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“Loved being on the river! Campsite less than perfect.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Wawona Campground

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Wawona Campground
Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA   |  
Hotel amenities
Ashland, Oregon
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Loved being on the river! Campsite less than perfect.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here in a 23 ft camper just after most of the facilities had opened for the season in early May. We had reserved site 17# based on another reviewer's experience and found the campsite and the campground to be a mixed bag. Our site, like all of the sites in the A Loop was not a back-in site but merely a kind of turnout space on one of several small one-way loops with our picnic table and fire ring just out in an open space in full view of neighboring campsites. The first couple of nights, we had our neighbor's tent just five feet from our picnic table! Privacy and shade were pretty much non-existent. One bathroom was out of order and potable water was a bit of a hike from the site and not convenient. The wonderful part of the campground, however, was the location on the Merced River. While in camp, we spent many an hour in our chairs down at the river's edge, reading, taking photographs and watching the wildlife. Lovely! The campground's proximity to nearby hiking in the Mariposa Grove and around the meadow/ golf course was also real plus!
We did walk around the other two loops, both B and C. Loop B is a tent only loop and there are several gorgeous sites right on the river. Snag site # 37 if you can...perfect! Loop C was much more crowded and, again, most of the sites seemed to be turn-outs... Not really a consideration if you are tent camping but not as nice for RV camping. As another reviewer noted, the campground is just up the road from a small store. A free dump station is located just behind the store. Overall, we liked the campground and would return either early or late season.

Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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English first
Escondido, CA
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

When we started looking for a place to camp in Yosemite, we tried getting into the campgrounds that were in the Valley. I'm so glad they were all taken because we would have missed staying at Wawona! We had site #17 right along the Merced River. We could hear the rush of water over the rocks as we slept and we found a great place where we could walk out into the middle of the river where there are very large bolders to sit on and take in the view. The campgrounds are located about a 1/2 mile from a little market where you can get basic supplies and also catch the shuttle to see the Mariposa Grove of redwoods. It was only a 45 minute (beautiful) drive to the Valley or to Glacier Point - two of the "must see" places to go in Yosemite. The rangers and hosts at Wawona were very friendly and informative too. We highly recommend skipping the crowds in the Valley and staying in Wawona.

Room Tip: Get a site on the river if you can. The first two loops of sites have a lot of space between them...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2011

We stayed at Wawona and Hodgedon (we sleep in a Dodge Caravan). Wawona is far superior; campsites along a river and beautiful scenery. I will never stay at Hodgedon again. At Wawona, we stayed in site 62, which is not very private but there were several sites along the river that were private and peaceful - we just never plan anything in advance! Wawona is near a post office, general store, shuttle stop, small golf course, hiking trails and the Mariposa Grove. There's plenty to do and you can leave your car and take the shuttle into the Valley and avoid thetraffic madness.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Chepstow, UK
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2010

We chose to camp to save on costs as it is soooo expensive to stay in Yosemite itself, we originally wanted to stay at the main campsites in Yosemite Village but I'm glad we didn't, Wawona was a lot more peaceful and less cramped than the main campsites. We stayed by the river, we were allowed to collect our own firewood (only stuff thats on the floor) and not too far from the toilets. They have firepits that you can use by each pitch and cook food that you can buy from the store which is 1 mile down the road. Make sure you use your bear proof locker to store food and packaging and any toiletries that are scented! The rangers come round on patrol regularly. We didn't see any bears whilst we were there though! It's about 45 min drive from the main village which is the only downside.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2010 via mobile

great spots right next to the river. a bit ways from the valley though. really friendly staff.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Beachmere, Australia
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2010

We camped here in our tent and this was definately our favourite campsite in all of our travels.

We got a campsite on the riverfront, think it ws 46. Get one of these if you can. The kids spent the days clambering over the rocks alongside the river and swimming in the river. My husband and I simply enjoyed relaxing on the rocks watching the water rush past....very peaceful!

There are no showers here but everyone has a dip in the river each afternoon, bit chilly in June, but you get used to it after a minute or so.

Bear proof campsite rules apply here, but rangers said there are no bears in this part of Yosemite which was reassuring for us Aussies!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
460 helpful votes 460 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2009

My wife and I camped at Wawona on our honeymoon in 1988 and we have been wanting to return to Yosemite ever since. We finally made it in 2006, camping 7 nites in the valley (the maximum they allow) and 3 nites at Wawona. The Wawona segment was the icing on the cake because it enabled us to stay at Yosemite long enough to justify a 2-day drive to get there. It also enabled us to see more of the park. When we arrived at Wawona, they put us in a site that was nice because it was by the river, but it was pretty close to the next campsite. Fortunately the people in the next site were quiet.

Anyway, we enjoyed the Wawona chapter of our trip very much. The kids waded in the river by our campsite and we rode the park shuttle bus to the Mariposa Grove. At the grove, we toured it all on foot, walking on the tram road when we ran out of trail. Some of the highlights were the Grizzly Giant, the California Tree (walk-thru), the Telescope Tree, The Faithful Couple, and Yosemite Point.

The other full day we were there, we drove to Glacier Point and did hikes to Taft Point and Sentinel Dome. Both of those hikes leave from the same trailhead and have great views for a minimum of effort. The Jeffery Pine tree on top Sentinel Dome is still dead. We even ran into a "Bear Jam" and got out of the car to see a mama bear with two cubs. Our kids were pretty excited to see bears in the wild.

For our trip home to WA state, we determined that it would actually be faster to go out the south entrance and drive home via Oakhurst, Mariposa, and Merced. It was a great trip to one of the most amazing places in the world.

  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Wawona Campground

Address: Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 24 Specialty lodging in Yosemite National Park
Also Known As:
Wawona Campground Hotel Wawona

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