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“Great campground - disgusting bathrooms!”

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Lower Pines Campground
Springfield, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
192 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
“Great campground - disgusting bathrooms!”
Reviewed June 2, 2012

Camping in Yosemite on Memorial Weekend had me nervous. I selected Lower Pines because I wanted a small campground than some of the others available in the park. I did my research and had an idea of what camp site I wanted in particular. I sat at the computer the day the reservations for that period went live and was lucky enough to get the site I had selected (site 71). It was a great site. We backed up to a patch of woods which bordered the meadow so no one behind us but deer and birds. The site was large enough to have friends of our pitch their tent (we had a pop up camper) and still have room to move around and park two vehicles. I didn't feel like we were on top of neighbors, but the sites along that outer loop definitely had more room. None of the sites have any hook ups. The river was just a short walk across the camp ground so it was fun to hear that throughout our stay. In one direction we could see Yosemite Falls and to the other we had a good view of Half Dome. The camp ground was full, but it was quiet. Each site comes with a bear box which was large enough to fit a large cooler and two smaller coolers, plus all our other food and items. You have to put everything with a scent in the bear box including sun screen, soap, drinks, etc. So keep that in mind when you are packing. We ended up not being prepared for that and we had lots of little items just thrown in there and it was a very tight squeeze! The campground was located within a short walk to a shuttle stop which made it easy to get around. In four days there we only drove our truck once. There was a store and burger place within walking distance. The showers were over in that area too, but we did not use them. The bathrooms in the campground had sinks (cold water only), did not provide any soap or paper towels (assuming because of the bears). There was a sink in between the restrooms for potable water and a dump site for gray water, but there was no actual dump site in that camp ground. You had to go across the street to the Pines campground. There were also no spigots with in the campground other than that one by the bathrooms. I have seen some nasty camp ground bathrooms, but these were probably the worst. I don't know that they were ever cleaned in our time there. I realize it didn't help that it rained for two days and that it was the busiest time of year in the park, but they were really, really bad. We would definitely stay there again. When we looked around at the other camp grounds in the valley, Lower Pines was definitely one of the best. North Pines (across the river) seemed similar, but the other Pines campgrounds were very crowded. It was hard even walking through them because there was so much traffic.

Room Tip: You can see the camp ground map online at reservations and then there is a web site http://www.camps...
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Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
21 Thank KMR96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2012

We stayed here in a 26 foot motorhome/RV for 3 nights April 2012 in pitch 38 - have a look at the National parks reservations site to get a map of the sites at Yosemite. Pitch 38 was fantastic - loads of space around, right beside the river, clear and uninterrupted classic view of Half Dome (see attached photo) and easy to reverse into. If you want good pitches like this, I think you need to have your finger on the online trigger when the site availability is released - again see the NPS reservation site for when they open. The site has a shuttle bus stop right beside it and is only a short walk to Curry Village, or to the beginning of the Vernal Falls trail. At this time of year, though the site was full it was still relatively quiet and peaceful. We were wary of snow and the possible requirement for snowchains, but were lucky and just managed to leave the park before the onset of a fairly significant snowstorm. Despite this, the weather was great, not too cold and perfect for hiking. We booked Lower Pines as it was smaller and more central than Upper Pines, and got more sun than North Pines which is important at this time of year. Thoroughly recommend in view of other options, having been there and looked around the other sites. The rangers/wardens at the site were very helpful too.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sands3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2011

This was my second trip to Lower Pines. I LOVE this place. The camp sites are great and the walk to Curry Village is very convenient! YOu can walk up, have a swim or a shower. The pizza joint is great and so is the ice cream.
Try and get a site next to the river!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank TweetGavin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2011

Had a wonderful 2 night stay here in a Motor-home over the Memorial Day weekend. This place is friendly to both RVs and tents. Sites were mostly reasonably spaced and shaded. Fantastic location next to the Merced River and gorgeous views of Half Dome and Royal Arches from campsite. Convenient access to Curry Village via a paved path through scenic Stoneman Meadows and a longer walk will bring you to the trail-heads for Mirror Lake and Vernal/Nevada Falls. No RV hookups. Toilets have running water (no showers). Dumping station available at Upper Pines CG across the street. Online pre-regristration will expedite your check-in process significantly. Down side is that it is very difficult to get a site here.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ckyip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2007

Lower Pines campground is in the Yosemite Valley, so scenery and ambience can't be beaten. The campsite itself is better than I'd expected; I'd heard sites were close together with not too much privacy--but some sites were fairly private, with lots of nice tree cover. Lower Pines is pretty near the road, a big disadvantage--you might want to look at Upper Pines. We were at "Double 1" which is quite a nice site. If you google for "yosemite campground photos" you'll find someone who's taken and posted pictures of every campsite--very helpful. The campsite is on the river (lovely) and near lots of great hikes. You can see half-dome and the amazing valley walls--a deer walked though our campsite past 10 people 25 feet away and didn't bat an eye. Unfortunately, bears are similarly unwary of humans, and dealiing with packing and unpacking the bear box got pretty old (better than the alternative!) Also, in the middle of the night we were awakened by somebody (ranger?) yelling at the bears. The only other disadvantage is the fine dust covering the ground. We camped with small children, and pretty soon they (and we) were covered in a layer of fine dust. All in all, completely worthwhile for not much money. Be sure to reserve first thing in the morning (6:55 am and start refreshing your browser!) 5 months before your camping date, because these sites go fast!

  • Liked — Yosemite...what else to say?
  • Disliked — Bear worries and dust
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank Austweir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lower Pines Campground

Property: Lower Pines Campground
Address: East Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 60
Also Known As:
Lower Pines Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park

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