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“Party Central”

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Crane Flat Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Fresno, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Party Central”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2013

Booked site in the 400 loop for two nights. Site was good size, however the only flat place to set up a tent was right in front of the bear box and the sites are very close to each other.

There are no dumpsters located in the camp loops. If you want to throw your trash, you have to take it to one of the dumpsters on the main camp road.

Restrooms are dirty. Two sinks and two stalls in each building. No soap or hot water. Due to no showers, people were bathing at the public water spout.

Loop roads have potholes that could severly damage a car. Really, is it that hard to fix potholes before they get that large?

No enforcement of quite hours. Drunk group of men in site next to mine were outside carrying on (LOUD talking, yelling, laughing, foul language, belching and farting contests until 2 AM). Group on the other side had a large party arrive at 12 AM.

I left after one night. IMO, the park does not enforce the quite hours so that people who have paid for sites will leave early, allowing the park to rent the space you have paid for to another party. If the park service can patrol the premises for bears at night, why can't they include enforcing the quite hour policy as well. I would rather have had an encounter with a bear than listen to the nonsense that went on that night.

If your interested in getting some sleep, your better off sleeping in your car on the side of the road. If your main intent is to party until all hours of the morning, this is your place.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank live4roadtrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
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English first
West Covina, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

I recently camped at Crane Flat campground and despite it raining during the first day and a half, I was generally pleased with the campground and the facilities. The campground itself was in relatively good condition and kept clean. The flush toilets were usually clean as was the public water faucet. There are no lights in the restrooms and they do get very dark as late afternoon sets in. We are a family of four with 2 small children and there were plenty of places for the kids to play, wander and explore. Most of the campsites have level spots for a tent but there are a few which are set against a hillside. Do your research and be sure to check out the comments section of the reservation website. The best spots seem to be in the 500 loop, in particular the sites on the outside of the loop and set against the forest. The campground is surrounded by quite a bit of deadfall and with a little effort you can easily gather firewood. I agree with many other reviewers that this campground is a great alternative to camping in the Valley. Camping here you get to avoid larger groups of people and traffic, yet you are only a 20 minute drive from the Valley. There is a gas station/general store close by (2 minutes by car or a 15 minute walk). The prices are high (to be expected) but still within reason, especially if you need something you forgot to bring or want to buy firewood or coffee. The store also has very clean, well lit restrooms (close at 7pm). The Crane Flat campground is also close to the Tuolumne Grove (sequoia grove). It’s not as big or glorious as the sequoia grove near Wawona but it does provide a fun and easy hiking experience that is about a 5 minute drive from Crane Flat campground.

Some things I don’t like about this campground are the lack of a nearby river/stream to play in, the amount of dirt/dust (the entire campground is dirt with almost no vegetation or green ground cover). Late night noisy neighbors are also a problem as is the lack of enforcement. In fact, rule enforcement is so lax that a camper a few sites down was able to chop down a 15-20 tree without the rangers noticing or approaching him. They claim that bears are a problem and that all food must be secured in the bear-proof storage lockers. This is to be expected but is more of a nuisance as they want you to basically lock up EVERYTHING which has ANY type of scent. Bugs seem to be a problem at this campground so be sure to bring plenty of repellant. The last gripe I have is the bad condition of the campground road. It has many large potholes which could be a problem for small cars or large RVs.

Overall, I would say that I enjoyed the campground and would certainly camp there again. It is definitely a great alternative to camping in the Valley.

Room Tip: Campsite in the 500 loop seem to be the best.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tom H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oviedo, Florida
Level Contributor
46 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2013

We wanted to stay in the Valley, but if you don't plan way ahead, Crane Flat is the next best thing. Like one reviewer said, there are very few places for your rv. We were able to get site 305. Not the best place for a 39 foot rv, but you can make it fit and have room for your slide outs.

Just know that the roads within the campground are eroded so you will hit potholes. We went over one leaving the 300 loop and it tore off our rv flap. The sites themselves looked like they were once paved, but there is little left of the pavement. Most sites are unleveled, so be prepared. If you drive the speed limits, it will take you about 30 minutes to get to the Valley.

Major pros: Gas station nearby with a food mart (coffee!), campers aren't very noisy and adhere to the quiet times, the peaceful feeling you get sitting next to your campfire and looking up at the stars through the tall beautiful trees. Just amazing.

Major cons: Potholes within 300 loop, uneven sites, but you can't expect anything better since you're dry camping, and no showers. You'll have to go to Housekeeping in the Valley to take showers.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank FloridaSun4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
az
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2013

We camped at Crane Flat Campground Sept. 2012 in a 40 ft motor home. There is limited camping spots in any of the Yosemite campgrounds for a 40 ft motor home. We hiked Half Dome and wanted to be in the Valley for easy access; however, so did everyone else. We did reserve site 215 at Crane Flat that fit our rig very nicely. Be careful it's tricky getting to the site but not impossible. Level site, horizontal to road. There was a Ranger talk one night about bears that was interesting. It is about 20 to 30 minutes to/from Yosemite Valley. We did enjoy our stay.

Room Tip: Site 215 fits up to a 40ft motorhome nicely. It is interior site but lot of area between other sites...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AzSummerrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
8 Thank RSH56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Killingworth, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank Betsy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
63 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Landon F
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

Property: 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 #12 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 166
Also Known As:
Crane Flat Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park

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