Upper Pines Campground is situated in the world-famous Yosemite National Park in Sierra Nevada Mountain Range at an elevation of 4,000 feet. It is the largest campground of Yosemite Valley, a breathtaking landscape containing numerous famous features for which we love Yosemite National Park. There are also other campgrounds, including Tuolumne Meadows, Hodgdon Meadow, Wawona Crane Flat, Lower Pines, and North Pines.
Within Yosemite National Park, visitors can gaze upon vast wilderness areas, ancient giant sequoias, grand meadows, deep valleys, sheer granite cliffs, beautiful waterfalls, and much more. Outdoor recreation includes fishing, climbing, kayaking, nature exhibits, biking, backpacking, hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, and, of course, camping.
Moreover, you will find numerous museums and historic sites to visit throughout the Yosemite National Park. Besides, the Upper Pines Campground’s visitors can rent a raft and float the Merced River. Or you can go trail riding since there are several horse stables available to the public.
ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only visitors with day-use reservations may enter the park. If you have camping, lodging, or wilderness permit reservation, you are excluded from this requirement. Nevertheless, you still have to pay the park entrance fee upon arrival.
Also, you need to have a copy of your reservation to show when entering Yosemite National Park. It will be a good idea to print your confirmation info or download a PDF copy before arrival.
Upper Pines Campground – General Information
Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite has 238 campsites located in a wonderful Ponderosa pine forest. The campground is open year-round, and you can enjoy the beauty of Nature at any time of the year.
However, do not forget that Yosemite National Park is one of the most crowded parks in North America. For this reason, you will be camping next to hundreds of other campers.
Still, Upper Pines Campground is known for its comfort and convenience. It offers knowledgeable camp hosts, paved roads, picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water, flush toilets, and a dump station. Besides, here you can catch a shuttle bus to different parts of Yosemite National Park.
As for campsites, they are suitable for RVs (up to 30 feet), tents, and trailers. There is a maximum of six people and two vehicles per site. Each campsite has a food storage locker, grill/fire ring, and a table.
Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite is a short walk to Curry Village. Here, you will find a laundromat, numerous restaurants, grocery stores, WiFi access points, and cross-country ski rentals.
Checkin and checkout time is noon. Visitors with a reservation can arrive any time afternoon. but they have to check-in before 10 am the morning after the first night. Otherwise, the campground staff will cancel the reservation.
Connecting to any utility system, including electrical outlets or water spigots, is prohibited. Also, there are no hookups in Yosemite National Park.
You have to dispose of camp wastewater in designated utility drains. Besides, sewage has to be disposed of at a designated dump station.
Clotheslines, Hammocks, Slacklines, etc.
You may attach clotheslines, hammocks, and other tensioned lines in your campsite as long as they are padded to prevent damage to trees and do not create a hazardous condition. However, you cannot attach them to oak trees.
Quiet and Generator Hours
You can use a generator only from 7 am to 9 am, from noon to 2 pm, and from 5 pm to 7 pm. Visitors are not allowed to use their generators at other times. Besides, there are quiet hours from 10 pm to 6 am.
There is a 30-night camping limit for Yosemite National Park visitors. Still, from May 1 to September 15, you cannot stay in Yosemite for more than 14 nights, and you can spend only seven of those nights in Wawona or Yosemite Valley.
In Yosemite Valley, visitors are not allowed to collect firewood. However, it is permitted within campground boundaries. It is also allowed outside Yosemite Valley but is limited to wood less than six inches in diameter.
To prevent the spread of forest pests, visitors should not bring firewood from more than 50 miles away. Also, you should not collect pine needles, cones, or sequoia wood. You can purchase firewood or charcoal at stores near your campground.
