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“Fine Campsite”
Review of Wawona Campground

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Wawona Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 10, 2014

Although it is located 50 minutes from the heart of Yosemite Valley, the Wawona Campground is a place that is not in the crowded valley, it has basic facilities, and campers who know how to camp. We really enjoyed our fellow campers. No noise pollution from idiots who bring their loud radios, and no loud people at night. (In Yosemite Valley campsites, you will always experience these type of people.) There is a different vibe here, and although we did see a good amount of RV campers, the sites were dominated by car-campers who set up tents. (Like us.)
I went to Tripadvisor to review this location, since we have never camped there before, and it was a good thing I did. Fellow reviewers said to bring a sun-canopy since some of the sites offer little shade. I brought my canopy and actually set it up over my bear-box which was hot as an oven when we arrived. Our site (#59 Loop C) was very, very sunny. Luckily there was a large tree that we set our tent under, but we had to keep moving our picnic table when having dinner to enjoy shade provided from the limited amount of tree cover at this particular site.
Now, having said that, there isn't much to see at this campground, and since there are many, many things to see in Yosemite, we were not in the camp that much during the middle of the day. So, the lack of shade was only a problem during the hours when we were in camp to have our dinner. (4pm to 6pm).
The only other problem with this campsite is that there are no showers. But, we knew that and brought our "sun-showers" and washed in the bed of my truck. But know this, the use of soap is forbidden at the campsite while bathing, so we would rinse, and then use Cottonelle wipes for the actual cleaning. (The nearest showers were located in Housekeeping Camp in Yosemite Valley, 50 minutes away.) Some fellow reviewers complained that there are no lights in the restrooms. This is true, so bring a mini flashlight lantern and you will be fine. Water is provided at many locations throughout the entire campsite, so you won't have to bring your own. (Or, not as much as you think you will need.)
There is a little bit of road noise at the campsite, but nothing that will annoy you. The sounds of the wind in the trees, birds, and Wawona Creek dominate more than anything else. (Until the trash truck arrives.) They allow fires at any time throughout the day, unlike Yosemite Valley, so it was nice to have a morning fire. (Not allowed in the valley.) The Wawona Hotel and General Store is one mile from the campground. (There is no campground shuttle service.) The store will have anything you need if you have forgotten something in your supplies and has souvenirs. There is also a great gift shop at Hill's Studio on the hotel grounds.
Things to do in the immediate area are: Hill's Studio and Visitor Center, the Pioneer Center, Horseback riding, and enjoying Wawona Creek. (We saw campers floating down the creek.) There is also a shuttle stop for the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, which is free. There is limited parking by the shuttle, but not to worry, there is more parking on the hotel grounds.
Another thing to do is a drive to Glacier Point. It is a 45 minute drive, but much faster getting there from Wawona than the valley since you don't have to fight valley traffic and tour buses.
To sum up: Better fellow campers here than in Yosemite Valley; free shuttle to Mariposa Grove; a better drive to Glacier Point; bring a sun-canopy, and a blanket to put over your bear-box; and bring a sun-shower for bathing.
We had a great time. The rangers were friendly and informative at the site, and during our stay there were no bears in the area.

Room Tip: Go online to see the campsite layout and try to choose a site near the creek.
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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13  Thank Tim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 - 55 of 95 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2014

Another very well organised state park campground in a beautiful location. It is near a stream and a historical site, wawona hotel and near mariposa (sequoia trees).
I haven't given it 5 stars for the following reasons:
1. It is approx. 1 hour drive from centre Yosemite (there is a shuttle service, but it wasn't running when we visited)
2. Need to drive to nearest amenities.

Room Tip: Check whether the shuttle bus to the valley is running if you don't want to drive !
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Lyd2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here mid may for a couple nights. Site 27 in A loop which was shockingly pretty private considering the bathroom it was next to was closed ( we had porta-pottys instead). Saw the reg bathrooms. Clean but super basic. The ground was very hard to get stakes in which was a bit of a pain. Road was right above us but it didn't bother us it's not high traffic at night. Creek was pretty. I don't think I would just hang out at camp here it's not that great and you can see people everywhere but it was quiet and a nice place to sleep without spending a bunch. It definitely served its purpose and wasn't in the valley.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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2  Thank Lime0914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here in late May. We had site 65 and were generally very happy with it, right by the river. While the site was big, the area were you could park your RV was restricted. As others noted, not all sites are leveled. This one was one of them. We made it work though and enjoyed being away from the crowds in the valley. The 1hr drive in the mornings into the valley as well as to glacier point were doable.

Stayed: May 2014
1  Thank Ubaier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014

Wawona is a spacious and tranquil riverside campsite on the southern side of Yosemite National Park. As other reviewers have noted, it is quite different from the busier camp sites of Yosemite Valley, and in my opinion probably much more suited to the tastes of those camping in tents than pulling up in RVs.

We camped three nights in loop B. Three three loops cleverly spread the population of the camp along the side of the Wawona River. Although the main road passes close by above the site, we were impressed by the lack of disturbance from traffic.

The proposition is basic: campsites come with a fire pit, picnic table, bear box and parking for one or possibly two cars. As other reviewers have noted, there are only basic toilet facilities, and you'll need to bring your own soap, towels and a lantern for nocturnal visits (although toilet paper was always available).

Our site (# 32) was ideal for us, with at least a hundred feet between us and the nearest tents. Although a few select sites have direct river access, the site is well laid out so that no-one is far from the water's edge. The ground was reasonably soft for a well used camp site, and we had no problems pitching our three man tent.

This is a very enjoyable basic campsite, and would suit couples and families looking for a more authentic and peaceful camping experience than the crowded sites in Yosemite Valley. Facilities are limited, but that's half the charm.

Room Tip: Reservations are essential, and the Yosemite website has a helpful map to identify plots. In loop...
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

Same price as North Pines without any charm. OK location next to a river, but the RV site was not level, we felt disoriented all night. There are limited facilities (only toilets), we were next to tent campers who were quite noisy until about 10pm. Wouldn't stay here again. Handy for Mariposa Grove the next morning.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SuaGiLo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in site 31, loop B. it was wonderful! Shaded, and just a 15 foot walk from tent to river (have to cross street. But loop B not big/busy). Super happy with this location and site. The ranger talks each evening were wonderful. Only an hour from the valley, which I (now) am so thankful I didn't get a campsite down there! What a zoo! My only picky complaint was our bear box was very dirty/Greasy INSIDE and the firepit was overflowing with ash. Will stay here again though!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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5  Thank Adchsmack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wawona Campground

Address: Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Price Range: $287 - $399 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 93
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Wawona Campground Hotel Wawona

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