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“Be wary of organized camps like these”
Review of Wawona Campground

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Wawona Campground
Certificate of Excellence
London/ Dublin
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Be wary of organized camps like these”
Reviewed 7 June 2012

While it looks pretty and has a nice enough layout and is beside the river. The problem with this is it's run more like a prison. You seem to be watched with everything you do and while some nearby campers were friendly others were like camping fascists. One snapped at my girlfriend for walking near his camp area and ordered her not to do it again saying "I'm not asking you I'm telling you!"

The most bizarre part was the rangers at the entrance. Seemed friendly enough on entrance. When I went to drive down to the shop for some supplies I had some empty beer bottles i took with me and the ranger stopped me and said it's highly illegal to have open containers in my car. I said I understand and was confused when she kept repeating herself. I continued the 20 yards further to dispose of said recycling and upon my return had the park ranger police waiting for me accusing me of drinking and driving and saying I refused to do anything about the bottles when told by a ranger. Surely she could see 20 yards away me dispose of the EMPTY bottles. I was rudely told I was lucky and that I should be in prison if he had of caught me then he proceeded to say and I quote "Just because you are Irish doesn't mean you can drink while driving". How ironic, seeing as in Ireland people don't even have 1 pint then drive yet here people drive home after a night out. I didn't realize disposing of recycling in the proper manner would get me in so much trouble and get racially profiled..

Aside from all that, you WILL encounter wildlife so be prepared. I sat up into the late evening with my camera and tripod and got some fantastic shots of dear that were trying to steal food from around the camps or eat crumbs from the tables. Late that night we did have multiple appearances of bears right beside our tent. So bear lockers are essential and make sure your car is clean and everything is locked away. It can be somewhat un-nerving to unexperienced campers.

The problem with these camps is that its so hard to get a spot, it's booked up months in advance. We had a much nicer experience in the not-bookable Tamarack flats the previous nights. There you can also gather your own firewood and there was no bears and people were very friendly and it's only $10 a night.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank ButteryBiscuitBase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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93 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
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English first
Ashland, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2012 via mobile

We stayed here in a 23 ft camper just after most of the facilities had opened for the season in early May. We had reserved site 17# based on another reviewer's experience and found the campsite and the campground to be a mixed bag. Our site, like all of the sites in the A Loop was not a back-in site but merely a kind of turnout space on one of several small one-way loops with our picnic table and fire ring just out in an open space in full view of neighboring campsites. The first couple of nights, we had our neighbor's tent just five feet from our picnic table! Privacy and shade were pretty much non-existent. One bathroom was out of order and potable water was a bit of a hike from the site and not convenient. The wonderful part of the campground, however, was the location on the Merced River. While in camp, we spent many an hour in our chairs down at the river's edge, reading, taking photographs and watching the wildlife. Lovely! The campground's proximity to nearby hiking in the Mariposa Grove and around the meadow/ golf course was also real plus!
We did walk around the other two loops, both B and C. Loop B is a tent only loop and there are several gorgeous sites right on the river. Snag site # 37 if you can...perfect! Loop C was much more crowded and, again, most of the sites seemed to be turn-outs... Not really a consideration if you are tent camping but not as nice for RV camping. As another reviewer noted, the campground is just up the road from a small store. A free dump station is located just behind the store. Overall, we liked the campground and would return either early or late season.

Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
8 Thank Silverstar46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Escondido, CA
Level 6 Contributor
91 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2011

When we started looking for a place to camp in Yosemite, we tried getting into the campgrounds that were in the Valley. I'm so glad they were all taken because we would have missed staying at Wawona! We had site #17 right along the Merced River. We could hear the rush of water over the rocks as we slept and we found a great place where we could walk out into the middle of the river where there are very large bolders to sit on and take in the view. The campgrounds are located about a 1/2 mile from a little market where you can get basic supplies and also catch the shuttle to see the Mariposa Grove of redwoods. It was only a 45 minute (beautiful) drive to the Valley or to Glacier Point - two of the "must see" places to go in Yosemite. The rangers and hosts at Wawona were very friendly and informative too. We highly recommend skipping the crowds in the Valley and staying in Wawona.

Room Tip: Get a site on the river if you can. The first two loops of sites have a lot of space between them...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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13 Thank Jer29_11-14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2011

We stayed at Wawona and Hodgedon (we sleep in a Dodge Caravan). Wawona is far superior; campsites along a river and beautiful scenery. I will never stay at Hodgedon again. At Wawona, we stayed in site 62, which is not very private but there were several sites along the river that were private and peaceful - we just never plan anything in advance! Wawona is near a post office, general store, shuttle stop, small golf course, hiking trails and the Mariposa Grove. There's plenty to do and you can leave your car and take the shuttle into the Valley and avoid thetraffic madness.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
12 Thank hikinlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chepstow, UK
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2010

We chose to camp to save on costs as it is soooo expensive to stay in Yosemite itself, we originally wanted to stay at the main campsites in Yosemite Village but I'm glad we didn't, Wawona was a lot more peaceful and less cramped than the main campsites. We stayed by the river, we were allowed to collect our own firewood (only stuff thats on the floor) and not too far from the toilets. They have firepits that you can use by each pitch and cook food that you can buy from the store which is 1 mile down the road. Make sure you use your bear proof locker to store food and packaging and any toiletries that are scented! The rangers come round on patrol regularly. We didn't see any bears whilst we were there though! It's about 45 min drive from the main village which is the only downside.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
8 Thank nathan-rachel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2010

great spots right next to the river. a bit ways from the valley though. really friendly staff.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank dang11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beachmere, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2010

We camped here in our tent and this was definately our favourite campsite in all of our travels.

We got a campsite on the riverfront, think it ws 46. Get one of these if you can. The kids spent the days clambering over the rocks alongside the river and swimming in the river. My husband and I simply enjoyed relaxing on the rocks watching the water rush past....very peaceful!

There are no showers here but everyone has a dip in the river each afternoon, bit chilly in June, but you get used to it after a minute or so.

Bear proof campsite rules apply here, but rangers said there are no bears in this part of Yosemite which was reassuring for us Aussies!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank TheAussieBeachBums
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wawona Campground

Property: Wawona Campground
Address: Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA
Region: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 93
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
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