Yosemite National Park

We were lucky to get a campsite in Yosemite with almost no advance planning. Spots are reserved months in advance and fill up early in the year. When I went to the reservation website I found only one spot available for the next night, followed by one last spot available in a different location for the following two nights. We booked all three nights and the next day Finn and I headed into Yosemite.

Like Sequoia NP, there is only dry camping. This means no water or electric hook-ups for the RV. We use the fresh water in our tank, propane for heat, and house battery for lights and electronics. Heat was essential because the temperature at night got down in the low 40’s and I felt bad for all the folks around us in tents.

The drive into the park was beautiful and gave us a preview of the leaf colors we’d see throughout the park.

Once you drive through the long Wawona Tunnel you emerge in the valley and instantly have the most spectacular view of El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Falls. It’s stunning and everyone stops their car to admire it and absorb what they are seeing.

We got to our campsite, parked, and headed out on foot to see the valley. There are pedestrian and bike trails all over the valley in addition to free shuttle buses that take you everywhere you need to go.


When we got to our first campsite in Lower Pines we leveled the RV and set up camp. This was a lively camp area with several groups of campers all having a good time. After getting our bearings we walked to the Yosemite Village and Visitor Center area. This group of buildings houses restaurants, shops and a surprisingly well appointed grocery store. We picked up a few sundries and walked back to our camp via a different route. At camp we started a fire for cooking and warmth. We turned on the propane furnace shortly after sunset when the temperature fell off sharply so we slept well in the cozy bedroom of the RV. The next morning we got up a bit early to break down the campsite and head back to the store for some groceries before moving to our new campsite in the Upper Pines campground. Our site was #211, it was way out in the most remote corner of the camp. This was a great spot on a creek right next to the trail-head to several popular hikes. We then had to rush over to Yosemite Lodge to catch our bus tour to Glacier Point. You can read about that trip here.

On our third day in the park we hiked up to Vernal Falls. This we thought would be an easy follow-up hike after our hike down from Glacier Point the previous day. Our legs were still stiff and we wanted an easier two mile hike. The hike was actually very strenuous and all uphill. Our legs were ready to fall off by the time we got back to our campsite.

Like the previous days we built a fire for cooking and warmth and visited a fresh water spigot to fill our water bottles. The water that comes out of the taps in Yosemite is some of the best water we’ve had. We made sure we filled every bottle before we left the park. The morning of day four we broke down the camp and took our time leaving the park. Yosemite may be our favorite spot so far. It really was magnificent and sits high on our recommendation for a “must-see” list.

More photos after the jump …

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