How do I make reservations at Yosemite?
Do you need to make reservations at Yosemite?
Reservations are not required to visit Yosemite but are recommended if planning to stay overnight in the park.
Is it hard to get a reservation at Yosemite?
Reservations at California's national and state parks are more competitive than ever. While Yosemite Valley also offers some campsites on a first come, first served basis, these spots typically fill up by 12 P.M. every day.
Within Yosemite National Park, you may not sleep in your car or RV except in a campsite that you're registered to stay in (except at Camp 4, where sleeping in cars is not allowed because it's a walk-in campground). Sleeping in your car along the side of the road is not allowed.
The good news is that people cancel reservations frequently. If you're very persistent at checking recreation.gov, you may find a cancellation that you can reserve. There are also campgrounds outside Yosemite available on recreation.gov (these will also show up when you search for Yosemite).
If you only plan to do a few hikes and drive around to see the sights, three days is enough to see most everything. If you'd like to linger, you'll have time to enjoy more ranger-led activities, attend evening programs, take tours, and hang around enjoying the scenery.
A wilderness permit is required year-round for backpacking, overnight climbing, or any other overnight stay in the Yosemite Wilderness. A wilderness permit is not required for day hikes (unless hiking to Half Dome) or for staying in lodging facilities and frontcountry campgrounds.
The best times to visit Yosemite are May and September, when the park is accessible, but not too crowded. It's important to know that many roads and trails in Yosemite are closed for the majority of the year due to snow.
Yosemite Entrance Fees
|Individual (on foot, horseback, or bus)||7 Days, Yosemite National Park||$15|
|Motorcycle||7 Days, Yosemite National Park||$30|
|Automobile||7 Days, Yosemite National Park||$35|
|Yosemite Pass (automobile)||1 Year, Yosemite National Park||$70|
Yosemite National Park is completely surrounded by national forests. You can always boondock for free in these forests. However, there are also free campgrounds set up by the U.S. Forest Service…
Campground reservations are available in blocks of one month at a time, up to five months in advance, on the 15th of each month at 7 am Pacific time.
Camping in Yosemite.
|Arrival date||First day to make reservations (7 am PT)|
|September 15 through October 14||May 15|
|October 15 through November 14||June 15|
Yosemite National Park has had an entrance fee since 1913. The current rate of $30 per vehicle or $25* per motorcycle has been in effect since 2015. The park is one of 117 in the National Park System that charges an entrance fee. The remaining 300 sites are free to enter.
A: You can make reservations online or by calling our Customer Contact Center. Below are the details: Online: www.ReserveCalifornia.com. Phone: (800) 444-PARK (7275).
And although many of the most popular national parks, like Grand Canyon and Great Smoky Mountains, do not require reservations this year, we recommend making any tour or accommodation bookings well in advance as this summer is ramping up to be a busy season for the parks.
Campgrounds North of Yosemite Valley:
In Yosemite National Park, sleeping in your van is allowed only in designated and reserved campsites. Yosemite has 10 campgrounds that can accommodate vans, RVs and trailers (including fifth wheels) up to 35 feet. Reservations are required for all campsites.
How can I cancel or change my reservation? Call 877/444-6777 to change or cancel your reservation. You can also log in to recreation.gov to cancel your reservation.
With hopes of bringing an end to the scalping of campsites, Yosemite National Park officials will require that visitors show some identification to claim their campsites, and won't allow reservations to be transferred to anyone else.
Area Status: Open
It is the closest campground to the Big Oak Flat entrance to Yosemite National Park and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Each site has a picnic table and a campfire pit with a grill. Vault toilets and potable water is available throughout the campground.
Most of Yosemite is blanketed in snow from about November through May. (Yosemite Valley can be rainy or snowy in any given winter storm.)
Is a day trip to Yosemite worth it? A day trip to Yosemite is definitely worth it! In just one day, you can see all the highlights of the park on a scenic drive of both Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point Road.
If you're hankering to hike up Half Dome this summer, be prepared to pay a bit more. It now will cost you $20 for permits to use the trail lined with metal cables that lead to the 8,800-foot summit, according to a Yosemite National Park news release.
The minimum time to really enjoy the park is two days. 2 days in Yosemite will let you see the main sights, however if you're into hiking I would suggest spending 3 days or more in Yosemite National Park.
Arrive early and stay late, and visit Yosemite during the week instead of on weekends. Congestion and delays are worse on weekends, with Saturdays and holiday weekends being particularly busy. Ride a YARTS bus to enter the park. If you drive, park your car for the duration of your stay.
Reservations are not required for visiting Yellowstone National Park. However they are required for camping, and permits are required for certain activities, like fishing and horseback riding.
Big Oak Flat Entrance
Your most direct route to Yosemite is through the Big Oak Flat Entrance or the Arch Rock Entrance, which is located southeast of Big Oak Flat.
There are three developed BLM campgrounds along the Merced River between Briceburg and Bagby. The campgrounds are accessed by crossing the suspension bridge just past the Briceburg Visitor Center and heading down river along the unpaved Briceburg River Road (old Yosemite Valley Railroad Grade).
Is your water safe to drink? Our water is perfectly safe to drink, bath and swim in, but we recommend that you bring bottled water for drinking, due to the fact that our water has a high mineral content.
In essence, boondocking is off-the-grid RV travel. Sometimes referred to as “dry camping,” boondocking is any time you camp in your RV without water, sewer, or electrical connections. That can take the form of parking your rig deep in the backcountry or pulling over at a highway rest stop.
Be an early bird to avoid crowds.
Try to visit the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove by 9am or earlier. Then you can head to Tioga Pass road trails and views and in and around Tuolumne Meadows, they are less crowded, and you'll be able to find yourself alone even during peak hours.
Hidden in Yosemite National Park's peaceful northwest corner, Hetch Hetchy Valley is a treasure worth visiting in all seasons. Located at 3,900 feet, Hetch Hetchy boasts one of the longest hiking seasons in the park and is an ideal place for thundering spring waterfalls and wildflower displays.
To reach Hetch Hetchy, you have to exit Yosemite National Park and re-enter it. Take CA Highway 120 from the park toward Groveland. From the main road, it's about a 20- to 25-minute drive to the parking area. The half-hour drive to Hetch Hetchy from CA Highway 120 begins outside the park boundaries.
Every year, beginning September 1, all kids in the fourth grade have access to their own Every Kid Outdoors pass at www.everykidoutdoors.gov. This pass provides free access to national parks across the country. The Every Kid Outdoors pass is good for the 4th grade school year, until August 31.
Viewing Half Dome
If you're not a hiker, you'll only see Half Dome from a distance, but it's a prominent part of the Yosemite landscape. Glacier Point: At Glacier Point, you'll see Half Dome more from the same elevation instead of looking up at it from the valley floor.