Tuolumne Meadows Campground – Yosemite National Park CA


The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed the Tuolumne Meadows campground in 1933-34, according to a plan laid out by the National Park Service (NPS) and with financing from the Public Works Administration (PWA).  It is the largest campground in Yosemite National Park. 

The campground regularized camping at Tuolumne, which had previously been a free-for-all with cars driving across the meadows and people camping wherever they liked. The damage to the meadows had been extensive before the National Park Service brought a halt to the anarchy.

First, the NPS restricted camping to designated campgrounds and then implemented a new plan for individual campsites, known as the Meinecke system, which became the standard for the next half-century (before trailers became common, demanding larger spaces and hook-ups).  Early work on the campground began in 1931, but plans soon changed in order to double the area to 35 acres.  A grant was secured by the NPS from the PWA to pay for the campground and its utilities.

CCC enrollees first dug ditches along roads to keep cars out of the meadows and removed dead trees removed from the campground area.  Then, hundreds campsites were laid out with car parking, tent space, fire pits and picnic tables.  Water and sewage systems were also added and three classic comfort stations were built in the NPS Rustic Style.  (Later, the PWA funded a new sewer system that served not just the campground but the whole area).

The Tuolumne Meadows campground is undergoing its first-ever major renovation in 2022-23.



Source notes

John Broesamle book manuscript and interview, 2022.

Project originally submitted by John Broesamle on February 6, 2022.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Tuolumne Meadows
Yosemite National Park, CA 94389

Coordinates: 37.8720767, -119.356281

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