If the Yosemite campgrounds are full, or you just want to stay somewhere else, you'll find options along the main routes into Yosemite:
Located an hour's drive from Yosemite Valley on Highway 120. Local businesses like to say it's closer, but they're talking about the distance to the entrance gate, not the valley.
- Pine Mountain Lake They have campsites and vacation rentals - and you get access to their facilities, too.
- Stanislaus National Forest: Dimond O, Lumsden, The Pines, Lost Claim and Pretty Sweetwater campgrounds offer pleasant surroundings, but minimal amenities with vault toilets - and you may have to bring your own water. Some of them also get quite hot in summer. Once you reach their website, choose "Recreation" to get to the camping info.
- Yosemite Lakes: RV parking, regular tent sites, bunkhouse cabins and yurt-style tents with plenty of amenities - and they're one of the only camping places around Yosemite that doesn't allow campfires (great if you have allergies).
- Yosemite Ridge Resort: Camping cabins, family cabins, RV sites and one-bedroom cottages. Rates are reasonable and cottages fall in the $$ range.
Highway 41 Camping
These are most convenient if your Yosemite stay centers on the south side, the Wawona area or the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. It's about an hour's drive from Fish Camp to the Yosemite Valley.
- Sierra National Forest: Summit and Summerdale campgrounds in the national forest offer pleasant surroundings, but minimal amenities with vault toilets and you may have to bring your own water.
Highway 140 Camping
Highway 140 has the advantage of being on the Yosemite Area Transit (YARTS) bus line, giving you a way to get in and out of the park without having to drive your car and hassle with parking.
- KOA Midpines: 28 full hook-up sites (18 pull-thrus),21 water/electric sites; 26 tent sites.
Camping Around Tioga Pass
Inyo National Forest is on the east side of Yosemite and not all the campgrounds in it are close Yosemite, but Sawmill Walk-In Camp
, Ellery Lake
, Big Bend
and Tioga Lake
are. They're all in the very high country (over 9,000 feet) near Tioga Pass.