

Yosemite National Park

The gem of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain vary, Yosemite Nationwide Park has a wealthy and storied historical past. For 1000’s of years, the Ahwahneechee individuals known as the world dwelling. The title “Yosemite” comes not from the Ahwahneechee, nonetheless, however from a neighboring tribe often known as the Miwok. Rivals of the  Ahwahneechee, the Miwok thought their neighbors had been violent and merciless. The phrase “Yosemite” is a variation on their phrase which means “they’re killers.”

The Ahwahneechee occupied the land within the Yosemite Valley till the mid-Nineteenth century when the invention of gold introduced an inflow of Europeans. This created conflicts between the indigenous tribe and people coming west to hunt their fortune. After centuries of residing on their ancestral lands, the tribe moved out to make approach for the newcomers.

On June 30, 1964, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant, a invoice that put aside cash to protect the land that will later develop into Yosemite Nationwide Park. Though Yellowstone was the primary nationwide park within the nation, the Yosemite Grant was signed a full eight years previous to Yellowstone’s formation.

Within the years following the passage of the grant, sheep herders overgrazed the meadows, throughout the area, and logging took down lots of the historical sequoia timber discovered there. In 1890, after persistent lobbying by explorer John Muir, Congress handed an act that created Yosemite Nationwide Park, defending the land from additional destruction.

When the Nationwide Park Service was based in 1916, administration of the park handed to that group. Since then, it has expanded in measurement and recognition. As tourism in California grew, Yosemite develop into probably the most in style locations within the state, with 1000’s coming to see its sweeping landscapes. Immediately, it stays one of many high ten most visited nationwide parks within the US, drawing greater than 2.2 million guests every year. 

Plan your subsequent journey to the nationwide parks in an RV. Lease an RV, trade-in your RV, or purchase a brand new or used RV and begin touring for lower than $5 a day.


Have you ever been to Yosemite? What did you assume? Go away a remark beneath!

Camping World's guide to RVing Yosemite National Park



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