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TRAVELNATIONAL PARKS

Phone Numbers

  • Primary
    (209) 372-0200
  • Weather
    (209) 372-0200
  • Road conditions
    (209) 372-0200
  • Permits
    (209) 372-0740
  • Lost & found
    (209) 372-0200
Yosemite National Park
Wikimedia Commons (citypeek)
Overview

Yosemite National Park embraces a spectacular tract of mountain-and-valley scenery in the Sierra Nevada, which was set aside as a national park in 1890. The park harbors a grand collection of waterfalls, meadows, and forests that include groves of giant sequoias, the world's largest living things. Highlights of the park include Yosemite Valley, and its high cliffs and waterfalls; Wawona's history center and historic hotel; the Mariposa Grove, which contains hundreds of ancient giant sequoias; Glacier Point's (summer-fall) spectacular view of Yosemite Valley and the high country; Tuolumne Meadows (summer-fall), a large subalpine meadow surrounded by mountain peaks; and Hetch Hetchy, a reservoir in a valley considered a twin of Yosemite Valley.

There is so much to do in Yosemite, and it offers opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. If you're planning a trip to Yosemite, first decide during which season you plan to visit, then decide where you'll spend the night (if you spend the night) so you can make lodging or camping reservations. Then, you can find the answer to the age-old question about what there is to do in Yosemite.

Map of Yosemite National Park
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Seasonality / Weather

Yosemite National Park is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, and no reservations are required to visit. However, the Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station is open only during daylight hours (approximately) and some roads are closed due to snow from around November through May or June.

Directions
Driving: 

From San Francisco/Bay area take I-580 east to I-205 east to Highway 120 east (Manteca) or Highway 140 east (Merced) into Yosemite National Park.

From Sacramento take Highway 99 south to Highway 120 east (Manteca) or Highway 140 east (Merced) into Yosemite National Park.

From Reno & Lake Tahoe, approximately June through October, conditions permitting, Take US 395 south to Lee Vining; take Highway 120 west into Yosemite National Park (open late May/June through October, depending on conditions). Year round take I-80 or I-50 west to Sacramento; take Highway 99 south to Highway 120 east (Manteca) or Highway 140 east (Merced) into Yosemite National Park.

From the Los Angeles area Take I-5 north (or I-405 north to I-5) to Highway 99 north to Highway 41 north (Fresno) into Yosemite National Park.

From Las Vegas June through October, conditions permitting, take I-15 south to Barstow; Highway 58 west to the junction with US 395; go north on US 395 to near Lee Vining; take Highway 120 west into Yosemite National Park (open late May/early June through October, depending on conditions).

From November through May take I-15 south to Barstow; Highway 58 west to Bakersfield; take Highway 99 north to Fresno. In Fresno, take Highway 41 north into Yosemite National Park

Flying: 

A number of Commercial Airports are available near Yosemite. Drive from Fresno-Yosemite International (FAT), north on Highway 41 to Yosemite. Allow about 1.5 hours to the park's South Entrance or 2.5 hours to Yosemite Valley. Drive from Merced Airport (MCE), east on Highway 140 to Yosemite. Allow about two hours to Yosemite Valley. Drive from Modesto City-County Airport (MOD) east on Highway 120 to Yosemite (or head south on Highway 99 to Merced, then take Highway 140 into Yosemite). Allow about 1.5 hours to the park's Big Oak Flat or Arch Rock Entrance or about two hours to Yosemite Valley.
Commercial Airports from Bay Area include San Francisco International (SFO), Oakland International (OAK) and San José International (SJC). Drive from San Francisco International (SFO) on Highway 580 east to Highway 205 east to Highway 120 east to Yosemite (you can also take Highway 99 south to Merced, then Highway 140 into Yosemite). Allow about four hours to the park's Big Oak Flat or Arch Rock Entrance or five hours to Yosemite Valley. Drive from Oakland International (OAK)rive on Highway 580 east to Highway 205 east to Highway 120 east to Yosemite (you can also take Highway 99 south to Merced, then Highway 140 into Yosemite). Allow about four hours to the park's Big Oak Flat or Arch Rock Entrance or five hours to Yosemite Valley. Drive from San José International (SJC) on Highway 880 north to 580 east to Highway 205 east to Highway 120 east to Yosemite (you can also take Highway 99 south to Merced, then Highway 140 into Yosemite). Allow about four hours to the park's Big Oak Flat or Arch Rock Entrance or five hours to Yosemite Valley.

Commercial Airports North or East of Yosemite include Sacramento International (SMF) and Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH). Drive from Sacramento International (SMF) on Highway 99 to either Highway 120 or Highway 140 east to Yosemite. Allow about four hours to Yosemite Valley. Drive from Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) during summer months north on US 395 to Highway 120 west into Yosemite. Allow about an hour to Tioga Pass Entrance or 2.5 hours to Yosemite Valley. (Check on the status of the Tioga Road.) All year you can drive north on US 395 to Highway 88, then take Highway 88 west to its junction with Highway 99. Once on Highway 99, drive south to either Highway 120 or Highway 140 east into Yosemite. Allow about seven hours to Yosemite Valley.

Pubtransport: 

Bus service is available to Yosemite Valley from cities throughout California (and the rest of the United States). Amtrak provides a combination of train and bus service to Yosemite Valley. Greyhound provides bus service to Merced, where you can transfer to YARTS to continue to Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) buses also provide service from communities along Highway 140 between Merced and Yosemite (including Mariposa, Midpines, and El Portal). During summer, service is also available from east of Yosemite, via Highway 120 (including Lee Vining, June Lake, and Mammoth Lakes). Free shuttle service is available within some (but not all) areas of the park.

If you arrive in Yosemite Valley by bus, access to other areas of the park is possible, include Yosemite Valley (free shuttle service around eastern Yosemite Valley), Glacier Point (late May/June through October via fee-based tour), Badger Pass (mid December through March via free shuttle), Wawona (summer only; very limited shuttle service available from Wawona to Yosemite Valley in the morning and from Yosemite Valley to Wawona in the afternoon), Tioga Road/Tuolumne Meadows (July and August, along with weekends in June and September, via fee-based tour and YARTS Highway 120 East bus), Tuolumne Meadows (summer only; free shuttle service in the Tuolumne Meadows area). Hetch Hetchy Valley and Hodgdon Meadow have no public transportation.