Crane Flat Campground

Crane Flat Campground Yosemite is a beautiful campground away from the hustle-bustle of the valley. It offers spectacular views and exciting outdoor recreation such as biking, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife photography, stargazing, camping and many more. The campground is set up in five stunning loops among a beautiful and luscious forest of Sugar Pine, Lodgepole Pine and Red Fir. Each of the 5 loops has all the basic amenities such as restrooms with flush toilets, clean drinking water, grill, picnic table, fire ring etc. To know more about this beautiful campground in detail, keep reading! 

Crane Flat Campground – General Information 

Crane Flat Campground with an elevation of 6,200 feet is situated in the world-famous Yosemite National Park. It is about 17 miles or 27 kilometres northwest of the valley. Of all the campgrounds in the Yosemite park, this one is the closest, with a car it can be reached within 20 minutes. Crane Flat campground has about 166 campsites for tents, trailers and RVs. Further, each site offers a picnic table, a fire ring, a food locker, a bathroom with flush toilet and has freshwater supply. However, not all the sites are even, some of them are highly irregular, so make sure to check out the pictures of each site before making your reservations. The maximum RV length allowed here is 35 feet and maximum trailer length is 27 feet. 

Visitors need to make a reservation to stay at Crane Flat Campground. It is one of the most crowded campsites of the Yosemite region. 

How To Approach Crane Flat Campground? 

The Crane Flat Campground is about 20 minutes drive from the Yosemite National Park in the northwest direction. It is approximately 100 yards from 3 main roads: Highway 120W to San Francisco, Big Oak Flat Entrance to Yosemite Valley and Highway 120E to Tioga Road. Just after the entrance of the campground, there is a gas station. Also, during the winter this area is converted into a snow playground. 

Checkin And Checkout Time

The check-in and checkout time at Crane Flat Campground is 12 PM. With a reservation, you can arrive at the park anytime after 12 AM. However, you must check in before 10 AM after spending your first night in the campground. If you fail to follow the regulations, your reservation will be cancelled by the staff. 

Utilities

At Crane Flat Campground, you’re not allowed to connect to any utility system including the water spigots, power outlets etc. Further, there are no hookups in this park. 

Wastewater

You have to maintain good hygiene at the park. Disposing the dirty water outside the designated places is strictly prohibited. You have to dispose of the wastewater in the utility drains only. Apart from this, waste should be dumped in the dump station in Yosemite Valley as there are no dump stations at Crane Flat Campground. 

Clotheslines And Hammocks

You are allowed to attach clothesline, hammocks and other such lines within your campsite provided that they are well-padded and not causing any damage to the trees. Please note, attaching the tension lines to Oak trees is prohibited. 

Quiet and Generator Hours

Quiet hours at Crane Flat Campground starts from 10 pm to 6 am. Further, you can use generators only from 7 to 9 in the morning, 12 to 2 in the afternoon and 5 to 7 in the evening. 

Camping Limit

For Yosemite Park visitors the camping limit is 30-nights. This means you can stay up to 30 nights in the campsite at this park. However, from May 1 to 15th of September, visitors aren’t allowed to stay in the park for more than 14 nights. Moreover, only 7 of these nights can be spent in Yosemite Valley or Wawona. 

Firewood collection 

You aren’t allowed to collect firewood in the Yosemite Valley. However, the good thing is, it is allowed within the boundaries of the campground. You can also collect firewood outside the valley but you can only pick up wood that is less than 6 inches of diameter. Further, if you don’t have enough firewood, you can purchase it and other fuel from the nearby stores. 

Crane Flat Campground – Amenities 

  • Campground Host 
  • Shuttle Bus
  • Picnic Tables 
  • Fire Rings 
  • Grills 
  • Firewood 
  • Firepit 
  • Campsite furniture 
  • Drinking water 
  • Toilets with flush 
  • Food lockers
  • Equestrian trail 

Crane Flat Campground – Activities

  • Visitor center 
  • Nature programs 
  • Wilderness area
  • Wildlife viewing 
  • Kayaking 
  • Canoeing 
  • Camping 
  • Backpacking 
  • Boating 
  • Horseback riding 
  • Archaeological sites 
  • Stargazing 
  • Bird watching 
  • Fishing 
  • Cross country skiing 
  • Historic sites 
  • Creek. Climbing 
  • Hiking 
  • Picnicking 
  • Mountain biking 
  • Snow sports 
  • Photography 
  • Swimming 
  • Rafting 
  • Nature trails 
  • Tubing 
  • Rock climbing 
  • Walking trails 

Crane Flat Campground – Rules And Regulations

Number of Visitors Per Site: Maximum 6 visitors including children are allowed at each campsite. However, you’re allowed to bring as many tents as you wish. 

