Just stayed at Crane Flat in a tent on a first-come, first-serve basis, and had a blast. Our campsite was almost as big as the lot for our house! We backed up to a meadow so no one was behind us, and there was a great distance from all the other campsites.
We arrive on Mondays in Yosemite to get a campsite, and have never had a problem getting a great one. I think the focus for most people is on Yosemite Valley, but we don't like camping experiences where everyone is jammed tight together. We'd rather take the 20- 25 minute drive to the Valley to visit, then spend our nights and mornings back at Crane Flat. Or, we've done the same thing at Bridalveil Creek Campground...outside the Valley by about 30 minutes.
We found ourselves confused in several instances. I was planning to stay at Bridalveil Creek Campground and was shocked at the last minute to find it wasn't open the last few days of June...not until July 1. It just didn't make sense to me. Crane Flat is all open to first-come-first serve types until July 1. On July 1, the 400s and 500s are all reserved. It wasn't clear going up which part of the park was only reserved, so we camped in a great, available campsite the last two days of June, and had to move because it was in the reserved area. The Yosemite park website, and the signage when you arrive at Crane Flat aren't any help at all in this regard.
Crane Flat has flush toilets and water faucets, but no showers. You have to go to Curry Village for showers.
There's fine hiking all along Tioga Road, so you can experience tons of Yosemite beauty without going to the valley.
If you've never been, make sure you get gassed up at Mariposa so you have a full tank. There's only one gas station in Yosemite, and it's right next to Crane Flat.
It was all good. No complaints.
- Also Known As:
- Crane Flat Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park