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            Yosemite National Park and the towns and forests surrounding it are some of the most popular camping spots in the world.   And it's no wonder!  The area boasts spectacular scenery, the history of the California Gold Rush, and fantastic outdoor recreational opportunities all year round.  Yosemite tent camping is available in the park itself and in the national forests just outside the park, as well as in numerous privately owned campgrounds in nearby towns.  Just be sure to book your site well in advance for the most popular campgrounds.

Yosemite National Park

            Yosemite tent camping choices come in a variety of locations.  Within the park's boundaries there are 13 campgrounds, seven of which accept reservations from April through September.  The other six operate on a first-come, first-served basis, but during the peak summer months tend to fill up by noon.  The campgrounds are located throughout the park from the most popular areas in Yosemite Valley to the less visited high country along Tioga Road.   Most, but not all, of these campgrounds provide tap water and restrooms, but showers are available only at Curry Village in Yosemite Valley.

National Forest Tent Camping

            While Yosemite National Park is surrounded by national forests, only two of these have direct access to the park.  To the west and south is the Sierra National Forest, while the Inyo National Forest is on the east side.  (Park access from the east is limited to the Tioga Pass Entrance near Lee Vining.)  U.S. Forest Service campgrounds tend to be on the primitive side, but here there are several that offer flush toilets, particularly the larger campgrounds near Bass Lake.  These amenities, plus close proximity to park entrances, make the national forests a nice alternative to Yosemite tent camping.

Commercial Campgrounds

            As you might expect, an area so popular with campers has an abundance of privately owned campgrounds.  Near the west entrances to Yosemite tent camping is available at Yosemite Springs Campground and Yosemite Westlake Campground and RV Park, both in Coulterville.  South of there in Mariposa, the Yosemite West/Mariposa KOA offers a lot to do, plus a shuttle to Yosemite Valley.