We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great place”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Yosemite National Park
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Upper Pines Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 29, 2011

The camping ground was O.K and provided everything we needed - stayed with RV, was quite cold however we expected this and had a great time around the open fire in the snow. Wasnt too busy due to weather and noise was not a problem - just syay outside of peak time. Facilities were jusdt what I would expect for this site. Provoeded a great base for having a look around.

Room Tip: GEt a bike and bike around - stay during shoulder season.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank smalltownlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (143)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

106 - 112 of 143 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2011

This big and busy campground is not the stuff that vacations are made of. We had a very poor site near a bathroom and a very inconsiderate and large family next to us who constantly cut through our space (along with many others) to get to the facility. Quiet hours were not observed and other campers were loud and inconsiderate. We stayed there only one night and then begged park rangers to give us a new space. We got lucky and got a wonderful site in Lower Pines, a much smaller campground with an ampitheatre and located on a meadow populated with deer. North Pines and Lower Pines, both located on the river are the places to stay in Yosemite Valley.

The Valley itself is a bit of a disappointment--very overpopulated and touristy. People, bicycles and vehicles are everywhere. Many good hiking trails and the shuttle bus is a big plus but wish more people would take advantage of the bus and lighten up the congestion.
The hike to Yosemite Falls is a treat although the falls were pretty much dry we climbed right up to it. Ranger talks and walks were fun and informative and following the shuttle bus itinerary was a great way to see most of the valley.

Will not go back to Yosemite Valley but plan to visit Wawona area of Yosemite which is less congested, with several hiking trails, historical sites, and a Sequoia grove.

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
9  Thank stephanie60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2010

We stayed in Upper Pines for a total of 3 nights, 2 at one site and the final night at another. Whilst I have camped extensively in other parts of CA, this was my first time at Yosemite.

The campground was pretty typical and most of the other reviews were spot on. Having now been there and seen the layout I would recommend getting a site on the outer side of the loops, as far away from the bathrooms/dumpsters as possible. The sites with the most space are at the loop ends and the dumpsters are at the road end of the loops.

We arrived at 9PM and there was no ranger at either the main park entrance nor the campground. The next day we headed out early and didn't return until 5PM. We missed the ranger again, and found a note at our site saying we needed to check in between 10-4 the next day. I found that a bit frustrating as who wants to wait around till 10 to start your day? Since we needed to switch sites, we did wait about, but there should be a better way!

I did manage to get a free shower at Camp Curry by taking my own towel and just walking in. No one was about to collect $5, but maybe in the summer they are more vigilant. The showers were clean and had bath gel and shampoo dispensers.

I think if we go again, I will make sure and book as far in advance as possible to have the best site choice, but overall not a bad campsite at all.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
8  Thank CA_expat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2010

I'll start by saying that I don't have much experince in large car-camping campgrounds, because we usually stick to smaller remote locations during backpacking trips. However, my our two nights at Upper Pines were a good experience and I would recommend the campground.

Each camp site comes with a picnic table, a firepit, and a bear-proof food locker. FOOD LOCKER: in general, they are pretty big and can fit a couple coolers and lots of bags with food and toiletries. Check the Yosemite website to see the food locker sizes, as some sites have new ones, which differ slightly in size form the old ones. The web site will tell you the sizes by camp site number. FIRE PIT: it's a round metal fire barrier with a grill that covers a third of the space. This grill is too high from the ground to cook with coals, even though you can position it at 4 different levels. To fix the issue, we built a base with large rocks and put coals on top of the rocks. It worked very well and it created a lot of hear with the rocks.

The bathrooms have real flushing toilets and sinks with mirrors. There is no warm water and bring your own soap and towel. They are well stocked with toilet paper and they are kept pretty clean. For warm showers you have to walk or drive to Camp Curry. It's about a 10 minute walk - you'll need to bring your towel, soap, flip-flops recommended, and hair dryer if you need one.

NOISE: overall, everybody respects the 10pm quiet time. By 10:30pm you will probably hear a little noise, but not too bad.

We did not experience the high smoke situation as others have. It wasn't bad. Definitely dusty, as you are camping on the dry ground, not in the grass.

Going to Yosemite, you should expect major campgrounds that are always crowded, so if you want to be alone in the woods, plan to go somewhere else or maybe camp in the backpaking camps up the mountains in the park. Our Upper Pines site number was #185, which was a larger corner lot, not too far nor too close from the bathrooms, and with woods across the little road. I can see how some other lots that are smaller and positioned more in the center of the campground would make a person feel very crowded... but if this is your only option in the always-booked Yosemite, it's not bad. We camped here because it was the only way we could stay in the park - if we wanted to be remote and being in Yosemite was not a priority, we would have not camped in Upper Pines.

