Wawona Campground: Everything You Need to Know

Wawona Campground is an excellent campsite in Yosemite National Park, Wawona, Central California. It is located at the Southern Yosemite, about 27 miles from Yosemite Valley, at a 4,000 feet elevation.  

In reality, due to Covid-19 restrictions, Yosemite National Park will stay closed until January 30, 2021. Glacier Point Road going to Wawona remains shut because of snow from November 2020 to late May or June 2021. But do not lose hope, as the campground might open once restrictions are removed. 

Wawona Campground: General Information

Wawona in Yosemite consists of 30 acres of land in Wawona, California. It also provides endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, relaxation, and nature learning.   

Moreover, the campground consists of 93 campsites on three loops, with a Group Camp and a Horse Camp. Forty-seven of these campsites are applicable for tents only, whereas four sites are only for Recreational Vehicles or trailers. The rest of the 41 sites allow all vehicle types and tents. 

As of the moment, Wawona Campground is closed as prevention of Covid-19. But formerly, camping season consists of 3 loops: 

Loop A

It is open all year round and preferred for winter camping. 

Loop B and C

These loops are only open from April to October since heavy snow makes the campsite unpassable during these months.

Check-In and Checkout Time

You can check-in at the campground at noon and also do the check-out at noon of the next day. It is best to check in before 10 am to avoid reservation cancellations. 

Utilities

You cannot connect to water and electrical outlets within the campgrounds. Electrical connections and water sources are not advisable for use within Yosemite. Therefore, you can bring a portable water container and power source inside the camp. 

Wastewater Disposal

Wastewater at camps should be disposed of properly on assigned drains. During summer camping, you can throw garbage on Forest Drive, east of Wawona Store.   

Clotheslines, Hammocks, Slacklines, and Other Tension Lines

You can place clotheslines and other tensioned lines in the campgrounds. But you cannot do this on oak trees. Ensure that these lines are padded and safely attached to prevent tree damage. Slacklines are not allowed inside Wawona Campground.  

Quiet and Generator Hours

Quiet hours start from 10 pm to 6 am. You can use a heavy-duty Jackery Portable Power Generator only from:

  • 7 am to 9 am
  • 12 pm to 2 pm, and 
  • 5 pm to 7 pm.   

Camping Limit

Meanwhile, Wawona Campground in Yosemite allows six persons per camping site, including children. You can spend seven nights from May 1 to September 15 inside the campground. 

As for the vehicle limit, the maximum vehicle length allowed in the campsite is 35 feet. Currently, two motor vehicles are only allowed per site. All cars should be parked on an assigned parking pad.  

Campfires and Firewood Collection

Campfires are permitted in all open campgrounds all year round at any time of the day. Additionally, you can use wood fires in Yosemite areas between 5 pm to 10 pm only from May to September. Therefore, it is best to make sure that fires are completely put off by 10 pm by then. 

You can set stove and charcoal fires at campgrounds 24 hours a day. However, you can only collect firewood at the outer parts of Yosemite Valley below 9,600 feet. Finally, avoid collecting pine cones, needles, and sequoia wood. 

Wawona Campground: Amenities

Wawona Campground consists of different amenities:

Campsites

Each campsite consists of the following:

  • Picnic tables with extended tops
  • Bear-proof food lockers
  • Fire rings

Wawona has two important camps, aside from the campgrounds found in 3 loops:

Wawona Group Camp

This group camp is located in Loop A and can handle up to 13 to 30 guests. It is open the whole year, with a maximum of 5 vehicles allowed to park on the site. Do not bring pets and trailers to this group site.  

Wawona Horse Camp 

This horse camp consists of two campsites. There is plenty of good horse trails, open from April to September.  It can handle six people and six stocks. Moreover, it can allow two vehicles and two stock trailers up to 25 feet tall. There are no horse corrals, and campers must bring more large sacks for horse manure disposal.   

