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“Overpriced!” 3 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
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Overpriced!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We stayed here in June and found the Yosemite area absolutely beautiful. This campsite however was not good and way overpriced!

The tents we stayed in were canvas and concrete and were very open and quite dirty. The toilets were not the cleanest but the showers were hot and did the job.

Overall Yosemite is beautiful but feel this campsite is ripping off people with how much they charge and for what you get. Would never stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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557 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
Date | Rating
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English first
California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

I was suprised how much I really enjoyed camping at this site since I'm more of primitive type camper. I was a skeptic at first but quickly fell in love with this location. Each campsite comes with a hut style tent which contains a full size bed, bunk beds, and one cot, a picnic table, fire ring, and a double food locker. You must lock up your food due to bears but we had no issues and the staff does a great job keeping the property safe. Each unit has a light in the hut and on the patio so there is no need to worry about lanterns. There is electricity so you can use an electric skillet or hot plate instead of propane. You can also rent many items directly at a very good price so it saves you having to travel with excess equipment. The campsite is surrounded by the river so its great to spend your day beachside and let the kids have fun. Yosemite is beautiful and has a trolly sytem disigned to take visitors to various hiking trails, waterfalls, and multiple villages; we spent one evening out in the Village for Pizza instead of cooking. Our family loved our time there and would definitely visit again and stay at Houskeeping Camp.

Room Tip: This property offers units along the River and tend to be larger spaces and offer more open space.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

This was my first camping trip ever. I'm (or was) the boutique hotel with en-suite only type, but as we were visiting with friends who were hard core campers and my husband who loves outdoors, I relented and agreed to book to stay at Housekeeping Camp. (Imagine Bear Grylls and Monica from Friends). After all how bad could it be? I did however book a big enough car to sleep in as back up! BUT I have to say, having stayed for two nights at this place, I am a complete CONVERT to camping. We had the best time in Housekeeping. Yes, it's dusty (since when did a bit of dust hurt?) and yes, you have to share communal showers (no diff to using them at the gym), but the view was AWESOME and just truly stunning. We had accommodation numbers 507/508, which were river facing, with views of Half Dome and other rock faces (I think El Capitan). Seriously the phrase, View To Die For - totally fitting and appropriate. There is a fire pit for every unit, so every evening was BBQ by the fire with the best open view of Yosemite, just totally amazing. (If Carlsberg did camping views...you get the idea).

The units do not have doors, they have canvas covers which pull across. I did think this was totally inadequate at first (what about all our valuables?? or what about bears?) but you rely on camping etiquette, and we didn't have any problems with dodgy humans or hungry bears. Unit 507/508 had good comfortable clean mattresses which looked new, as did the bedframes. The walls looked newly painted too, so if you're looking for a good unit, I'd highly recommend these two. Do come prepared with all your camping equipment, if you're visting from overseas like we were, hit Walmart (other value supermarkets are available I'm sure) and buy all cheap camping cooking utensils and bedding ($2 for a nice new pillow!). You can hire gas cookers from the site, and there are electrical outlets in the outdoor eating area and in the sleeping area. Lots of reasonably priced everyday products in their shop on site by the reception, with even hot coffee available first thing in the morning. Overnight in May was cold, so you needed winter thickness sleeping bags. Headtorches recommended as open spaces from units to say the toilet block are unlit at night.

Now onto the bears - not sure whether it's right to say disappointly but we disappointly did not see any (surely not all bears are grizzly??! some look cute right?!) The wardens, who do a walkaround the units at night at about 10pm to make sure everyone has quieten down, assured us they do come through camp at night but the bears understand there are 'human' areas so will stay at a safe distance, BUT only if you lock EVERYTHING in the bear lockers outside each unit. When I say everything, I mean everything that could possibly have a scent, so all toiletries, medicine, suncream lotion, down to lip balm have to be stored away as well as every bit of food and drink. Even chewing gum and empty food wrappers/bottles have to removed from your vehicle as bears have stronger noses than bloodhounds (according to the constant replay intro video in reception) - so you've been warned (unless you want to share a room with a bear of course).

The other campers were all really friendly, the river seemed kid friendly, our friend's kids aged 7 and 4 played in the river (which was refridgerator cold despite the hot days) without any issues. There was a lovely bridge to the left of our unit which had a perfect view of higher Yosemite Falls.(yep another photo opportunity view, prepare to obliterate your memory card).

