This really is the place to frontcountry camp in Yosemite, since you're near to all the best dayhikes here. I stayed in the backpacker's section, and it's nothing but people either extremely excited about their upcoming trips or people fulfilled by the hike just completed. Even if you don't have a car, you can get to lots of amazing trails like Tenaya Canyon+Clouds Rest, May Lake+Mount Hoffmann, Gaylor Lakes, and Mono Pass, or you could just start from there and go down Lyell Canyon, up to Young Lakes, up Rafferty Creek, to Cathedral Lakes + Cathedral Peak, or one of the domes Lembert or Pothole.
Plus at 8600 feet you get really cool nights that just feel so relaxing to sleep in, and it's always helpful to get a night or two of acclimation at altitude to get the body ready for hiking. I was surpised it ended up quite a bit cooler camping here than it was 2000 feet higher when I was on a backpacking trip by Mono Pass later.
If you don't feel like cooking, the grill at the store isn't bad, though somewhat expensive. The store also has a pretty nice beer selection, and there is a post office there in case you want to mail yourself food for a backpacking trip.
- Also Known As:
- Tuolumne Meadows Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park