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“Not many flat sites, but away from the maddening crowd (of the valley).” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Crane Flat Campground

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Crane Flat Campground
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Big Oak Flat and Tioga roads, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389   |  
Hotel amenities
San Diego, Ca
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Not many flat sites, but away from the maddening crowd (of the valley).”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

Here's the Pros and Cons of Crane Flat Campground:

Pros:
1. It is not in the Valley, which is full of vehicles and RVs and crowd. It is relatively peaceful and we did not hear any RV generators during our three nights of stay there.
2. Lots of trees for shade.
3. There is a gas station and general store (with firewood, groceries and etc.) just outside the campground.

Cons:
1. Pick carefully the site you reserve. Crane Flat is a misnomer. Most of the sites there are on a slope. We lucked out and had reserved a site (site 516) that is actually roomy and flat. Site 512 and 514 is similarly flat and roomy. I think 514 is the best (we noticed they had shade almost all day). I believe 512 is the biggest. Site 108 and 110 seem the best (flat with shade) in the 100s loop.
2. At least when we were there, the bathrooms were pretty dirty. Camp host never cleaned it seems.
3. A lack of enforcement of the quiet hours. On the first night we were there, there was a group that partied late and was generally a nuisance (we heard smashing of plates and things). It kept us up.

The last point I suppose is about luck. Lousy neighbors = lousy times. Luckily for us, they either left or became more considerate the following nights. We had a great time, but beware the lousy, slopy sites.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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47 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
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English first
Chanhassen, Minnesota
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

We are regular campers in National Parks and State Parks and this was the worst site we had ever pitched our tents on. We spent 4 nights on site #526, which happens to be on a slope. It not only makes it very difficult to pitch your tent but we had to be extra careful to walk between the tent and our car, especially at night. If you cannot move around in your camp that takes the fun away. We saw several other sites on a slope, so inquire before you make a reservation. The site was extremely dusty too - a mini dust cloud was created each time you take a step. There is no light in the restroom and no soap at the sinks - something we have not encountered before in other NP campgrounds. Almost all the sites have very good shade and the 500 loop is very quiet. The location of the campground is nice with quick access to the Tioga road and about a half hour's drive to the valley.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Travelers are raving about these Yosemite National Park hotels

San Diego
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

This campground is about a 20 min drive to valley, which was ok as we were doing different hikes each day. But only negatives were if you want to eat in valley or take a shower you would have to drive. Other than that....I have never slept so good as here...no lights at all in bathrooms or around camp which made it so peaceful, at 9:30 pm each night it was so dark and quiet. We had campsite 518 best one, right on meadow and our neighbors were far away, very private, and he bathroom was just across the road great for a group of women! Bathroom had 3 stalls for a lot of campsites...running water,flush toilets which is a level 2 bathroom for us. Crane Flat gas station and store is across road, gas was 4.61 at this date, basic stuff in store, no hot food items.
Tuolumne tree area across from store did not have a chance to go there. Tioga Pass right there, got to Tuolumne Meadows quickly which has more food options as well, White Wolf has a small restuarant, so does Tuolumne Lodge both expensive. But the best is Tuolumne Grill, great food, and ice cream and crowd of hikers, loved it.
Back to campground 6 people per site, bear locker fits two ice chests and rest of your stuff. Put fire out before bed, you can gather dead wood around campsite and buy wood at store for 8.75. Dogs allowed here, saw quite a few. Also we saw no I repeat no animals at our campground,no bears, sqirrels, or dear, was disapointing. We did see a mama bear and her cubs on way down 4 mile trail and dear throughout park.
Parking for 2 or more cars on road in front of site, good.
Have fun!

Room Tip: Try to get campsites on meadow like 504 to 525! Best ones.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MODESTO
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

