Yosemite Hammock Camping – 10 Best Parks For Hammockers, Part I

Hammock camping is a super convenient way to explore our nation’s public parks, and Yosemite Hammock Camping takes it to a whole new level.

Whether you’re an experienced camper or you’re looking to get out for the first time, you’ll find hammocks are a great option for a single, or even multi-day, camping experience in Yosemite National Park.

Being that a hammock is elevated and, when set up correctly, never touches the ground you can easily navigate wild spaces without leaving any sort of impact on the natural environment. While a tent can create matted grass and be a pain to dry and clean in the morning, a hammock is easy to set up and tears down in minutes without a trace, getting you back out on the trail sooner.

With attachable bug nets, rainflys, under quilts, sleeping pads, gear hangers, lighting etc… there are endless options to make your camping hammock even more comfortable than a tent, and in such a lighter, smaller package!

On your next (or first!) trip to Yosemite National Park, leave the tent at home and try an elevated camping experience!

Here’s a list of some of our favorite National Parks for hammock camping:

*** QUICK NOTE: While exploring our wild spaces, it is VERY important to respect the trees, wildlife and surrounding waterways to ensure enjoyment for all for many generations to come. Be considerate. Give animals plenty of space, and “if you pack it in, pack it out.”

And please refer to our article on How to Properly Hang Your Hammock (link to Article), to keep from damaging any vegetation while you are out in the woods!

Yosemite National Park, CA

Yosemite national park was established in 1890 and covers a total of 748,436 acres (1,169 sq mi; 3,029 km2). It is home to some of the most iconic images of wild spaces in America including Half Dome, El Capitan, the 2,000 Sentinel Falls, and the wide expanse of the Yosemite Valley floor.

Hiking and camping go hand-in-hand in Yosemite, as some of the very best hikes in the park can take more than a day. Bringing a hammock with you instead of a tent can really save on space and weight in your pack and give you a truly different experience sleeping off trail.

Here are some of our favorite hammock overnight hikes in Yosemite National Park.

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Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest

At 15.5 miles total with 1775 ft (541m) of elevation gain, this out-and-back trail is possible as a vigorous day hike but is very enjoyable as a short first-day hike with a scenic stay at Sunrise Lakes with your second day up to Cloud’s Rest and back.

Start off at Sunrise Lakes trailhead on Tenaya Lake. This is also the trail for Cloud’s Rest. After 2.7 mi (4.34km) branch off to the left following signage for Sunrise Lakes, and your first night’s stay. Thanks to the fact that you brought a hammock, your departure in the morning will be swift. This is important because of the miles you will have to cover on this second day. Never fear though, the payoff is substantial.

After reconnecting with the Cloud’s Rest trail, you descend to the only lake on the trail. Continue until the branch in the trail with a CR marker and an arrow pointing right. Once you clear the treeline, the views really start rolling in with unbelievable views of Yosemite Valley and Half-dome from the top.

To summit Cloud’s Rest, follow the final sign at the base of a 10 min scramble, and you’re there! Throw the hammock up and chill while drinking in the panoramic views, and when you’re done, you have a 2-3 hour out back to Tenaya Lake.

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Backpack to Glen Aulin

This 13 mi (21km) out-and-back hike will take you along beautiful meadows, the Tuolumne River and waterfalls complete with dipping pools for hot days.

Glen Aulin has a backpacker’s campground with plenty of large vegetation allowing for the perfect place to hang your hammock. It also has potable water and pit style restrooms.

The Glen Aulin trail departs from Tuolumne Meadows, which is along Tioga Road near Yosemite’s eastern entrance.

If approaching from the the east, you’ll find Tuolumne Meadows just under 8 miles (13 km) west of the Tioga entrance.

If you coming from Yosemite Valley, follow highway 120 for 10 miles (16.8 km) up out of the valley to the Crane Flat intersection with Tioga Road, then take the Tioga Road 38 miles (61 km) east to reach the meadows.

Nearby Waterwheel Falls makes a great day trip from camp. A 6 mi round trip hike down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River will get you there with plenty of waterfalls and prime swimming holes along the way.


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Yosemite Hammock Camping Rules

Dispersed camping is allowed in much of the park but requires a wilderness permit. For more information CLICK HERE.

Fees: Entrance fees – $20-$35 USD, tours


Coming Next: Hammock Camping Olympic National Park…