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“Yosemite is Gorgeous this campsite is ok”

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Hodgdon Meadow Campground
Brooklyn, New York
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Yosemite is Gorgeous this campsite is ok”
Reviewed 6 June 2013

Camped here with my husband in May, 2013. Campsite was packed although never more then 1 other person in the bathroom. Bathrooms were clean and well stocked. The campsite itself was average at best. There was no flat area to actually pitch the tent so we chose the area with the least slope, which was not very comfortable. Not much privacy is observed between the sites either. However, we were simply cooking and sleeping so we didn't spend that much time in the campground.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Funkybuns514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sonoma, California
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2012

Hogdon Meadow is one of the outlying campgrounds to stay at when you can't get a space in Yosemite Valley.

The Bad: A poorly organized and maintained campround with campsites that are extremely close together. Do not expect any privacy. Most sites are on a hill side although a few are level. We had site 68 which was fairly level for one tent but was surrounded by other campsites. Basically, avoid any campsite with shared parking as these sites are very close together. Parking is very tight. As a man, the bathrooms were filthy! I don't expect much but there is just too many people using them and they are only cleaned once a day. Everywhere you step, there will be a cloud of dust; just like walking on the moon. Everything will get dirty and you will breath dust the whole time you are there. If you don't breath dust, you will breath campfire smoke. The campground is not ADA accessible in any way. My wife is mobility challenged and it was difficult for her to get around and walk to the restrooms.

The good: You are staying within the boundaries of Yosemite and the drive to The Valley is not too bad. The park staff and hosts are friendly and helpful. You will meet interesting people from all over the world who are camping in the dirt and not complaining about it. It is located near the information center and the Crane Flat grocery store is on the way to The Valley so you can pick up a few items either on the way in or back out. There is a neat little swimming hole in the creek just a few miles away. Leave the park and take Evergreen RD towards Hetch Hetchy. Go down the hill and stop at the first bridge. There is a picnic area with access to a creek and little swimming holes. It is nice way to beat the heat.

Room Tip: Tent sites 14-32 are down a steep hill from the parking area. Some people might like the uniqueness...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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9 Thank watchman01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Yosemite National Park hotels

Boston, MA
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2012

Of course if you could get a site in the valley you wouldn't be looking here. But that said as a back-up site it could be much worse.

The bathrooms are very old and not cleaned much considering there are ONLY a total of 6 stalls for the women in the entire campground, don't wait until the last minute to pee or you'll be sorry. Its obvious they put all of the park money into the valley.

Don't believe the campground map, some sights are much more of a walk to the bathrooms than you expect and others are really much closer together. But that said it was a nice tent campground considering how full the valley was. And we got into the valley at least 2 hours earlier than most of the crowd did. Our first night was in #50 close to the bathrooms basically that entire inner loop of sites are touching one another not like its shown on the map and barely a flat spot to be found. Then we moved to #27 which at least had a flat area for the tent.

Room Tip: Pick the outer ring of sites and plan for more of a walk to the bathrooms
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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2 Thank TravelerWithFour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tempe, Arizona
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2012

I am not the sort of person who writes these knit picky reviews – I honest want to help other travelers. With that being said Hodgdon Meadows would be my last choice to camp in Yosemite. I have camped all my life, all over the US, and Hodgdon Meadow is not only the poorest layout/design for a campground, it was also in the most disrepair I have visited. It was as if someone just drew a circle for the campground layout without regard for topography, put the road there, and tried to find a way to place camp sites on the inside and outside of the circle. They put two bathrooms in the middle of the circle with no entry way, you actually have to walk through someone else’s campsite to get to the bathrooms. As is noted elsewhere, the sites are not very flat, but for the most part if you have a smaller tent, it is manageable. For “walk in” tent sites, the sites are very close. I was in site 65, and I had the two adjoining sites picnic tables within 20’ of my table. Sound seems to travel through the forest here at night, so it was pretty noisy. Bathrooms were functional, but is it too much to ask to clean the floors and walls once in a while. I mean the brown “filth” on the walls and floors was really too much. I liked the plywood toilet tank cover to replace the obviously broken porcelain one, nice touch that they painted it white… Most of the roads in the campground are completely crumbling.

So if you have no other options (which is likely the case given how hard the valley campgrounds are to get into), here are a few good facts to know:

1. Plan for a 40 minute drive to the valley. If you get an early start – before 8:30 – you will have an easy drive into the valley with parking not an issue – even in early July. I would recommend parking at Curry Village, and using the shuttle system to get around.
2. You are close by Hetch Hetchy, and you will want to take a hike there. If you don’t mind moving your campsite, and a bit of a walk in with only backpacking tent sites, get a permit to do an overnight hike into the area. Even if you don’t use the backcountry permit, the permit allows you to use the backcountry campground at the Hetch Hetchy trail head on the night before your trip and the night after. There are about 20 sites, most with commanding views down the valley from Hetch Hetchy – awesome sunsets. On the weekend before the fourth of July, only one site was taken on a Friday night.
3. On the way to Hetch Hetchy, you pass by the “town” of Mather. The general store has everything you need there + ice cream stand. The town is essentially a resort that looked pretty nice on a short stop. It might be possible to take a shower here. I used the bathroom, and the showers were empty, so it would seem possible you could pretend to be a guest and just use the showers…
4. There are two nice day use area’s outside the park on the way to Hetch Hetchy on the Tolume river. Nice place to cool off in the river, or try and catch some trout. Once again, on the weekend before fourth of July, I only saw fishermen at these day use area’s - not crowded at all.

