Far and away the largest campground in Yosemite National Park, Tuolumne Meadows Campground offers excellent access to a variety of hikes, lakes, and some of the most remarkable viewpoints in the Tuolumne Meadows area. In addition to the popular trail to Elizabeth Lake, the John Muir Trail leaves right from the campground, and hikers can take this to the popular Cathedral Lakes or Cathedral Peak, up the Lyell Fork on the Pacific Crest Trail, or south toward Vogelsang Peak. Across the highway there are popular hikes to Lembert Dome, Dog Lake, Young Lakes, and Soda Springs, along the Tuolumne River. Pothole Dome is a short drive away, as is Tenaya Lake and Olmstead Point and the numerous trailheads in the Porcupine Flat area leading into Yosemite Valley. There certainly is no shortage of things to do around Tuolumne Meadows Campground.
Tuolumne Meadows has a whopping 304 standard sites; there are also four horse camp sites, seven group sites, and 10 walk-in sites. The location and character of this campground help to mitigate this size, however, so don't let the numbers intimidate you. The A Loop is stretched out along the banks of the Tuolumne River, and several sites enjoy direct access. Loops B through G are distributed west parallel to Tioga Road, and sites in these loops are slightly more densely arranged. All sites have picnic tables, fire rings, and food storage containers, and restrooms and potable water are centrally located no matter where you camp. The campground is very well shaded, and large and small lodgepole pines help to define the individual sites. Campers have access to a general store, a gas station, and even a post office. Tuolumne Meadows is also the home of the Mountaineering School, which offers classes and tours for all experience levels.
Naturally, this campground experiences quite a lot of traffic. Half of the standard sites are available for advance reservation, which is very highly recommended. The other half is first-come, first-served, and the earlier visitors have the best chance at finding a site. Sites can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 35 feet, and the nearest dump station is just west of the campground on Tioga Road. ADA-accessible sites are located in the B and C loops (three each) and are reserved for people with disabilities. Reservations are required for the group sites and can be made online; reservations are also required for the horse sites, but these must be made by phone: call 877.444.6777. Leashed pets are permitted in the campground. Note that, because this is such a heavily used campground, it is imperative to keep your food safely stored, in the supplied storage containers. Black bears are often seen around the campground.
Tuolumne Meadows Campground is at 8,600 feet, and its seasonal operation depends on snowpack. Generally this campground is open from July through the end of September.