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“Can't decide whether to give Housekeeping Camp another try” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Housekeeping Camp

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Housekeeping Camp
1.5 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   9005 Southside Dr., Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389   |  
Hotel amenities
Orange County, California
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Can't decide whether to give Housekeeping Camp another try”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

We stayed at Housekeeping Camp at the end of August. It was not too busy or crowded, in fact I was able to make the reservation about a week in advance. I read tons of reviews about Housekeeping Camp and thought I knew what to expect. The most negative reviews were that it was rustic and smokey from all of the campfires. I knew that the smoke would bother us, so we took a fan to circulate the air in the shack and try to keep most of the smoke out. Our first night there we arrived in the early evening, hungry, tired from the 7 hour drive, and I had a migraine coming on. We tried to cook some burgers and we had some bees try to chase us around as we tried to cook and eat. Because we arrived very hungry, we didn't spend much time checking out the interior of the shack...big mistake! The three cement block walls were okay, but all of the canvas interior (ceiling and door) was covered in mold. By that time of night the campground appeared to be full. So we used the mini mattress pads that were on the bunk bed and a tarp we brought from home to act as a "barrier" to the mold. The location of our shack put us right smack in the center of Housekeeping camp...a very smokey spot. The neighbors in the attached shack behind us, left their campfire on all night unattended, even after they went to sleep! Their younger sons enjoyed cussing up a storm whenever their parents were away. The neighbors across from us enjoyed playing Spanish banda and dance music very loudly late into the night. The smoke was unbearable not only because every campsite has a campfire pit, but there was a lighting strike fire in the area that they were letting burn. The campground sits in the valley and the air doesn't move, trapping the smoke by the trees and granite cliffs. I feel bad for the wildlife. We made it to the next morning. It is beautiful, beyond what words can describe, it is Yosemite. We asked for another shack. The guest services were nice enough and they told us to come back after check out time and they would give us another location. We went back and they told us the number, we went to check it out and that one was worse than the first. The third one available was also moldy. We ended up asking to see a list of a few choices that we could look at and she just asked us to not bother any of the tenants. We looked around and found a clean one by the street. BEST LOCATION! Neighbors only on one side and behind us, it was more secluded and there was never a lot of traffic. Less smoke, but still a lot of smoke. The smoke only got worse when an RV caught fire nearby and started another wildfire. The bathrooms were always very clean for being public restrooms. The shower house was dirty and very moldy, but there was never a shortage of hot water. On our third night there was a power outage throughout the valley, so have a backup plan for electric cooking/lighting. Don't know if we should give Housekeeping Camp another try this year. Thinking we should just go camping in our own nice, clean tent and give up the convenience of electricity for the next time. Housekeeping Camp has a beautiful location right along the banks of the Merced River. Changes I would make to Housekeeping camp, they should allow you to pitch your own tent on each site, get rid of many of the fire pits, maybe make a few larger shared pits, limit use of campfires when there are wildfires burning in the area, clean the mold out of the shower houses, and impose loud noise/music rules. Absolutely loved the location, the proximity to showers, towels, bathrooms, little general store, ice, love the convenience of having electricity while camping, the sites are nicely set up with the picnic table in the private patio areas, love that you can cook onsite, love that it is in Yosemite valley on the Merced River.

Room Tip: Best location by the street, less smoke from campfire pits. Found the tent with the least amount of...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2012

Stayed here for 2 nights while visiting Yosemite during a 3 week tour of California. Firstly I have to say Yosemite is breath taking and an absolutely must-see place. Loved it. If you book Housekeeping Camp be prepared for rough and ready camping - 3 brick walls and plastic sheeting for the roof and 4th wall/door way. Thats it. No comforts here. The bed was a bit manky and not very comfortable. We didn't get much sleep. The tents are in need of a good clean up and lick of paint. A proper door on them would also be good. The camping experience overall was good fun and we enjoyed it, but after spending the first week of our trip in nice hotels it was a big shock to the system. If I went back I would definitely spend a bit more money and try and stay somewhere a bit more comfortable. Also you have to look everything up in bear-proof cages at night and when you leave during the day which is a real pain, but probably applies in most sites. Maybe more fun with a group of friends...but not somewhere to take the girlfriend!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles CA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2012

I love, love, love the Housekeeping Tents in the Yosemite Valley. They are located in the most beautiful part of the Valley, next to the running river, just below the roaring falls, two safe beaches with sand, and many, many walking/biking paths. Right across the street from the free bus that takes you all over the Valley. But most important is the fire pit. You are allowed bonfires until 10 pm at night. NO other lodging allows this. Yes, they are simple, but they have electricity, beds, shelving, patios, and bathrooms and water just a few steps away. I go every single year and can't imagine NOT going! TRUST ME!!

