With its large capacity, Crane Flat Campground is a great standby, and it may be an ideal first choice depending on your itinerary. Located near the junction of Big Oak Flat Road and where Highway 120/Tioga Pass Road heads for the high country, campers at Crane Flat Campground can easily reach the highlights in Yosemite Valley or Tuolumne Meadows with a 45 minute drive. For this reason Crane Flat is a well positioned home base if you are staying in Yosemite for a few days and looking to explore both Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows areas. The campground is also near near a few trails of its own: the Clark Range View Trail, the Merced Grove Trail, and the Tuolumne Grove Trail are right in the neighborhood.
There are 166 sites divided into five loops; this size and location means that you can often find a space at Crane Flat when other campgrounds in Yosemite Valley or Tuolumne Meadows are at capacity. Generally speaking, all sites are well shaded by red firs, lodgepole pines, and sugar pines, and while there is little understory to separate campsites, young trees and granite boulders sometimes do an admirable job in this regard. Because this is a large campground, certain sections do feel rather densely packed with sites, so be prepared to meet your neighbors in a crowded season.
Sites can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet, though there are no hookups and there is no dump site in the campground. Sites 423 and 427 are ADA accessible and reserved for people with disabilities. Every site in the campground has a picnic table, fire pit, and nearby food storage containers. Potable water and restrooms are centrally located in every loop. Pets are permitted on a leash at all times. Gas and last minute items are nearby at the Crane Flat market and gas station.
Like many of the other popular campgrounds in the park, advanced reservations are highly recommended at Crane Flat Campground. While you likely will have better odds at finding a last minute site here than many of the other campgrounds, sites often fill up on weekends during peak summer months. Either reserve online in advance or check in with one of the Campground Reservations offices once in the park (there is one at the Big Oak Flat/Highway 120 west entrance), even if you are checking in on the day of your stay.
Crane Flat Campground is only open in the summer and early fall, roughly July through mid-October.