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Camping at North Pines Campground

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Overview of North Pines Campground

North Pines Campground is one of the three campgrounds located in the heart of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. It is situated on the valley floor and offers a scenic setting near the Merced River surrounded by towering pine trees and iconic granite cliffs. The campground is a popular spot for visitors seeking to explore the natural beauty and famous landmarks of the park, such as Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan.

Camping at North Pines

Reservations and Peak Season:

  • Reservations are typically required and can be made up to 5 months in advance through Recreation.gov.
  • The campground is highly competitive, especially during peak season (late spring through early fall), so it's essential to book as soon as reservations open.

Campground Details:

  • North Pines has more than 80 campsites available for tents, RVs, and trailers.
  • Each campsite usually includes a fire ring, picnic table, and a food storage locker to protect against wildlife.
  • There are no electric, water, or sewer hook-ups available at the campsites.
  • RV length and trailer length limits are usually in effect, so it's important to check the latest details when booking.

Amenities and Facilities:

  • Restrooms with flushing toilets and drinking water are available.
  • Showers are available at nearby Curry Village (now known as Half Dome Village) for a fee.
  • There are no laundry facilities available at North Pines, but they can be found in Curry Village.
  • There is a shuttle service that provides easy access to key locations throughout Yosemite Valley.

Rules and Regulations

Wildlife and Food Storage:

  • Proper food storage is critical in bear country; all food and scented items must be stored in food lockers.
  • Feeding or approaching wildlife is prohibited.

Campfires and Cooking:

  • Fires are allowed in designated fire rings during specific hours.
  • Check current fire regulations; they can change due to conditions.

Quiet Hours and Generator Use:

  • Quiet hours are typically enforced from 10 pm to 6 am.
  • Generator use may be restricted to specific hours.

Recreation and Activities

  • Popular activities include hiking, rock climbing, photography, and nature walks.
  • The Merced River offers opportunities for water activities like fishing, swimming, and rafting.
  • Biking is a great way to explore the valley, and rentals are available from shops in the vicinity.

Access and Travel

Seasonality:

  • The campground is primarily open from April through October, depending on weather conditions.
  • Access during the winter months might be limited, and some facilities could be closed.

Getting There:

  • The closest major airports are in Fresno and San Francisco.
  • Cars are allowed, but parking is limited and traffic can be heavy during peak times.
  • The free Yosemite Valley Shuttle System is recommended for getting around once in the park.

Altitude Awareness:

  • Yosemite Valley sits at about 4,000 feet; some visitors may experience altitude sickness.
  • Drink plenty of water and acclimate slowly if coming from a low altitude.

Reservations and Planning

Due to the popularity of Yosemite National Park, especially during the summer months, it is crucial to plan your trip well in advance. Check the official National Park Service website or Recreation.gov for the most current information on campground status, reservations, and important alerts before your trip. Keep in mind that park conditions and regulations can change due to weather, wildlife activity, and other factors impacting the environment.

Location of North Pines Campground
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