Room Tip: Book EARLY for best spots - they book up a year in advance! Try to go in May when the falls are at...
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2011

We were on a road trip (from the UK) of California for three weeks and visited Yosemite after our first 4 nights for a three night stay at Housekeeping Camp. We couldn't have loved Yosemite more - so very beautiful and I am very glad we stayed at Housekeeping Camp due to the proximity of everything. Loved the squirrels and the excitement of the bear locker and the accommodation itself was ok. I would have to agree with others that it is very expensive for what you get and I thought the shower block and toilet blocks were really filthy. They looked like they hadn't had a decent clean for months. Prepare to be very dusty whilst there and accept that this is slightly luxurious camping but not much more (my back still twinges at the thought of that mattress!). Would still recommend over Curry Village as it was much less crowded at Housekeeping. Make sure you climb Vernal Falls!

Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxnard, California
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2011

It was late September and we stayed at Housekeeping Camp on the river and it was fantastic. Even if you have never really camped out (and this isn't exactly roughing it), it is a good place to experience camping with kids. Yes, it is a little old but we found it clean and enjoyable. The walls of the units are pretty thin but we did not feel intruded on. After experiencing the parks attractions all day, it is nice to come back to your campsite with a fire-pit right there and the trash and showers a short walk away. From our site we could see Yosemite Falls and we were right on the river.

Room Tip: Stay on the river if it's available. We had a great view of Yosemite Falls.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucestershire
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2011

Spent two nights here at the end of September. Yes it is basic, and if it wasn't for the fact that the weather was superb I am not sure what I might be saying. I have camped in many places but this way down my list of happy memories - except for the fantastic views and sunsets.
The staff in reception were very helpful and the shop has most basic items you might need.
Two nights was enough for me and I would think twice before going again.

Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2011

Really enjoyed my first visit to Housekeeping Camp over Labor Day Weekend. The place was alive with families, and everyone was having a good time. While the accommodations were pretty rustic, I was surprised how comfortable and easy camping here was with a group of people. I would come back in a heartbeat. It was such a fun and relaxed time.

In case you choose to stay here, I've include the packing list we used and updated it with all the finer points we learned once we were up there:

Coolers & ice
Tools for campfire grill: brush, spatula, tongs, etc.
Something to cook marshmallows on
Coffeepot & filters
Hot pot
Kettle
Pots and pans
Electric griddle
Camping stove & propane (not necessary if you have a hot pot and electric griddle)
Mixing bowls
Mixing and serving spoons and spatula
Chef's and paring knife
Cutting boards
Juice container for frozen OJ (optional)
Wine, beer and can openers
Ziplocs (gallon and sandwich size)
Paper towels
Garbage bags or spare shopping bags
Power strips (one inside tent and another outside)
Campsite cleaning — ample baby wipes for your mattress, bookshelf, food prep counter, picnic table and feet before bed!
Tall broom to sweep tent and patio
Dish cleaning supplies (green dish washing liquid, scrub brush and sponge)
Campfire wood (purchase at Housekeeping Camp)
Lighter
Lantern (optional)
Citronella candles
Portable speakers and iPod (optional)
Books, magazines, cards, board games, instrument and/or ghost stories (optional)
Camp chairs
Oil cloth or dirt-proof table cloth for picnic table
Cloths pins and line (optional)
Eating gear: plate, bowl, utensils, napkin
Headlamp or flashlight
Towels for river (free clean shower towels available)
Toiletries
Sunscreen
Bug spray
Sheets/blankets or sleeping bag plus pillow
Mosquito net (optional)
Earplugs, Ambien and/or eyemask (optional)
Hiking shoes and socks
Flip flops
Swim suit
Sun hat/cap/visor
Beanie and gloves for nighttime
Shorts, t-shirts, pants, sweatshirts, fleece, rain jacket
Daypack
Water bottles x 2 (4 if you are doing Half Dome or similarly challenging day hike)
Camera and charger
Phone and charger
Bike, helmet and lock (optional)

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Housekeeping Camp

Address: 9005 Southside Dr., Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 24 Specialty lodging in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Housekeeping Camp 1.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tuesday August 27, 2013 - With the exception of White Wolf Lodge, all lodging and services are available in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Valley and Wawona are largely unaffected by the Rim Fire and air quality is good. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Housekeeping Camp Hotel Yosemite National Park

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