Exploring Tranquility: Ellery Lake Campground, Yosemite’s Hidden Gem

Nestled on the western shore of Ellery Lake, just off Highway 120 (Tioga Road) leading east out of Yosemite National Park, Ellery Lake Campground is a serene haven for nature lovers. Boasting 21 campsites accommodating RVs, trailers, and tents, this first-come, first-served campground offers a peaceful retreat at 9,500 feet elevation. As you plan your camping escapade in this picturesque location, follow our guide for essential tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to make the most of your Ellery Lake experience.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for First-Time Campers at Ellery Lake Campground

  • Bear Safety: Safeguard your food and maintain a bear-safe campsite by utilizing the provided food storage lockers. Bears are common in the area, and responsible food practices are crucial.
  • Altitude Awareness: Given the high elevation of 9,500 feet, acclimatize yourself gradually to avoid altitude-related issues. Stay hydrated, take it easy on the first day, and be mindful of any signs of altitude sickness.
  • Fishing Delight: Ellery Lake is renowned for excellent fishing. Pack your fishing gear and enjoy angling in the pristine waters of the lake for a rewarding experience.
  • Exploration Beyond: Venture beyond Ellery Lake to explore nearby attractions, including Mono Lake, Yosemite National Park, Saddlebag Lake, and the breathtaking 20 Lakes Basin.
  • Campfire Etiquette: Enjoy campfires responsibly by confining them to designated fire rings. Adhere to quiet hours from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM for a peaceful camping atmosphere.

Strategies and Tactics for Maximum Camping Enjoyment

  • Optimal Season: Plan your visit between June and mid-October, depending on weather conditions. The summer months offer pleasant weather, making it an ideal time for camping and exploring the surrounding areas.
  • Yosemite Excursion: Take advantage of Ellery Lake Campground’s proximity to Yosemite National Park. Embark on a short drive to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the country’s most iconic national parks.
  • Mono Lake Exploration: Discover the wonders of Mono Lake, just a short drive away. Visit the Mono Lake Visitor Center, explore Mono Craters, and engage in activities like canoeing or kayaking on the lake.
  • Nature Walks: Join naturalist-led walks at Mono Lake to deepen your understanding of the local flora and fauna. Experience the tranquility of the area while gaining insights into its ecological significance.
  • Scenic Picnics: Enjoy a leisurely day with a picnic at Tioga or Ellery Lake, savoring the stunning views close to Yosemite’s east entrance.

Camping Gear Recommendations for an Optimal Experience

  • Bear-Resistant Coolers: Ensure bear safety by bringing bear-resistant coolers for storing food. Adhering to proper food storage practices is crucial to coexisting with the local wildlife.
  • Altitude-Ready Gear: Pack clothing suitable for varying temperatures due to the high altitude. Bring layers to stay warm during cool nights and be prepared for potential weather changes.
  • Fishing Essentials: If you’re an angler, don’t forget your fishing gear, including a reliable rod, tackle, and a fishing license. Ellery Lake offers fantastic opportunities for fishing enthusiasts.
  • Nature Exploration Kit: Embrace the spirit of exploration with a nature exploration kit, including binoculars, a field guide, and a map for discovering the rich biodiversity of the area.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Check our gearlist account for specific recommendations on camp cooking, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing to optimize your camping experience.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Immerse yourself in the tranquility and natural beauty of Ellery Lake Campground, where majestic mountains and pristine lakes create the perfect backdrop for a memorable camping experience. Whether you’re drawn by the excellent fishing, the allure of Yosemite, or the wonders of Mono Lake, Ellery Lake promises an unforgettable adventure surrounded by the splendors of nature.