For things to do, you can hire bikes, or travel around using the free buses. Once you're parked up at the camp (parking only a short distance away from the units), you should really leave the car, you see so much more without it. We actually found walking around was the quickest, as opposed to waiting for a bus, which got full quite quick and were generally a five min wait. (also increases your chance to spot a bear!) We did a guided bus tour around the floor of the valley, a little expensive (as all landmark tours are) but very worthwhile.

I would say this was the highlight of our trip, we did a road trip of California, and I would not hesitate to go back - the view as you come out of the tunnel and into the valley, all I can say is get the camera ready! Go, stay and enjoy!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

Housekkeping camp is one of the best locations to stay while visiting Yosemite. It is central to all the magnificent views and close to the river. Kids love it. Visitors should know to bring bedding, cooking utensils, and other camping gear. Basically, there is a tent, with a concrete floor, and 2 electric outlets. People who come prepared will return year after year. Those who do not, may noyt enjoy their trip.

Room Tip: Unit 507 is great
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

We were there only for one night, and if we go again to spend some time in the Yosemite, we'll book at the Housekeeping camp without any hesitation.
At first, we were a bit worried after everything we saw and read about wild life in the park. And in the end, it was very enjoyable.
How nice to sleep next to the river, having a coffee and see a couple of deer wandering in the alleys (until a noisy kid breaks through), not to mention the devilish squirrels, always ready to steal your food!

The staff was far more than gentle and pleased to help. Also, the shower facilities were extremely neat and the water as hot as I could wish. There is a small store, so you do not have to take the shuttle to go to the main store.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
San Luis Obispo, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

Having stayed at Housekeeping Camp a few times over the last few years, I agree with all of the previous reviews about the physical structure, noise level, and many people that inhabit the camp ground. It is important to know what you are getting into before paying $100 for a camp site. Recently we camped for the first time with a 2 1/2 yr old & 7 month old. Housekeeping was the perfect place. Can be relatively quite at night (we had a river unit), and people are up and around by 8.
Since this was our first time going with small children I appreciated a couple things not previously mentioned. It was great that there was electricity! Each campsite is equipped with 2 outlets at the covered picnic table area. We took an electric kettle (to warm water for bottles), and a skillet (perfect for a hot breakfast, and grilled cheese sandwiches). And an additional 2 outlets in the tent area (great for fans, noisemakers, etc). There was plenty of room between the double bed & bunk beds for a pack & play crib. I wouldn’t recommend putting a toddler in the bunk bed, but did see that you could rent rails for the bunks there at the camp (although I did not see them so I cannot comment on the quality).
We were able to park our vehicle next to our campsite which was very convenient, and because of the great transportation in the valley floor we didn’t need to move our car the entire time we were there. We used our Double Bob stroller while in the valley. We were able to get through Denigan’s Deli, Museum & Indian Village, the gift shop/market, through Yosemite Lodge gift & eatery and up to Lower Yosemite Falls. The only difficulty we faced with the wide stroller was getting on and off the bus. Occasionally the bus would be quite full and we would have to wait for the next to come (never more than 5 min). Yosemite could accommodate those with strollers by placing racks on the outside of the bus allowing patrons to place them outside rather than on the small rack inside the bus. Overall Yosemite and Housekeeping camp is a very family friendly park, with plenty of wide walkways for extra wide strollers.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

This is as good as it gets to go camping when you have no gear with you, as you can rent bedding and buy food on site. We are travelling around the world with our two boys aged 9 and 11. After weeks of motels, they were horrified at first and then so delighted they did not want to leave, and neither did we. This is the place to have a camp fire (you can buy the wood at reception) and invited all your new neighbours to metl marchmallow with you. This is the place to watch your kids build boats out of barks and leaves and float yhem in the river. Day and night in spring, you will hear the roar of an incredible waterfall which tumble into the river on the beach. You will sit in the shade and inhale this incredible landscape and want time to stop. This place is not a luxury, it is a must do, once in your life.
There is a very handy free bus that stop in front of the camp and will take you all around Yosemite, plus two stores where you can buy decent supplies as well as a pizza and fast food shop witing 15 minutes walk.
Beware of the wild life, they have no fear and will even jump in your car to find food. If you feed them, you will be fined a sizable amount, or people will come and tell you of, let your children know as they will be tempted.
Beware also of the credit card handling there, we were double charged and they were not able to correct it.
We check all the other accomodation and for this park, it was the best one as a family. It gets fully booked in high season and the waterfalls dry out in late summer, so a stay here needs a bit of planning unless you travel off season.

Room Tip: Ask for a cabin as close to the river as possible without paying extra, we got 22 which was excellen...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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 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 #3 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Housekeeping Camp 1.5*
Number of rooms: 266
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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