Upper Pines Campground – Amenities
- Shuttle Bus
- Campground Host
- Picnic Tables
- Fire Rings
- Fire Pit
- Firewood Available
- Campsite Tables
- Dump Station
- Equestrian trail
- Food Storage Locker
- Restrooms (Flush Toilets)
Upper Pines Campground – Activities
- Nature Programs
- Wilderness Area
- Visitor Center
- Archeological Sites
- Wildlife Viewing
- Boating (nonmotorized)
- Cross Country Skiing
- Horseback riding
- Historic Sites
- Bird Watching
- Mountain Biking
- Nature Trails
- Rock Climbing
- Walking Trails
Upper Pines Campground – Regulations
Visitors per site: A maximum of six visitors (including kids) are allowed per one campsite. However, you can bring as many tents as you want (as long as they all fit into your campsite).
Fires: Charcoal fires are permitted at any time, and wood fires are allowed at any time from October to April. From May to September, visitors are only allowed to have a campfire between 5 pm and 10 pm.
Pets: Animals are allowed but have to be on a leash at all times.
Food storage: You have to keep your food and drinks properly stored 24 hours per day.
Upper Pines Campground – How to Make Reservations
Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular parks in the world, so reservations are vital. Even the first-come, first-served campgrounds often fill by 10 am.
Campsite reservations are available up to five months in advance. Be aware that all reservations for peak season are usually filled within minutes or even seconds after they open. To increase your chances, be sure to start the online reservation process before 7 am Pacific time.
There are several ways to make a reservation:
- Visit the campground’s website (recommended)
- Call 877 444 6777 or 518 885 3639 (for visitors from outside the US & Canada)
There is a limit of two reservations per website visit or phone call, but you can start over again or call again to make additional reservations. Those tourists who were unable to get a campsite reservation should keep checking for cancellations or try a first-come, first-served campground.
Upper Pines Campground – Changes & Cancellations
No-shows will incur a $20 service fee, plus the price of the first night. If you cancel your reservation within 48 hours before planned arrival, the first night’s fee and a 10$ transaction fee are charged. Visitors that cancel their reservations more than 48 hours in advance will only pay a $10 transaction fee.
Upper Pines Campground – How Well the Campground is Kept Up by Staff
All facilities at Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite, including bathrooms, are always clean and offer running water and flushing toilets. The staff does a great job of keeping the bathrooms cleaned and the toilets well stocked with toilet paper and soap. However, when the campground is full, you may need to bring your own soap and toilet paper because they run out quickly.
Also, there are several shower facilities in nearby villages. It usually costs $5 and includes access to individual shower stalls, a towel, and unlimited water. Moreover, they are open 24/7. According to the campground’s staff, 6-10 pm is the busiest time.
Upper Pines Campground – How Friendly and Helpful the Staff are
The park rangers and camp hosts are always super helpful, friendly, and accommodating, giving visitors great advice and suggestions. However,
they are usually pretty strict regarding the selection and use of campsites.
For example, they will ask you to leave an RV Only site if you do not have a trailer or RV. Besides, they are strict about having all wheels on the pavement.
Upper Pines Campground – How Clean the Facilities are
The showers are usually clean and have shampoo dispensers and bath gel. As for bathrooms, they are also quite clean. However, it is not the case during the busiest hours, and there is a reason for that. It is almost impossible to keep all these facilities clean when thousands of visitors are gathered in one place.
ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the showers may be closed, and there may be no soap in the restroom. You may bring face/body wipes or swim in the nearby river to stay cleaner.
Upper Pines Campground – Useful Tips
- Upper Pines Campground is great for families and first-timers
If you are traveling with your family or you go camping for the first time, choose Upper Pines Campground, as it is the most convenient campground in the park.
- Keep your campsite clean and your food locked up
There are several hundred black bears in Yosemite, so you should make sure to keep your food locked up.
- Bring earplugs
Do not plan to enjoy much solitude when you are coming to Upper Pines Campground. It is probably the most crowded place in the park so you may need a pair of earplugs to reduce the noise.
Upper Pines Campground – Summary
Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful places on our planet, and every camper has to visit it at least once in his life. Upper Pines Campground will be the best option for those tourists who are looking for comfort and convenience. It offers you everything you need for your outdoor adventure. So book a campsite and get ready to explore Yosemite!