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“Tent Camping at Yosemite”

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Upper Pines Campground
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Tent Camping at Yosemite”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2014

My wife and I tent camped here during our honeymoon for two nights. It is what you would expect from a primitive campsite. We really liked that RVs can only run generators during set times during the day and the latest they can run them is until 7pm. It's nice because you don't have to worry about the noise of generators running while you're trying to sleep. The rangers are very strict about putting food in the bear locker. The people next to us didn't put all their food in it and the ranger confiscated their food and wrote them a citation. The lockers are large enough to hold everything you would need. The bathrooms are real flushable toilets, but there are no showers in the Upper Pines campground. The closest showers are in Curry Village, which is only a 5 to 10 minute walk. You can also have campfires, which was a surprise since California's in a drought. They do not allow you to have a campfire in the morning because they don't want the air quality to suffer. The campground is very close to trail-heads and shuttle stops.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jimg9321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    40
    46
    27
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
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  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
158 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2014

The camp site is very nice - as you'd expect - but if you are tent camping, try to find a different site. I was puzzled by what appeared to be the noise of a freeway. It turns out that the noise was coming from RVs, doing whatever RVs do... running generators?

Off season is great to avoid crowds but it does have the downside that most camp sites aren't open and tent campers have to be mixed in with the RVs. Best to go almost off season to a tent only camp.

Room Tip: Avoid the RV sites!!
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
Helpful?
Thank Margaret S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2014

RV space had plenty room and all the spaces seemed pretty flat. Be aware there are no RV hookups (sewage dump is available at the entrance/ exit). Campground is wooded and teeming with birds and squirrels (we visited in spring). Washroom facilities are limited but that's kind of beside the point when staying in Yosemite. Views of the face of Half Dome are stunning.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rory L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
66 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2014

We recently visited Yosemite for the first time, having an opportunity to go in early March. Now many of you might not think camping is a good plan during the winter, but I can tell you, it is one of the best times to go! The staff/rangers at Yosemite are very helpful and accommodating, giving us great advice and suggestions. The valley is absolutely beautiful with lots of hiking trails and views all around. Because it was early spring, I'm sure the waterfalls were even more spectacular that in the summer months. Statistics show that the majority of park visitors go to the valley in the months of July and August, so we loved not having the crowds that the summer months bring. Yes, it was cold at night, but we were prepared with warm sleeping bags and the days were warm and sunny. The camp was well maintained and the camping spaces were clean and not too close together. We would highly recommend at camping trip to Yosemite in the off season.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BirdieBaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014

The campsite itself was fine. Typical NP campground & I have no complaints about the facilities.

What was bad was that the rules were not enforced. We saw garbage bags, food, coolers, etc, left out overnight. Woke up one morning to see trash strewn across a neighboring site. One morning when the campground was full we awoke to find we actually had a rental motorhome of foreign tourists who had moved border rocks and parked in the middle of our campsite overnight! My husband had to drive to the ranger office (no Verizon coverage) and the ranger smirked & said 'What do you expect, it's Yosemite, you should see it in Summer!' & told him they'd 'check it out'. 2 1/2 hours later (after they had moved on, of course) the ranger drove by & said 'Oh, they're gone? No problem then!'. Really?

In the entire time we were there we saw 2 rangers drive thru the campground. There are NO patrols at night. When asked what to do if there was a problem at night, we were specifically told NOT to bother the campground host, that we'd need to get up, drive to a pay phone, call the operator who would then let a ranger know, then the ranger would decide if it was 'worth coming out for'. Again, really?

Hopefully, this was because it was winter & they have (much) less staffing. But it's really soured me on Yosemite & I doubt I'll camp there again.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank StormyQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Mateo, California
Level Contributor
306 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2014

My wife and I just stayed here two nights and had a great time. The campground is very woodsy
and the spots are decently spaced apart. They have decent bathrooms and it is a five minute
walk to the showers at curry village. This time of the year was great, we almost had the whole place to ourself. They have spots for rv's or tents, but no hookups at all. If you have a generator
beware you can only run it to 7pm. Overall it is a very beautiful, relaxing place to stay.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank brentsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2013

Stayed for 2 nights in a RV whilst touring California. No electric hookup but there is a dump station. Toilets and showers are fine. A short walk to the free shuttle bus that goes round the valley or to Camp Curry for food and drinks. Absolutely stunning location.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank UberSaint
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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