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Camping at Upper Pines Campground

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Overview of Upper Pines Campground

Upper Pines Campground is one of the most popular camping spots located in Yosemite National Park, California. Nestled in Yosemite Valley, it provides convenient access to many of the park's iconic attractions, including Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and the Merced River. With 238 campsites, Upper Pines is the largest of the three reservation-based campgrounds in the valley.

Campsite Availability and Reservations

Upper Pines Campground is open year-round. However, due to its popularity:

  • Reservations are typically required, and they can be reserved up to five months in advance on a rolling basis beginning on the 15th of each month.
  • Campsite availability can be checked online at the National Park Service's official reservation system (Recreation.gov).

It's recommended to book as early as possible due to the high demand, especially during the peak summer months.

Campsite Details

The campsites at Upper Pines can accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers. Here are some specifics:

  • RV and Trailer Length: The campground has length restrictions for RVs and trailers, typically around 35 feet for RVs and 24 feet for trailers.
  • Amenities: Each campsite has a fire ring, picnic table, and a food storage locker to protect against bears and other wildlife. The campground has restrooms with drinking water and flush toilets.
  • No Hookups: There are no electric, water, or sewage hookups available at the campsites in Upper Pines.

Campground Rules and Regulations

To ensure a pleasant experience for everyone and to protect the natural environment, the following rules and regulations apply:

  • Food Storage: Proper food and scented item storage in bear-proof lockers is mandatory to prevent bear encounters.
  • Check-In and Check-Out Times: Check-in time is after 12:00 noon, and check-out time is 11:00 am.
  • Quiet Hours: Quiet hours are from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. Generator use is limited to certain hours which are typically between 7:00 am and 9:00 am, 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm, and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Recreational Activities

While staying at Upper Pines Campground, visitors can engage in various outdoor activities:

  • Hiking: Accessible nearby trails include the Mist Trail, John Muir Trail, and trails to Yosemite Falls.
  • Rock Climbing: Yosemite Valley is a world-renowned climbing destination.
  • Biking: There are 12 miles of paved bike paths in Yosemite Valley.
  • Nature Programs: Ranger-led programs are available to learn about the park's natural and cultural history.

Weather and Preparation

  • Seasonal Weather: Weather in Yosemite Valley can vary greatly, with cold and snowy conditions in winter and hot temperatures in the summer. Always check the weather forecast ahead of your trip and prepare accordingly.
  • Wildlife Precautions: In addition to bears, other wildlife is present, so maintaining a safe distance and not feeding animals is important.
  • Altitude Awareness: Yosemite Valley is around 4,000 feet above sea level, so visitors should be aware of altitude sickness symptoms.

Contact Information and Emergency

  • Emergency Services: Dial 911 for emergencies within the park.
  • Ranger Stations: For non-emergency assistance and information, there are ranger stations located throughout Yosemite National Park.

Before heading to Upper Pines Campground, always check the latest information and updates from the National Park Service, as conditions and regulations can change.

Location of Upper Pines Campground
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