About Yosemite! (part 3) Camping in Yosemite Valley?
You need a reservation! Most of the campsites in Upper, Lower & North Pines Campgrounds for summer are “sold out” before May! You can try for a campsite in the valley on the day you're there, or there’s “Backpacker’s Camp” (Camp 4) which is “first-come/first-served”.
From the NPS website: There are “13 campgrounds, of which up to seven are on a reservation system. From April through September, reservations are essential and even the first-come first-served campgrounds often fill by noon from May through September.
Reservations are required from about Mar-Nov for the valley’s car campgrounds and summer-fall for Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Wawona, and Tuolumne Meadows. Campground reservations available five months in advance, on the 15th of each month at 7 am PST. Be aware that nearly all reservations for the months of May-Sept and for some other weekends as soon as they are available, usually within seconds or minutes after 7 am!”
NOTE: Check the Housekeeping Camp in the valley! If you can’t get camping in the valley, there are camps on the rim (about an hour away) and just outside the park as well. Camp Wawona is near the Wawona Hotel, Yosemite’s Badger Pass, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Glacier Point. Wawona is also close to Oakhurst which is a real town with markets, laundromats, restaurants, etc. Soquel Campground and Crane Flat Campground are farther away.