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Iconic Destinations: RV Road Trip Guide to Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Camper Van Trip

Yosemite National Park is one of the greatest destinations in the country. In 2019 alone, over 4.5 million visitors trooped to California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains to enjoy the wide array of attractions in the park. A visit here will awe you, whether exploring for the third or seventh time. One of the best ways to experience this magnificent destination is through an RV road trip.

A Class B Mercedes Sprinter RV is an excellent choice for your camper van trip because these vans fit the size restrictions in the park. Some campgrounds require a reservation, while others operate on a first-come-first-served basis. April through September are the busiest months in the park. Check nps.gov for reservation details.

Yosemite Camper Van Trip

What is there to See in Yosemite?

Yosemite offers both wildlife and geographical attractions in a rare combination that is unmatched in North America.  Some must-see attractions are:

El Capitan 
This granite monolith standing over 3,000 feet is the highest monolith cliff face in the world. The sheer size of it makes you feel the grandeur of the universe, one’s tiny presence in it all. There are several hiking trails to the top, from where you can take in stunningly beautiful views of the park below. 

Yosemite Falls 
This waterfall is the highest in North America, with a total drop of 2,425 feet. The upper drop is 1,430 feet, the middle is 675 feet, and the lower drop is 320 feet. It is an impressive sight from below. You can enjoy even better views by hiking up a steep 3.5 miles trail from Sunnyside campgrounds to the top.

Glacier Point 
This is the best lookout point from which you can enjoy memorable vistas of the valley below and other attractions, including the Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. The beauty from the top is overwhelming and worth the trek.

Half Dome 
This massive granite dome is as impressive as El Capitan. Standing over 4,700 feet, a challenging 10-hour hike to the top is not for the faint of heart. You also need a permit to climb, but the sunset views from the top are worth the effort many times over. 

Wild Animals 
From black bears in the early mornings or at dusk to the elusive Sierra Nevada Bighorn sheep, there are dozens of animal watching opportunities for those who enjoy the hobby. Set your eyes on other small animals, including black-tailed deer, bobcats, marmots and hares. Yosemite is also a Globally Important Bird Area, with plenty of bird species for birdwatchers.  


NON-RESERVATION RV CAMPGROUNDS:
– White Wolf 
– Bridalveil Creek
– Yosemite Creek
– Tamarack Flat 
– Tuolumne Meadows 
– Porcupine Flat 

RESERVATION RV CAMPGROUNDS:
– Hodgson Meadows 
– North pines
– Upper pines 
– Lower pines 
– Wawona 
– Crane Flat
– Half of the spaces at Tuolumne Meadow

Open campgrounds are usually packed in the summer, and it is hard to find a spot by mid-morning. You have to check RV size restrictions in different campgrounds before you go, but a Mercedes Sprinter camper van passes restrictions in almost all camps except walk-in only sites.

Reservation spaces are open in blocks and are put up every 15th of each month, five months before the date of parking.  If you want to go in July, for example, your reservation should be in by February. Check availability and reserve online at the Yosemite National Park camp booking website. A Yosemite camper van trip is a must-have item on your travel bucket list. 

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