Yosemite camping trip! Get ready for your adventure with these top tips to ensure you have the trip of a lifetime.
Top Tips For Your Yosemite Camping Trip
Yosemite National Park is known for its rich and diverse landscape, which attracts more than three million visitors annually.
It’s a stunning landscape dominated by huge granite cliffs, plunging waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, and meadows. Visitors often camp on one of the many campsites and enjoy the area’s outstanding beauty while also enjoying the numerous activities.
Hiking and climbing are two of the most popular pastimes in the 1,187 square miles of National Park. However, they’re not without danger. The Los Angeles Times reveals how as recently as August, a climber fell 80 feet while climbing in the area.
Vast areas of natural features are often fraught with danger as well. Love Holidays explains how one iconic spot, Yosemite Falls, is 2,425 feet high. Or, to put it another way, it’s more than twice the height of New York’s Chrysler Building. Around such places, it pays to be cautious, especially as there’s a 7.2-mile trail that takes you around the top of the Falls, with several steep drop-offs and rocky terrain.
Fun Fact: Yosemite Falls is made up of three separate falls – Upper Yosemite Fall, the middle cascades, and Lower Yosemite Fall.
However, Yosemite visitors shouldn’t just be cautious and prepared when climbing and walking. Even a simple camping trip to the area requires a certain amount of pre-planning. You can’t just expect to turn up somewhere like Yosemite and pitch a tent without taking tips from those who have been there before. A National Park isn’t your typical campsite. It pays to understand where you’re going and to be ready for your stay.
That’s where we come in! We’ve put together a list of the top tips to consider for your Yosemite camping trip. It will ensure you have the best experience possible.
It Gets Cold
There’s plenty of advice for walking the Yosemite Falls trail in the summer, which warns of exposure to direct sunshine. However, there is far less information about those night-time temperatures. It can get cold camping in Yosemite; very cold. The valley can see sharp temperature drops in the night, and while it feels cozy around the campfire, you need to be wrapped up warm once you’re in your tent. Make sure you take thermals in the fall, and warm camping gear, so the nights don’t become unbearable.
Speaking of bear(able), Yosemite has many bears, and you must abide by the very strict bear rules. Most campsites have a bear box, which is a place to store food and strong-smelling products such as toiletries. It’s not enough to leave these items in your car either. Bears have been known to break into cars to get to the food. Breaking the rules means you could fall victim to a bear attack during your Yosemite camping trip. Even if you don’t, you will face a hefty fine, so be warned.
Yosemite might be huge, but the campsites get filled up quickly. Some operate a lottery system, others first come, first served. Research your campsite first, and when you know where you want to go, get there early to snag a spot. Bridalveil Creek, White Wolf, Yosemite Creek, Tuolumne Meadows, Porcupine Flat, and Tamarack Flat are all first come, first served, but all get very busy. If you’re visiting between July and September, you need to be looking before 10 AM. Otherwise, you could struggle. You’re unlikely to find anything without a reservation between May and June, as they’re the area’s peak times.
It’s Not All Quiet
Mountains, lakes, rivers, and meadows… it all sounds so very tranquil, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled; the campsites can be incredibly noisy. Don’t think just because you’re in a National Park you will get peace and quiet. Some campers are staying in RVs with noisy engines, and there’s the clattering of bear boxes throughout the day and night. Remember, everyone’s food is in a bear box, and their toiletries don’t open or close quietly. Finding peace is easy once you’re out on the trails, but the campsites can sometimes be overwhelming.
Pro Tip: Love camping? Consider camping on Great Salt Lake!
Final Thoughts On A Yosemite Camping Trip
There’s a reason why millions of people visit Yosemite National Park each year. There is so much to see and do and planning a Yosemite camping trip is the perfect way to explore the area. Just be sure to have a reliable car for road trips and camping and also plan ahead if wanting to stay at one of the more popular campsites.
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