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“Central location for High country and Valley visits” 3 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
Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
289 helpful votes 289 helpful votes
“Central location for High country and Valley visits”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

We came in from Tioga pass in the late afternoon and wanted to be near to the valley for visiting the next day. Crane Flat was perfect for visiting both areas of the park. Since we came in late and set up camp in the dark and left the next morning we didn't spend much time at the campground. But I will agree with the other reviews that finding a flat spot for our tent at site #418 was a challenge. The drop from the main road to our picnic table and food locker was long and steep. While there are plenty of trees and shade, our neighbors were actually not too far away from us with no trees blocking either side. This wasn't the best national park campground I've used, and if I visit Yosemite again I'm not sure I'd use this one again.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
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41 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (6)
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birmingham
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

If like me you missed out on the popular campsites, this is a great backup

Good sized pitches, quiet, only 20mins from the valley floor

Clean toilets, no showers though

Gas Station & Store around the corner

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

Camping in Yosemite is a matter of tradeoffs. You can be near the Valley and in the middle of crowds, way up in the wild with few facilities or in the middle and that's Crane Flat. You'll be just down the street from one of three gas stations in the park and an attached store [hours are 9-5 daily] which is great since you'll be driving 25 minutes to the Valley, 35 to Tuolomne Meadow, 50 to Glacier Point, or 60 to Wawona.

There's 4 or 5 loops each with several dozen camp grounds so not overly crowded although it does fill up and sites can be close together. Noise becomes an issue based on the neighbors... we had some who were too loud but for the most part the place was near silent. Save the sound of campfires of course.

In terms of facilities again it's somewhere in the middle of options as far as campgrounds go... You get restrooms with real sinks, potable water but no lights, showers or dining. For those you have to head down to Curry Village / the valley.

And remember, you're in Yosemite. The goal is to get out and enjoy... not sit at your camp site all day.

Room Tip: Look at the map closely before you pick a site and try for corners and sites that may have more room...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
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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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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
51 helpful votes 51 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.
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  • 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
20 helpful votes 20 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.
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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 #16 of 24 Specialty lodging in Yosemite National Park
Also Known As:
Crane Flat Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park

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