I would recommend avoiding the lots adiacent to the bathrooms, as they are going to be more noisy (people walking back and forth) and also bright through the night (movement sensors for the lights in the bathroom).

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank FairReviewerOnTheGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2010

My hubby and I stayed here towards the end of a 3-week camping roadtrip through CA. We had read about little privacy and it's true, there wasn't much. However, we had plenty of space at our site and the neighbours were friendly but quiet. Across the road were some party-hearty people, but we lucked out. It seemed like the dumpsters were mostly near the main campground road that the loops branched off of, and I imagine those sites would have been noisy because of the dumpsters and more traffic. The only wildlife we saw in camp was a coyote (off to the side), lots of birds, and many many squirrels who weren't aggressive but certainly never gave up on trying to find food amongst our stuff. There seems to be some kind of tracking system in place for bears who have previously entered the campground, so I wasn't too paranoid about being chased to the bathroom at night.

Two issues with this place: No warm water in the bathroom taps, and no showers. We knew about the lack of showers, and had planned on paying for them elsewhere in the park. However, we were shocked that they wanted to charge $5 per person as at state parks the showers use quarters and you can usually have a decent one for $1. $5 per shower, per person, over 4 days was more than we wanted to pay so... here's a suggestion for the adventurous: we had a huge spare tarp with us. We strung it around two trees that were close to each other to form a tall enclosure (being careful not to actually tie it to the trees in case rangers complained), heated some water on our stove and put it in a bucket and, using a cup as a scoop, had relatively warm mid-afternoon showers each day for FREE. Right in our campsite.

Overall this was a great campground with fantastic trees, mountains surrounding us, and it was close to Happy Isles, Curry Village, and several bus stops.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
6  Thank jossthorp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2009

Our pitch at Upper Pines was more than big enough for our little 3 man tent and it was good to get a fire pit and bench as standard, as this helped for late night campfire tales and smores-making. We chose a pitch at the back of Upper Pines which made it a longer walk to Curry Village for amenities but much closer to Happy Isles for the walks to Nevada Falls and Half Dome. Camping at the far end of the site also had its benefits noise wise as some people did have a habit of arriving with their enormous RVs well past midnight which wasn't conducive to a sound night's sleep. As a true camper (with a tent) Upper Pines was a little heavy on the HV-side which made it feel quite impersonal, so many people in their own little boxes. From what we could tell Camp C had more spirit, being tents only, but was much further from the amenities (although well placed for climbing El Capitan if that's your thing. My only true grouse would be the lack of shower facilities. Toilet blocks were everywhere and surely these can be adapted at the very least for a cold water shower rather than having to traipse over to Curry Village and pay $5 in overcrowded facilities that were fairly dirty despite being monitored (I'm not saying I expect super clean showers in a camp site but I do expect them when I'm paying $5 - and I'd be doubly annoyed if I'd paid $100 a night and was in Curry Village tents having to share with smelly campers). Other than that - and the majestic views - $20 a night is a real bargain so worth booking significantly in advance.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank bishclone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2009

I was well prepared for a very "close" camping experience at upper pines, but it even exceeded my expectations. The people are on top of each other and very rude. RV's run their generators whenever they want, not just during the approved times, the "quiet hours" are a joke. Rangers had to be called out on several occations at midnight. The bathrooms were a mess and there were bears in the camp everynight that work everyone up. Almost every site exceeded the 6 person maximum and several had 3-4 tents. I was excited about staying in the valley, but I never would again. Right before Yosemite, we stayed in Sequoia and that was a wonderful camping experience even though it was also very full.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank adshansel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Yosemite National Park
13.9 mi away
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
#3 of 3 in Yosemite National Park
3,944 reviews
14.3 mi away
The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
#1 of 3 in Yosemite National Park
2,692 reviews
13.8 mi away
Yosemite Cedar Lodge
Yosemite Cedar Lodge
#2 of 2 in El Portal
2,213 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
22.5 mi away
Rush Creek Lodge
Rush Creek Lodge
#2 of 7 in Groveland
562 reviews
14.6 mi away
Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn
11.2 mi away
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge
#1 of 2 in El Portal
4,098 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Upper Pines Campground? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Upper Pines Campground

Address: East Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 238
Also Known As:
Upper Pines Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing