Camping Without a Reservation
If you plan to camp in Yosemite during summer without a reservation, you are limited to the following campgrounds.
View a list of all campgrounds with this year's estimated opening and closing dates and other information.
Very few first-come, first-served campsites are available in May and June. Typically, only Camp 4 (a walk-in campground) is open during this period, but some other first-come, first-served campgrounds can open in late June if conditions allow. (When known, opening dates for all campgrounds are posted on our campground page.) Also, it's worth searching recreation.gov frequently; you might find a cancellation in a reservations campground.
In order to have a reasonable chance of finding a campsite, you should arrive at the campground of your choice before noon on weekdays and mid-morning on weekends. (Camp 4 usually fills by 9 am; Tuolumne Meadows Campground may fill by 8:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Other campgrounds are easier to find space in.) Also, it's worth searching recreation.gov frequently; you might find a cancellation in a reservations campground.
From fall through early spring, you may be able to find a campsite at one of the reservation campgrounds or at Wawona and Hodgdon Meadow Campgrounds, which operate on a first-come, first-served basis from October through April. You can also double-check the reservations website to check for any last-minute availability or cancellations. Campground reservations are not available anywhere in Yosemite approximately December to mid-March; Upper Pines Campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis during that time.
Daily campground availability information is available by calling 209/372-0266 (this is a recording).
Once you get a campsite, you can register for more than one night. You register at the campground (Camp 4 and Tuolumne Meadows are staffed by a ranger; the others are self-registration).
Within Yosemite National Park, you may not sleep in your car or RV except in a campsite that you're registered to stay in (except at Camp 4, where sleeping in cars is not allowed because it's a walk-in campground).
Did You Know?
The indigenous people of Yosemite Valley have used fire as a tool for thousands of years. Fire was used to encourage the growth of plants used for basket making and to promote the growth of the black oak--a sun loving species--and a staple food source for American Indians from this region.