Tuolumne Camping Beta Please


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Trad climber
Upland, CA
Apr 16, 2018 - 12:51pm PT
Ok, Iím going to venture my opinion, that with that big of a group you would be better off camping in Mammoth Lakes and ďcommutingĒ for an hour to do your climbing in the Meadows. First off there is a ton more camping inventory in Mammoth both at the Lakes and in town. Secondly, the town runs a free shuttle service which can get you around town, to and from the lakes etc. Lots of nice hiking there, out of the Lakes and down at Devilís Postpile area. Thirdly, this gives you the option to access to a big grocery store (Vons) and numerous restaurants.

Like Jim says, the TM campground sucks. Buggy smoky and noisy.
I always stay outside the park and drive in to climb. I Just get to the Tioga gate by 8 am to avoid the entrance line.

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 16, 2018 - 09:24pm PT
Consider camping at the White Wolf or Yosemite Creek Campground, they mostly get good reviews on TRIPADVISOR

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
Apr 16, 2018 - 10:25pm PT
FWIW, the upper loops (f,g) sites have some degree of privacy, and youíre sleeping in elevation. The bathroom situation sux, but Iíve enjoyed it many times.

Apr 16, 2018 - 11:33pm PT
"If the campground opens before 7/15 when do those campsites become available to reserve online?"

In 2013, pre-7/15 reservations went online 6/4.

In 2015, pre-7/15 reservations went online 5/28.

In 2016, these reservations went online just prior to 6/22.

Your best place to find this information in advance will be the Yosemite Daily Report. This stoopid site is currently the best source for that report:


This is probably your next best source - click on the first forum topic:


You're welcome.
Inner City

Trad climber
Portland, OR
Apr 17, 2018 - 08:09am PT
I appreciate the central location of Tuolumne and how that helps a diverse group have a center....that said, I also like Porcupine (closest inside the park option) as a first come first served spot. Low key area, sites towards the back are better..

Yosemite Creek is great with the water feature, also first come, but a long way to get to the Meadows, including the 4 plus mile long access road...White Wolf is fine too...

Though you drive a bit to get to Tuolumne from these spots, you also are not in the chaotic Tuolumne campground et.

Going to Tenaya Lake each afternoon for swimming and picnic is de rigeur no matter where you are camping! So many things to do, folks will have fun, if you only have one car, Tuolumne is the only good option though...

Trad climber
Apr 17, 2018 - 08:27am PT
Keep working the online reservation system, it sucks but it works. I have always gotten a reservation. Check it every morning, if there are none now, there will be cancellations closer to opening day.

Social climber
Lida Junction
Apr 17, 2018 - 08:36am PT
Thanks for all of the information but someone here must know the answer to the question of:

Right now all pre-7/15 campsites are "unavailable" on the reservations webpage. If the campground opens before 7/15 when do those campsites become available to reserve online?

I think you are better off going to the Yosemite NPS site to see when the cg is opening.
When the reservations do open, make a reservation around 7am.
As Donini said, Junction cg is a nice campground, but small. One good thing is that you are right next door to Tioga Pass Resort.
One other option is the campground at Saddlebag Lake.

Social climber
The home.
Apr 17, 2018 - 09:54am PT
You really need to let go of trying to reserve. Its always a mess. Showing up early (5 am) at the kiosk for a site has worked for all us regulars for decades. Its really the only way to be sure to get a site.

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Apr 17, 2018 - 06:33pm PT
I mostly discovered the eastern Sierra region because of my inability to plan in advance and uncertainty of getting a spot in Tuolumne, not wanting to burn vacation time hanging out in line. I discovered dispersed camping in USFS and BLM lands, and formed lots of great memories because of it.

If you are organized and punctual, more power to you with the reservation system, and if you are willing to burn a half day of your vacay waiting for your lottery position then coming back a few hours later... you can get it that way too.

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