How to Make Lower Pines Campground Reservations?

Lower Pines Campground is one of the reservable campsites at Yosemite National Park. It is an excellent place for a camping trip with your family and friends. Like the other campsites in the area, Lower Pines Campground is extremely popular, and campsites typically sell out in minutes. Make sure to learn how to make Lower Pines Campground Reservations in advance.

Recreation.gov website accepts reservations for all Yosemite campgrounds. Reservations open every 15th of each month at 7:00 AM PST or 10 AM EST. You can also start booking a campsite five months in advance. For example, on January 15th, Recreation.gov will open reservations for January 16th to June 14th.

There are some reservation tips you can follow to help you book a campsite at Lower Pines Campground. Once you book your site, check out the nature spots and activities you can explore at Yosemite Valley. And, to ensure you won’t have any inconveniences during your stay, learn about the campground’s regulations and facilities information.

About Lower Pines Campground

You can find Lower Pines Campground along the Merced River in Yosemite Valley at the Yosemite National Park. At 4,000 feet elevation, the campground sits at the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in Central California. 

There are 64 campsites in the campground, and camping season usually opens late April through mid-October. You can choose between standard non-electric, RV non-electric, and overnight campsites. You can bring either a tent, an RV, or both, to a standard non-electric campsite

On each campsite, you can bring up to six people, including children, and two vehicles. The campsites also allow pets but make sure they’re on a leash and always attended. Campsite reservations cost $26 per night.

Nature Trip

Awe-inspiring views of the Yosemite National Park surround Lower Pines Campground. The sound of the Merced River gently flowing serves as your music. Meanwhile, granite cliffs of the Yosemite peek through the trees.

Speaking of trees, a diverse mix in the area provides an ideal balance of sun and shade. Some trees you can find close to the campsites are California black oak, incense-cedar, ponderosa pine, and white manzanita. Considering all these, Lower Pines Campground can take you on an amazing nature trip and engage all your senses. 

Making Lower Pines Campground Reservations

You can reserve a campsite through Recreation.gov, and reservations open every 15th of the month at 7 AM PST. Additionally, you can book for up to five months in advance. The peak season is usually around May 1st through September 15th. 

When making reservations online, check first if your preferred date is available. Or, you can choose the option “My Dates are Flexible.” This way, the website will show you the next available dates for each campsite at Lower Pines. It is also important to check the site details before choosing. It will show you important information on allowable equipment and size and the maximum number of people per site. 

The site details will also show you the largest RV size allowed if you’re bringing an RV. Take note that if you bring equipment not included in the allowable list, the campground might not accommodate you.

Lower Pines Campground Reservation Tips

Campsites at Lower Pines Campground easily sell out, and you might wonder how others get to book theirs. Here are some reservation tips to help you book your preferred date.

  • Before 7 AM PST on the 15th of the month, go to Recreation.gov and log in or create an account. You can only add reservations if you’re logged in to your account.
  • If you have less than six in your party, you can leave the Occupants field blank.
  • Note that you can only make two reservations per online visit or call.
  • Check availability as often as you can since the website will show cancellations immediately.

With these tips on how to make Lower Pines Campground reservations, you’ll have a better chance of booking a campsite.

Camping at Lower Pines Campground

Once you secure your campsite, prepare for your camping trip at Lower Pines Campground. Here’s some information to get you started. 

Facilities

The campground includes facilities that can make your stay comfortable and still close to urban life. Each campsite at the Lower Pines Campground has a picnic table, a food storage locker, and a fire ring. You won’t have a problem getting to your campsite, either, with the paved roads to get you there. Parking spurs, drinking water, and flush toilets are also available. 

You can use the free shuttle service from the campground’s entrance to visit other locations in the Yosemite National Park. Curry Village is only a walking distance away if you need to get some supplies or check out the local bar. There, you’ll also find restaurants, the amphitheater, and the activities and tours desk. 

Activities

Lower Pines Campground offers various kinds of recreational activities, besides camping. As it is close to Yosemite’s roads, rivers, trails, and cliffs, here are some popular activities:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Rock climbing
  • Fishing
  • Horseback riding
  • Rafting
  • Photography

For hiking, you can choose trails depending on your expertise. These range from an easy, paved two-mile walk to Mirror Meadow and back to a 16-mile trek to Half Dome. But, if you want to try the latter, you’ll need an advanced permit. You can also start at Happy Isles and follow the trails to Vernal Falls, then to Nevada Falls. You’ll need at least four hours to finish these trails, so prepare your hiking shoes and gears. 

Rafting also is an exciting way to cool down in summer, especially if the water levels are high enough. Besides these, you can also explore Yosemite Valley through guided bus tours, museums, an art center, and ranger-led activities. Educational programs and workshops are also available if you are organizing a team-building or school trip. 

Regulations and Other Things to Remember

After knowing how to make Lower Pines Campground reservations, it is important to know the regulations before your visit. These are some policies you should follow during your stay at the campground.

Before and On Arrival

1. Provide proof of your camping reservation and a photo ID at the entrance station. This policy applies for May 21st to September 15th reservations only. Print your confirmation before your arrival since there is no cell service at the entrance stations. You’ll also need to pay the entrance fee to enter the park.

2. When arriving in separate vehicles, each should have a copy of the camping reservation and the reservation holder’s photo ID. Similarly, prepare these copies in advance as you might not have access to the internet to print the reservation details. 

3. If you’ll be arriving one or two days late, inform the campground through (209)372-8502. Failing to do so within 24 hours of your expected arrival date might cancel your reservation. 

4. Road conditions may change at any time. You can contact (209)372-0200 before your arrival to know the road and weather conditions inside the park.

5. Check-in and check-out time is at noon. With your reservation, you can arrive any time in the afternoon. However, you will need to check-in before 10 AM the next day; otherwise, the campground will cancel your reservation. 

During Your Stay

1. Yosemite National Park is a bear habitat. Keep your food and toiletries in the provided storage locker in your campsite. Moreover, do not store food in your vehicle and dispose of the garbage immediately in bear-proof dumpsters. This way, the smell won’t attract passing bears near your campsite.

2. You can only build campfires between 5 PM to 10 PM from May through September. Additionally, the campground discourages bringing your firewood to prevent spreading tree-killing pests. Furthermore, moving firewood is illegal in some states. So, make sure to get your firewood at or near your campsite. On the other hand, you can use charcoal fires at any time. 

3. If you bring a generator, you can use these on specified periods. These can only operate between 7 AM to 9 AM, noon to 2 PM, and 5 PM to 7 PM.

4. There are no available showers at the campground. You can, however, take a shower at the nearby Curry Village or Housekeeping Camp. 

Before Leaving

Help Yosemite fulfill its Zero Landfill initiative. Make sure to dispose of garbage properly and place recyclable wastes in designated containers. You can dispose of camp wastewater in designated utility drains. If you bring an RV, you can dispose of sewage at dump stations in Upper Pines Campground.

Final Thoughts

With Yosemite Valley’s campgrounds getting more popular, the campsites sell out in minutes. But you can still secure Lower Pines Campground reservations. Just be sure to follow our reservation tips so you can choose your preferred dates, even during the peak season.

Once you book your site, get ready for your trip by learning about the campground regulations and preparing your equipment. With careful and advanced planning, you’ll have a memorable and enjoyable time with nature at Lower Pines Campground.