Camping at Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a sight not to be missed if you’re spending time in California. Over 1500 square miles of finely cut granite cliffs, beautiful blue lakes, and a valley covered in forest make up the landscape of one of the most popular US National Parks. One way to optimize the experience of Yosemite is to go camping!
We spent 3 days camping at Yosemite National Park and we want to share our tips and tricks with you.
Porcupine Flat Campground
We chose the Porcupine Flat campground at Yosemite because of its location. It is located right at the center of the National Park.
The Porcupine Flat Campground is just off the famous Tigoa Road (one of the most scenic drives in the state), the campground is clearly signposted.
No reservations are available at Porcupine Flat, they operate on a first come first serve basis.
The fee when we stayed was $12/£8 a night, which is an absolute bargain for one of the best camping spots we’ve ever stayed at.
The Camping process in Yosemite
When camping at Yosemite’s first come first serve campgrounds, the process is simple. Turn up early and wait for others to leave.
Check the date on the Yosemite Camping permits that will be attached to the pitch signposts to see the date they are due to check out.
Wait patiently until they are packed up (check out is usually 10am) and complete your own permit while you wait. You will also need to include the correct amount of money (cash only) in an envelope and drop it into the box provided at the information station by the entrance.
We would recommend 2-3 nights in Yosemite to experience the attractions with plenty of time to spare.
The Best Pitch at Porcupine Flat
We selected Pitch 36 while camping at Yosemite’s Porcupine Flat, mostly due to the spot being far away but close enough to the restroom.
The camping pitches on the outer edge of Porcupine Flat offer enough isolation to feel ‘lost in the woods’ but close enough to conveniences such as other visitors, waste disposal and the roads of the national park. A small private road leads right up to the area.
Pitch 36 was idyllic due to the vast amount of woodland behind allowing us to gather deadwood easily for our fire pit.
Camping facilities at Porcupine Flat
Each camping pitch at Porcupine Flat offers a food storage locker (complete with bear clip), a fire ring with grill, a picnic table and ample room for a tent.
There are a total of 52 tent sites and RVs/trailers are not recommended.
Porcupine Flat has a vault toilet which had a warning sign about recent cases of the plague being reported. The plague is high risk in this area from ticks and fleas that live on rodents. It is advised to stay away from rodents at all times and be wary when handling anything on the ground.
One exciting thing that did happen to us while camping at Yosemite’s Porcupine Flat campground was being sniffed by an unknown beast in the night. The snout of the animal woks us up and we will never know if it was a bear, wolf, dear or bobcat. All we know is it was exciting and frightening at the same time but no harm came to us and we’d absolutely go back again form more Yosemite adventures.
For more information, visit the park’s official website.
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