Auto Camp | Yosemite

I received so many questions when we posted on IG stories our July 4th adventure at the newly opened Auto Camp Yosemite so I thought it would be helpful to provide our experience as guest campers and provide helpful tips and inside details you may not find on their site as well as a list of things you still need to bring!

So let’s start off by answering some questions I got asked the most:

“Is Auto Camp family friendly?”

  • Yes! Auto Camp Yosemite is perfect for kids, families, and is dog-friendly (there is a $50 pet fee). There are board games in the clubhouse, cornhole on the lawn, a giant Jenga and Connect Four, the pool, a communal fire pit to make s’mores, and complimentary mountain bikes to use around the property.

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Classic airstreams

Classic airstreams

Will the Airstreams fit a family of 3 or 4?

  • The Airstreams are ideal for a family of 3-4 (with small kids). It’s all a matter of preference, size, and space you need. There is a queen sized bed, a pull-out couch, and a full sized bathroom. If you have teenagers/young adults adding the Luxury Tent option may be more ideal. If you need more space you can leave your coolers and bulky items outside of your tent or airstream so there’s more space inside.

  • Classic, Premium, and Summit Suites

    There are no amenity differences between the airstream suites other than location. The Premium suites provide a more private location. The Summit suites are even more secluded and offer higher hilltop and property views.

What are the X Suites like?

  • The X Suites are like “mini-homes”. We’re going to try this experience out next time! It is great for larger families that just need and want more space to lay around without feeling crowded. There’s a queen bed, a full-sized pull out futon, a full sized bathroom, and kitchenette complete with an electric stove!

What are the Luxury Tents like?

  • This experience is great for campers that want the tent-camping feels, but still want luxury amenities like a Tempur-pedic bed, linens, and pillows. There is no kitchenette or bathroom in the tents. Campers staying in the Luxury tents have access to the spa-inspired bathrooms in the Clubhouse and can use the Clubhouse sink to wash their dishware.

  • If you have older kids you can opt for the Base Camp Experience which is a combo of both the Airstream + Luxury Tent.

The Cabin Experience is ideal for much larger families or groups. There are two cabins next to each other so it’s great for joint groups to be close together. These have a queen bed, a pull-out futon that turns into a full-sized bed, double twin bunk-beds, and a kitchenette with a large refrigerator, a stove top, and a microwave. Note that these are located in the parking lot which (to me) doesn’t provide for great views and you will see and hear cars driving up and down the Auto Camp road.

TIP: If you are anywhere around the pond you WILL hear all the frogs at night and they are LOUD. Especially if you are in a tent! And they don’t stop “ribbiting” at night!

There is AC + heat in the airstreams, but the unit is extremely loud. Not sure if it was just our unit, but it was too loud to keep it on during the night.

CHECK-IN

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Check-in is at 4pm and is like any other hotel check-in. Once your suite is ready grab a Radio Flyer wagon to haul your gear from your car to your suite. It may take you 2-3 trips. Once you are done return the wagons to their parking area. Do not keep the wagons at your site. We saw many sites hoard wagons during our stay. This made it hard during peak check-in and check-out times as people were scrambling for wagons. We helped ourselves and simply removed wagons from people’s sites as it was clear they were not using them.

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THE SIGNATURE CLUBHOUSE

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The Clubhouse is the perfect gathering spot. You can cozy up by the fireplace with a good book, play board games, or just grab some wine and cheese from the Shop and enjoy the views.

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THE SHOP

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Their on-site Shop has a perfectly curated line of outdoor products and souvenirs. Their selection of local foods was perfect to grab quick snack or a wine and charcuterie pairing for happy hour. And if you’ve had enough of s’mores they have a whole fridge of just ice cream! The ice cream sandwiches are a must!

I love their branded tees and sweatshirts. I snagged one of their beanies to stay warm during the chilly evenings.

I love their branded tees and sweatshirts. I snagged one of their beanies to stay warm during the chilly evenings.

