Once in a lifetime

Yosemite Campgrounds

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There are a number of Yosemite Campgrounds available, in and around the park. The National Forest Service offers over a dozen campgrounds near the park, in the Stanislaus, Sierra, and Inyo National forest. In addition, Yosemite offers a number of different campgrounds in the park, and there are many more privately owned campgrounds and RV parks close by.

Inside the park, there are thirteen different Yosemite Campgrounds. Some of these are open year round, others are seasonal. Seven can be reserved, others are available on a first come first serve basis. One of these that is open year round is the Upper Pines Campground, located in the Yosemite Valley. This is at 4,000 feet, with 238 different RV and camping site available. From March through November reservations are a must, during the off season they are available on a first come basis. This campground can accommodate RV's up to 35' and trailers up to 24.' There are no hook ups, but there is a dump station, as well as clean bathrooms near each of the campsites. Each site contains picnic tables, fire rings, and even a food locker. These lockers are designed to keep out the bears, and should always be used to store you related items. There is potable water available, as well as flush toilets. While there are no showers on the grounds, but groceries, showers and even a laundry mat is in the nearby Park Villages.

One of the privately owned Yosemite Campgrounds is the High Sierra RV, Mobile Park and Campground. This is a full service campground, and unlike those inside the park, has full hook ups available for RV's. This park sits right on the banks of the Fresno River, a seasonal river. It has a number of wonderful amenities, clean showers and bathrooms, WiFi, a laundry, gift and snack shop, and this park is completely pet friendly. They even offer a swimming hole and two waterfalls! In addition to close access to Yosemite National Park the Madera Wine Trail, Bass Lake, and many skiing opportunities are nearby.

Another one of the many Yosemite Campgrounds is the Summerdale Campground, in Sierra National Forest, just one and a half miles South of the Park's main entrance. This facility is offered by the Bureau of Land Management, has a single loop around the campgrounds, and is surrounded by Cedar, Cottonwood, and Fir trees. There is a large meadow in the middle of the loop. This is a more primitive campground, with just 28 different sites, and limited shade spots. Inside the grounds you have fire pits, grills and picnic tables. There are vault toilets, but these are regularly maintained. Outside the campground, more that a mile away, is shopping, dining, gas and groceries. Reservations are required, and there are strict rules about pets. No ATV's are allowed, or using firearms within the campgrounds.
Yosemite Pines is another great Yosemite campgrounds attraction. They have a number of full service RV sites, camping cabins, and quiet tent sites available. They are located just a thirty minute drive from the West entrance to the park. There are also many different on site amenities, from panning for gold, swimming, and even a zoo, featuring one of the areas most used creatures, the Alpaca. There is WiFi, laundry, hot showers and clean restrooms. From here you can book a number of different tours, rent bikes for their many nature trails, or even relax by the pool.

There are some things to note when visiting these Yosemite Campgrounds. One of them is that for most, reservations are a must. If you are planning your vacation here, make sure you get the latest updates on fires and flooding, as well as the bears and wildlife in the area. Be aware of your neighbors, and treat them as well as the land with respect.

Kevin McClellan loves to travel and has lots of interesting articles about camping and campgrounds. To read more about the "Coolest Campgrounds" in America, visit the authors website at http://www.coolestcampgrounds.com. While there don't forget to check out the monthly writing contest.

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