Additional Campground Amenities

Wawona campground provides additional amenities such as:

  • Restrooms with flush toilets
  • Drinking water
  • Amphitheater 
  • Showers available in Yosemite Valley at Curry Village or the Housekeeping Camp
  • General store and gas station near Wawona Hotel 

Wawona Campground: Activities

Enjoy an exciting camping and hiking trip at Wawona Campground. You can also do the following activities:

1. Forest sightseeing across the Southern part of the Merced River

2. Outdoor recreational activities

3. Wawona Tourist Spots

Pioneer History Center

  • Relive Wawona history by exploring the historic cabins, jail, and other buildings and covered bridge at Wawona. 
  • Ride on a free stagecoach and travel Wawona together with a tour guide in costume, reliving Wawona history. 
  • Then, enjoy your square dances on some Saturdays of summer. 

Wawona Hotel 

  • Discover further Wawona’s history by staying and dining inside the Wawona hotel.

Wawona Golf Course

4. Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias 

Upon reaching Wawona, you may ride a free Wawona-Mariposa Grove shuttle bus at the Wawona store. 

  • It will lead you to the Mariposa Grove, with a challenging trail, particularly to the upper parts of the Grove. 
  • The challenging trail is worth tracking, though, as you will see famous Giant Sequoia Trees. 
  • The Mariposa Grove Road closes from spring to fall during full parking spaces. Only visitors with vehicles displaying disability tags can park on the road.

5. Hiking Trails

Enjoy exciting hiking trails in Wawona, such as the:

  • Wawona Meadow Loop
  • Swinging Bridge Loop
  • Chilnualna Falls
  • Alder Creek

Furthermore, you can enjoy swimming near the Pedestrian Swinging Bridge. But make sure that the water levels are safe.

Wawona Campground Regulations

Campers must follow these regulations to maintain order within the camping grounds:

  1. Pets should be on a leash and are mostly allowed within the camping grounds, except in group sites. 
  2. The number of tents to use is limitless as long as these will fit into the camping grounds.
  3. Avoid storing food or scented items inside vehicles while in the camp. 
  4. Dispose of the garbage immediately in bear-proof dump sites.   
  5. Use only refillable water bottles, food containers, and travel mugs.  
  6. There are assigned accessible areas for campers with disabilities who have a vehicle showing an accessible parking placard. 

Wawona Campground: Registration, Reservations, and Charges

In contrast with other campsites, registration at Wawona Yosemite campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis. Hence, call and make a reservation before coming into the camp. Remember this, most especially in snow-filled months of mid-April to mid-October. 

You can make reservations as early as five months before the arrival date. Remember that new dates are posted in one-month intervals on every 15th of each month at 7 am PST. Additionally, horse site reservations are possible only by calling the campground office at 209-375-9535. 

Usually, Wawona campsites in 3 loops charge $26 in a regular season. Group camp charges $50 per night while horse campsite costs $30 per night to the guests. 

Wawona Campground: Staff and Campground

Each staff at the Wawona campground is carefully selected and trained to provide the best guidance to visitors and kids. Likewise, the staff members are accommodating and friendly towards the guests, as seen in various reviews. But these staff will apply strict camp rules to ensure the safety of the campers. 

The Wawona staff do their best to maintain the cleanliness of the campgrounds and restrooms. However, it will be a challenge to keep clean campgrounds in busy hours. Hence, it is both the campers’ and staff’s responsibility to keep the campground clean at all times.  

Wawona Campground: Useful Tips

Also, here are some helpful tips to have a safe and wonderful stay inside the campground:

  1. Try to wake up early to explore the incredible views at Wawona. 
  2. Try to make the best of the campground’s activities by bringing in lots of patience and open-mindedness.  
  3. Store food inside your vehicle, out of sight, with windows closed, only during daylight.
  4. Do not leave your food in a pickup truck bed or outside the car. Hence, store your food inside a food locker at night time. 
  5. Always remove food wrappers, crumbs, baby wipes, and canned food inside the vehicles.
  6. If you will go on backpacking in the campgrounds and the forest, bring Back Packer’s Cache Bear Canisters with you. 
  7. Bring an additional PD power bank for your gadgets, accordingly. 

Wawona Campground: Summary

Wawona Campground in Yosemite National Park is a large campground at a 45 minutes drive from Yosemite Valley. It shows many breathtaking landscapes and tourist spots. It also allows a wide selection of outdoor activities for your recreation. In any event, do not miss a big chance to enjoy a wonderful nature trip and recreation at Wawona Campground.

References:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wawonacamp.htm
https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232446
http://www.californiasbestcamping.com/yosemite/wawona.html