Upper Pines Campground is one of two campgrounds located in Yosemite Valley proper that remain open year-round. It is the only winter option that is open to car, trailer, and RV camping; Camp 4 is open through the winter, but it is a walk-in, tent-only campground. Upper Pines consists of 238 sites spread among six loops, all of which sit under a canopy of ponderosa pine and incense cedar. The trees are beautiful, but they do obstruct views of the stunning surrounding granite. The campground is located near to some of the valley's best hiking trails, and it is only a walk away from the Happy Isles Trailhead and access to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall.
Reservations are required for Upper Pines from March through November. Reservations can be made either online in advance (recommended for the peak months between April-September) or in the Campground Reservation Office, located on Curry Village Drive approximately a half mile away. Expect a full campground and some close quarters during spring and summer months. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis from December through February. For a little more space, book campsites on the outer edge of the fourth, fifth and sixth loops from the Ranger Kiosk and entrance booth. Make sure to use the bear boxes provided at each campsite for all food and scented items. Bears aside, the resident crows are smarter than you might think, and they eagerly swoop down on food that's been left for even a second.