Fires: Charcoal fires are allowed all the time. However, wood fires are permitted only from October till April. From May till September, you can only light up a campfire in a duration between 5 to 10 pm. 

Pets: Pets are allowed but they should always be on a leash no longer then 6-meters. Also, pets in groups and horses aren’t allowed. 

Food storage: There is a significant bear population at the Yosemite Valley. So, always keep your food in the food storage lockers that are provided at the campground. 

Crane Flat Campground – How to Make Reservations

Crane Flat Campground is one of the most popular campgrounds in the Yosemite Valley, so it is always crowded. For this reason, it is very important to make your reservations in advance. We recommend you do so 2-3 months in advance because the campgrounds get filled very quickly. 

Crane Flat Campground Reservations can be done up to 5 months in advance. Generally, the slots are filled up by 10 am during the peak seasons, so try to proceed before 7 am. 

There are mainly two ways to make your reservations at Yosemite National Park :

You can make only two reservations at a time on both the website and phone call. So, to make additional reservations, you will need to start the process all over again. Also, if you’re unable to make reservations because the slots are filled, keep checking back for visitors who have cancelled their bookings.

Crane Flat Campground – Cancellation Fee

If you don’t show up at your reserved date, you’ll have to pay a $20 service charge along with the fee of the first night i.e $26. Further, if you cancel your booking before 48 hours of arrival, you’ll have to pay the first night fee and a $10 transaction amount. Also, if you cancel your reservations more than 48 hours in advance, you have to pay just $10. 

Crane Flat Campground – How Well The Site Is Maintained By The Staff? 

The Crane Flat campground in Yosemite is maintained very well by the staff. The facilities including the restrooms are always clean. There is a continuous freshwater supply. The staff make sure that the bathrooms and toilets are stocked well with the necessary items such as soaps, paper towels, toilet papers etc. But because the campground is mostly crowded, we strongly recommend bringing your own soaps and toilet papers. 

Since there are no showers at the Crane Flat Campground, you can visit the nearby village if you want to take a shower. They charge about $5 per shower stall and offer unlimited water supply and soaps /shampoos. 

Further, the staff also recommend the campers to bring mosquito repellent products. So, pack some anti-mosquito lanterns, sprays, creams etc. in your bags. 

Crane Flat Campground – How Friendly and Helpful are the Staff to the Campers? 

The entire campground staff and the rangers are very friendly and helpful. They are always ready to help the visitors by providing necessary guidance and pieces of advice when required. However, they don’t ignore the visitors not complying with the rules. So, be aware and follow the rules. 

Crane Flat Campground – How Clean are the Facilities? 

As we already discussed, the facilities are super clean and well maintained. However, during the busy hours, don’t expect the bathrooms to be squeaky clean. But the good thing is, the staff tries to maintain a tidy environment even after having thousands of visitors on board.

Crane Flat Campground – Useful Tips And Packing Recommendation

Crane Flat Campground is the closest site to the Yosemite Valley. It is mainly known for its calm and beautiful nature. If you’re camping for the first time, choose this campground over any other as it offers great convenience and has a lot to offer. 

Always keep your campsite tidy and clean. Also, keep your food and drinks in the given food locker as there are many black bears who can steal your food and damage your campsite. 

As for packing essentials, we advise you to bring anti-mosquito candles, spray, earplugs, a reusable water bottle, a padded hammock, air mattresses, sleep bags etc.

Crane Flat Campground is a beautiful location to visit with your family and friends. It has a lot to offer including the stunning views and exciting outdoor recreation. It is surely a must-visit campground in the Yosemite Valley.