This is a good campground, however I find it a lot more tight to meneuver through the loops versus the Lower Pines campground across the road. The best thing about Upper Pine campground is the dump station is just outside the entrance of the campground. However since you have to leave the perimeter of the campground to access the dump station, after you dump you have to wait in the long line to get back into the campground, past the guardshack. I recommend you dump before the rangers open the shack in the morning or after they close in the evening, alleviating having to wait in line just to get back in.
These campgrounds are primative. Don't expect much for amenitites, no showers in the bathrooms either. Nature is awesome everywhere at Yosemite, however transportation is key to see it. The E-Ticket is a good bike with gears. Rental bikes are $28/day, but are basic one speed bikes that don't do well on the bike paths with hills. There are lots of bike paths, and that's where you see animals and most of the interesting stuff.
Think twice about taking your pets. Although pets are allowed on all paved bike paths, you cannot take them on hiking paths (some of which are paved) to Yosemite falls, Bridalvale falls, Vernal Falls, Mariposa Grove, etc. I won't take my dog again, just too much hassle.
Wild dear graze in a nearby field next to camp Curry, just north of Curry Village. They come out around 7pm and sometimes early in the morning around 6 to 7am (during summer). One dear found it's way into Upper Pines campground, near the entrance one day when I was there. The other field to see dear is a couple hundred yards West of the Ahawnee Hotel. I commonly saw dear feed around 6-7pm in that grass field.
Since check-in time is noon, if coming in the south entrance, I recommend staying at a campground outside of the park in Oakhurst. Then the next morning get up early and see Mariposa Grove. Arrive at Mariposa at 9am if you want to use the tram, highly recommended. The tram doesn't run before 9am. Also, after that, try to see Glacier Point. By the time you do both of those it will be 1 or 2pm, a good time to check in your Valley campsite, long after the crowd is gone at the entry gate. If you arrive the Valley before 2pm, I recommend you stall and enjoy some of the scenery before check in for your campsite, avoiding the long line at the camp guard shack. They can be very slow at checking people in, the line moves at a snails pace.
- Also Known As:
- Upper Pines Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park