A complimentary continental breakfast spread of muffins, yogurts, fruits, juices, coffee, and tea is provided every morning. Just enough to get your morning started or grab ‘n go before you head out to Yosemite. We personally love when hotels offer breakfast especially for early mornings in Yosemite - no need to make breakfast or stop off anywhere.

The “coffee counter” is open 24/7 so you can help yourself to Equator coffee, hot chocolate, or tea anytime of the day.

The “coffee counter” is open 24/7 so you can help yourself to Equator coffee, hot chocolate, or tea anytime of the day.

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Bring your own or purchase a kit from the Shop and cozy up around your own campfire or around the communal fire pit at the Clubhouse to make some ooey-gooey s’mores under the stars.

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THE POOL

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What better way to relax after a long day of hiking in Yosemite than dunking yourself in this beauty. The pool is a great size and is 3-8 feet deep. They allow floats so be sure to bring your own! Don’t forget the pump!

CLEANING

There is no cleaning service. Just like camping you have to clean and maintain your space, wash your dishes, and take out the garbage. Once your trash + recycling is full discard it in the trash bins and request for extra garbage bags at the Front Desk. You can also request for extra essentials like toilet paper and paper towels as needed.

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WHAT TO BRING

Even though it’s “glamping” you still have to bring a few things, unless you plan on dining outside of Auto Camp for every meal. Here’s a list of what we brought for the two of us to help you get started:

  • Propane stove + propane (Airstreams do not have stoves)

  • Camp size pots and pans

  • Essential cooking utensils

  • Foil, saran wrap, ziploc bags (for storage)

Tip: Pre-package or re-package meats and cooler items in ziplocs that way when you open a package of hot dogs or veggies it’s contained inside its own ziploc and will not leak or get soaked from the ice inside the cooler.

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  • Food net (a MUST)

  • Basic cooking ingredients: oil and butter

  • Mixing/prep bowls

  • Meal prep - plan your meals ahead of time so your grocery list and portions are exact and well organized

  • Cooler

  • Portable table for outside meal cooking/prep

  • Headlamp/flashlights

  • Bikes

  • Floatie + pump

  • Sunscreen

  • Hat

  • Citronella candle

  • Duraflame logs (for fire) and charcoal briquettes (for cooking)

    Note: wood burning is not allowed

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THINGS THEY HAVE:

  • Ice (on site for purchase)

  • Cutting boards

  • Salt and pepper

  • Utensils and cutting knife

  • Scissors

  • Bottle opener

  • Electric kettle

  • Cast iron skillet + BBQ utensils + mitt

  • Stove (only in the X Suites and Cabins)

  • Pot holders

  • Coffee + French Press

  • Mixing bowls

  • Dinnerware for 4

  • Mugs and wine glasses

  • Lighter

  • Dishwash liquid and sponge

  • Good Wood starter kit (additional Good Wood + charcoal briquettes available for purchase)

  • (Malin + Goetz) shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion

  • Towels + Bathrobe

  • Hair dryer

*This list may vary per each accommodation. Feel free to call to ask what is included in the space you are interested in - the staff is so friendly! If you want more information visit their website under Experience/What to Expect where you can find more photos and details about each experience.

THINGS YOU DO NOT NEED TO BRING:

Tent, sleeping bags, air mattress, chairs, lantern, blankets, canopy

PROXIMITY TO YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK:

  • Auto Camp Yosemite is about 40 mins to the park gates so plan accordingly and travel early.

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YOSEMITE TIP: Parking in Yosemite Village fills up FAST. If you are not there by or before 9:00am be prepared to park along the valley loop road.

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We are huge fans of Auto Camp and have now visited both Russian River and Yosemite. Santa Barbara location is much smaller and is a more “urban” experience so hopefully one day we will make it down there to check it off our list. The Yosemite site will definitely be a place we will try to visit yearly as there is still so much we want to do and explore. Who wants to come with us next time?!

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