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“One of the best camping experiences we have ever had.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wawona Campground

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Wawona Campground
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One of the best camping experiences we have ever had.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2012

We were lucky enough to get a large shaded spot right next to the river. It was a very warm week sober were in the river every day and found some really nice swimming holes. of course going in August when the Merced is gentle makes this possible so be careful before jumping in earlier in the season!

The Rangers were attentive and friendly. My daughter and I enjoyed the coffee/hot chocolate morning chat.

The first thing that happened however was pretty traunatic and not uncommon for the region so be careful... As we were unpacking we happened to be standing upon a Yellow Jacket (also known as Meat Bee) nest at the base of a small tree. My son and nephew were bitten numerous times. Luckily they both rebounded quickly and the Rangers came and sprayed withing hours. It's an issue at a few sites so keep your eyes open before you settle in!

Some folks have complained about the facilities but my take is you know it going in... No showers... Bathrooms are serviceable and were cleaned daily... But it really is a beautiful campground and ha less of a manic and crowded feel than the Valley sites.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Offertano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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English first
Reading, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
148 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2012

Before coming here, we stayed 2 nights at Tuolumne Meadows. It was much warmer here than there. The bathrooms at Wawona were also nicer & cleaner than at Tuolumne Meadows. The downside is that you’re not allowed to allow anything (like soap or toothpaste) to soak into the ground/groundwater, so not knowing that ahead of time, we didn’t plan for the fact that we couldn’t use our portable shower, and we got back too late from hiking to rinse off in the river. No big deal. If we were to stay longer, we’d bring a bucket to stand in to use in our shower b/c you are allowed to rinse your dishes and dump things down a large sink that's provided next to the bathrooms.

Make sure to get on the park website and log in before it's time to book, and be ready to take whatever site you can get. We were lucky to get our site (which was pretty flat), b/c they sold out in 5 minutes (for a Monday night). We talked to some people who had to move sites each night because they couldn't get consecutive nights at the same one.

We didn't see any bears. The rangers had a nice program in the evening that told about the history of the area (natives, how they lived, etc.), which we enjoyed.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jenksoccer21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
34 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2012

We really liked this campground. The campground is huge, but you don't feel overwhelmed by the number of people around (we liked the amount of private space we had for ourselves). There is some distance from Wawona to Yosemite Valley but it's still close enough to Mariposa Grove and Glacier Point.

We were sleeping in a tent, on the site #83 which was a bit sloped, but acceptable. There was enough of shade, we had a picnic table and a fireplace. You can officially collect the wood on your own on this camgroud - but you have to be lucky enough to find any. You can also buy wood in Yosemite Valley.

The worst part of this campground was the quality of bathrooms. There were no showers, the sinks were small and not very clean, we couldn't find too many signs of cleaning in the restrooms, too.

But generally we really loved this place. Being woken up by the singing birds, or competing for the breakfast with the chipmunks (fortunatelly there were no bears around) is really something to remember. We wouldn't change it for any hotel room :-)

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Zielistka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich UK
Level Contributor
423 reviews
113 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 292 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2012

Some of the less enthusiastic reviews had me double-checking... were we in the same place ? Yes we were - a nice camp ground with good facilities and no issues. Yes we'd rather have been in Yosemite proper but it was full so we went here, and that's Life. We had a lot of space, a firepit, close to the rest rooms, and no traffic noise. our brief encounters with staff were courteous and affable, and fellow campers civil and amiable.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank PeterHarvey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London/ Dublin
Level Contributor
125 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank ButteryBiscuitBase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashland, Oregon
Level Contributor
66 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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 Contributor
91 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
Helpful?
13 Thank Jer29_11-14
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 #7 of 25 Speciality Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 93
Also Known As:
Wawona Campground Hotel Wawona

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