Sure, you can experience Yosemite via the Valley, but wouldn’t it be infinitely more rewarding (and just plain awesome) to escape the crowds and discover a quieter side to one of the nation's most popular national parks?

The correct answer here is yes, people.

With 110 camp sites, Bridalveil Campground sure doesn't sound like a quiet place to snag a snooze, but trust us - it offers up more than meets the eye. Situated roughly 30 minutes from prime photo locations like Tunnel View, Glacier Point and Taft Point/ Sentinel Dome trailheads, this first-come, first-served campground fits RVs and tents, has a couple of group and horse sites (by reservation only) and sets the tone for some peaceful morning contemplation.

Sites go for $18 a night and include bathrooms with flush toilets, bear boxes (this is prime black bear habitat, after all) and fire rings. A camp host is occasionally on duty, but there's a table littered with hiking maps, the Park newspaper, bear tips and other helpful information right as you enter.

Tips:

The turns can be pretty tight around here, especially in an RV. The campground comfortably accommodates RVs up to about 30 feet in length, but you might be able to get away with a vehicle slightly larger. 

Remember to store your food and anything scented (like bug spray) in the bear boxes provided. One of the Park employees told us to think of black bears like "big raccoons" that scare away easily. If you're not buying into that idea, just make sure to store your stuff.

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