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“Know Yourself Before You Go” 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
Sacramento, California
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Know Yourself Before You Go”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

What to expect from Crane Flat will depend on who you are and what you want to do.

PROS: Relatively quiet; drinkable water; bathrooms with flush toilets; nearby gas station and grocery store; close to the Groveland entrance if you're coming that way (though not as close as Hodgdon Meadow); closest campground to Tioga Road without staying ON Tioga Road; mix of tent and RV sites; very quiet during the day if you choose to stay in camp

PRO or CON depending on you: 30 minute drive from Yosemite Valley (meaning you may have to get going earlier in the morning to park in the Valley, and leave the Valley late afternoon if you want to get back and cook before dark); no activities, especially for kids (no swimming, bike rental, etc.); no nearby dining (as in Tuolumne Meadows, White Wolf, Valley campgrounds); some wildlife wandering through (yes, including bears); mix of sites from large to small, mostly flat to very sloped

CONS: No showers or hot water (nearest are in Yosemite Valley); bathrooms not lit; somewhat dusty; high elevation (6100 feet) can take a couple days to adjust to, and is colder at night than the Valley; must drive to all major scenic attractions, trailheads for hiking, etc. (ONLY bus service is YARTS, once a day to the Valley and once back); only open July to October

A good choice if you cannot (or choose not to) get a site in the Valley, and still want to camp inside the park without pit toilets and boiling your own water. Just be aware of the limitations.

Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
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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
Killingworth, Connecticut
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We chose camping in Yosemite because the price of hotels was excessive. I'm very glad we chose camping at Crane Flat. Although it wasn't the best camping I've ever done (it's pretty dusty and lacks shower/dishwashing areas), this was a great option to save some money and still be close to the action! It's about 20-30 minutes away from the Valley floor. When you go to Yosemite, make sure to go to Glacier Point Rd., our favorite part of Yosemite!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012 via mobile

It's about a 15 minute drive from Yosemite Valley but it is way better because Camp 4 is campletly packed! You have tons of room here and plenty of privacy. I highly recommend this camp ground but it closes mid October

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

Campground is nice but little too dusty and without electricity, hot water or showers. It is 45min away from Yosemite valley which is great as you avoid the crowds and you can make a reservation even on short notice.

Room Tip: Check the campground map of sites and book the site close to bathrooms
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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60 hotel reviews
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303 helpful votes 303 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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birmingham
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
25 helpful votes 25 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...
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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