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“Nice, but primative”

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Upper Pines Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Yorba Linda, California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Nice, but primative”
Reviewed June 7, 2012

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.

Room Tip: California's online system to reserve campgrounds is the worst. Although they've had an onl...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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14 Thank SeaDuner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2012 via mobile

Yes the sites are close together but the location is perfect. It Was noisy in the morning but very quiet at night after 10 PM. Showers are a five minute walk in Curry Villiage. Convenient location for shuttle stops. I would stay here again on my next visit

Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
8 Thank Happyhikerchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwich, Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2012 via mobile

We had a great plot in an outer loop (71). Plenty of space for our tent, flat and happened to be surrounded by tents. The middle spots looked more cramped. We could walk out of the back of our site and be in Curry Village for showers (no charge in winter, it seems), coffee and wifi in less than 5 mins. Staying in the Valley was a great decision, as we did 3 great hikes of over 11 miles and never had to get in the car. The shuttle runs through the valley year round and the common room at Curry us great for warming by the fire.

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank James E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2012

Pros
Each campsite has a car park, bear locker, fire pit & picnic table
Beautiful
Lots of free space for children to run around

Cons
No soap supplied in bathroom - im aware that the bears are attracted to the smell but lock the bathroom if that is a concern,having a toilet with no soap is unsanitary
No place to wash dishes
People in noisy RVs - maybe put them in a separate site away from tents
Can be FREZZING so check weather forecast

Overall
Would be good having a map at the front of the campsite showing where laundry and shower facilities in the valley are

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank MrJandals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2012

Upper Pines is one of the most popular campgrounds in the most popular part of Yosemite. So that translates to crowds. It is going to be crowded in the Valley and in this campsite - especially during the summer. If you want to avoid that - go off season or try a wilderness site. However, if you are a casual car camper and want the convenience of being close to the amenities, this is the place to be.

I've been to Yosemite several times but this was my first time staying at Upper Pines. We had a site on one of the outer loops which was quite large and relatively quiet. It was also close to the road that led to Curry Village so it was an easy jaunt to the store and cafeteria. If you have never camped in Yosemite before, you will want to make sure to take advantage of your Bear Locker - they do know that people bring food to the campsites so you don't want to them trying to break into your car or tent! The Ranger do a good job of monitoring the site so they will be checking for people violating quiet time or for bears wandering around.

So other than Curry Village, you will also be close to the trail heads of many of the best hikes out of the valley - you can easily get to the Mist Trail or 4 mile trail from here. Just remember that if you suddenly get the urge to conquer Half Dome on a whim, there is a permit requirement now for every day of week. Plus, it is not a day trip to take lightly - its a brutal 19 miles RT with 4K in elevation so be warned!

Note that the Rangers will want to the person who booked the reservation to be there - so if you are in a large group, try to arrive together. I got ahead of the party leader so I got some grief at the check-in but once I was able to reach her via cell it all worked out.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank no_map
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Desert, California
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2011

We stayed in the Upper Pines campground for two nights over Labor Day weekend, 2011. The campground was full. The sites are small and close together. It's a good location, right on the shuttle line and close to lots of good trails and right in the Yosemite Village. No showers on site.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank ander129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weehawken, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
82 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2011

Right in the heart of the valley upper pines was perfect, and in close proximity to curry village, yosemite village, and the half dome/mist trails. This campsite was perfect in terms of location, althought the campsites were tightly packed together, there was still space to enjoy your own campsite. there were several bathrooms, all were clean. Follow your bear canister rules, we had no encounters. Perfect for anyone trying to enjoy the valley and a fair drive to other areas of the park ( glacier point, mariposa, and tuolmone meadows). We had to hop around because we couldnt get sites in consecutive days, except for the last two days, and our favorite spot was located on the perimeter of the campsite, notably more secluded but close to bathrooms.

Room Tip: book early!!!!!!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank dfox0403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Upper Pines Campground

Property: Upper Pines Campground
Address: East Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 238
Also Known As:
Upper Pines Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park

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