This was our first time staying at this campground and our family of four really enjoyed it! We reserved spot 246, for two nights, which had more room than we knew what to do with, it was a huge corner. There are 2 bathrooms nearby, downhill from this site. This campground is on slight hill, so coming up from the bathrooms or a walk around the campground made for good exercise. This site is at the entrance from the road leading in, so we did have road noise during the night. The garbage trucks that pick up garbage from the dumpsters are very loud! But you are right near the main dumpsters which is nice since you must keep all garbage picked up constantly (due to bears). Also across the road, across from this site is the Amphitheater! We enjoyed a Ranger Campfire story one night during our stay. A local Ranger builds a campfire and tells stories about the area, that was really fun! The bear lockers at the sites are quite spacious and easy to use. Picnic table and fire pit are also provided at each site. The campground was pretty quiet and we had 2 deer walk through one afternoon! We were there during bear season and never saw any bears, which was good. Also in the campground is a scenic trail, which is 1.5 miles one way, and leads to an overlook of the Yosemite valley. Very much worth the hike, the view was breath taking! We spent a good 2 hours hiking to the overlook and back. There are many downed tree's that block the trail, so there is some climbing required to get over the logs, all part of the adventure! There were a lot of mosquito's, but if you kept a fire going and citronella candles lit at the table, they weren't bad at camp. The mosquito's bit us the most during the hike, so bring bug spray!

We drove into Yosemite Valley one day and that was about a 20 minute, beautiful drive! We really like how this campground is away from the Valley, where it was really crowded. We could enjoy the Valley activities, that we could get near, and then head back to camp where it was quiet and serene. There is also a gas station and small market across the street from this campground, in case you forget something! We would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

We stayed at Crane Flat June 15-18, 2012 and though the location was fantastic. We did our research and chose the 500's loop, on the outer side with our site #522. Our site was flat with picnic table, fire ring, and bear locker. Please do your research because the inner ring of the 500's have a hill to them. If you are ok with a slope in your tent, then fine.

Please keep in mind that the bathrooms have NO lights, so I suggest that you buy a headlamp if you don't have one already. You cannot bathe in these bathrooms, but you can pay $5 for a shower in Curry Village. They had plenty of toilet paper and flush toilets, but can get a bit crowded at times. Out side they do have a hopper to dump waste, and an outside faucet.

In June bring Off bug spray as the mosquitos are out in full force. Or, you can have a fire going which really discourages the mosquitos. You can collect firewood from the surrounding campsites, but please keep in mind that you would need to bring your own hatchet if you want to cut any wood. Pine cones and pine needles are protected, and cannot be burned.

The elevation is 6200 feet, so it can get a bit chilly at night. I would suggest bringing long pants and a jacket just for nights/mornings.

You are right by the gas station, AND the east/west Tioga Road, so you are in a perfect location away from the massive crowds in the valley. We will definitely go back to Crane Flat!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2011

Just came back from Yosemite Park and had a pretty good experience at Crane Flat campground. You'll certainly enjoy their huge campsites with plenty of space to set up your tent, bear proof food containers, spots for 2 cars, table + benches and fire ring. The only non-convenient part is that there's no showers ($ 5 at Curry Village). There's a grocery store and a gas station pretty close to the campground.
My tips if you're going to stay at Crane Flat:
– Make sure to take a flashlight with you. The place is dark at night and there's no electric light at the restrooms.
– Fill up your car's tank outside of the park, since all the gas stations inside the park are pricey.
– Take a warm jacket even if you go in the middle of the summer. The early mornings and nights are cold.
– Please drive slowly. Bears, deers and other animals can cross your way at any time!

Room Tip: I stayed at site 209. It was very spacious and close to the restrooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoma, California
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

We stayed two nights at Crane Flat Campground. It is located 8 miles inside the highway 120 gate and 16 miles from Yosemite Valley (about a 20-30 minute drive). We arrived on a Wednesday and set up camp in the early afternoon. That allowed us time to set up and go into the valley to orient ourselves and do some sightseeing before our full day on Thursday.

The camp itself was very dusty and many of the sites are not level. Site 102 was fairly level and had room enough for three tents and was next to the restrooms and water. The camp was also very smoky at night from all the campfires. We found that the camp was pretty quiet from 10:00pm to 6:00am. Although this camp is set at 6100 ft and the area is pretty scenic, we would not otherwise stay here if it were not for the proximity to Yosemite Valley. This place was a little too basic for our tastes.

On Thursday morning, we had reservations for the Valley Floor Tour. It is a two hour tram tour that shows all of the highlights of the valley. It was well worth the cost and gave us many photo opportunities. We then walked up to lower Yosemite Falls and later swam in the Merced River.

During our visit all of the National Park staff and DNC staff were friendly and helpful. Yosemite is a truly specatular place and worth the effort to get there.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crane Flat Campground

Address: Big Oak Flat and Tioga roads, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 166
Also Known As:
Crane Flat Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park

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