In the hopes that the Park Service does read reviews, here is my recommendation for this campground – start over. There was large area’s around the actual campground that had nice flat terrain. You could re-layout this campground adding more sites that are actually nicely spread out, and flat. I know you have extreme budget issues, but it is a crime in my opinion that the wealthiest country on earths crown jewel of the park system has a campground as poor as Hodgdon Meadow.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
14 Thank azbadger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2012

We felt that we lucked out with many different factors with this campground. We blindly chose a campsite from the website shortly after they opened the reservations for our time period. Which, I'm glad we did, because the campground was sold out by the time we were getting things ready for our trip.

Our site was one of the tent sites, back from the road. It seems the camper sites are along the road and the tent sites are behind them, so you have to park your car along the road and walk a little bit to get to your site. One of the reasons we lucked out, was that we had some trees and bushes which created nice privacy for our tent. We also lucked out to have a pretty level area for our tent. MANY of these campsites have VERY unlevel ground. I felt bad for the people who had to pitch their tent on a slope. Even though the description of our site on the reservation website said "unlevel," we has one place that was perfect for our tent.

The bathroom was also a trek to get to. Uphill with no clear path, everyone walking everywhere and ankle breaking hills. It didn't bother us too much, but I could see people with very young kids having more trouble.

It is a park campground, so the sites are very close to each other. You will get to know your neighbors. Another reason we lucked out, the first night the site next to us remained empty over night and the whole next day. The next night our neighbors arrived after we had went to sleep and were very quiet setting up their tent.

The drive into the Valley, wasn't bad at all. It is a beautiful drive, went by quickly and we appreciated being outside of the madness of the Valley.

Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank LifeOfTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Just got back from Yosemite and there's so much to write about, I almost don't know where to start. But since this review is about Hodgdon Meadow in particular, I guess I'll start with our campsite.

Campsite #17 -

We felt VERY lucky to have gotten a campsite at all bc we booked it only 3 wks prior. The ranger said this is the first weekend that the entire campsite is open and everything was sold out - the reason why we asked? We tried to change campsite. Granted we arrive at 3 am (road closure, difficult to find ... i'll get there in a bit), we found the only feasible land to pitch a tent was on a slope. It was a great location - breezy and airy during the afternoon under the trees, but it felt like sleeping on a slide. Looking back, there could've been more strategic ways around it, either with blanket cushion positioning or just moving our entire tent a little lower. We wanted some privacy, so moving it a little lower will place us practically in our neighbors campsite. The campsites are SUPER close to each other. SUPER close. I've been camping at various locations, but this is the closest for sure. There's no running water on the campsite, so we washed dishes very conservatively with water that we accummulated from the bathroom sink. There is no shower on site. We drove into Yosemite village to shower which is about 45 min of winding roads with AMAZING picturesque sites that we had to stop quite often to snap some pictures. The campground itself was so difficult to find. There's no set address to insert into your iphone or GPS - When you think you're lost, just go further. But it was actually kind of nice that it was so isolated. When we went to shower in the village, there were just SO many tourists and cars. It made it feel like a breath of fresh air to leave all the chaos in the village. But like i said, it's a winding road btwn the site and the village so if you don't enjoy that type of driving, it may not be the best place for you.

Last but not least, road closures - whoa - check for road closures bfore you head out. On our way there, we were hit with a road closure (Route 120) that caused us to back track and then detour through a super SUPER winding road and ended up costing us at least 4 hours more to get there (hence the 3 am arrival). Going home, Route 41 was hit with a Hazard Material spill and we again were detoured all around again through winding roads and that cost us another 4 hours. I guess road closures and detours just couldn't be avoided, so you may need to plan and account for it.

So I know this review may sound so 'negative', why the heck am I giving it 4 stars, right? I wanted to lay it all out and not sugar coat the trip. But even with all the downsides, the trip itself was just so awesome. SOOO amazing. Yosemite is so magnificent and so glorious. The waterfalls were breathtaking, the trees were so luchious, the air was so crisp. If you enjoy photography, it's a photographer's dream location. But even photographs can't do it justice. Just being one with nature, soaking in the environment made sleeping on a little incline completely worthwhile. Can't wait for our next trip there.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
13 Thank Choonifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2012

We had a 2 night reservation in June 2011, but arrived a day late and were glad we did. We'd booked a site for a 10x10 tent and could not find space for even a 2 person tent on the whole site. The site was not just unlevel but steeply pitched and seriously washed out. Eventually borrowed garden tools from the host and raked/shoveled until we had built a spot big enough to hold a tent and level enough so that we would not roll down the hill. Had to clean camp, too... 2 bags of garbage and an industrial frig rack were left dumped on our site. An hour of work before we could start setting up. We walked the campground and found decent sites on the hilltops near the restrooms, but frankly the hillsides are too steep to be used as campsites. Neighbors told us that many campers had their tents flooded the night before we arrived, lots left in the middle of the night. Good little store nearby and close road access if you're going north or northeast. Not close enough to the valley to drive in and out more than once a day. Close to Tuolumne Grove (worth seeing).

Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank muchan5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hodgdon Meadow Campground

Property: Hodgdon Meadow Campground
Address: Just past south entrance off Highway 120, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Region: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 105
Also Known As:
Hodgdon Meadow Campground Hotel Yosemite National Park

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