Does it cost to go to Yosemite?
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.
Can you drive your car through Yosemite National Park?
You can drive your car into and around Yosemite, although some roads are closed from around November through May/June and tire chains may be required on open roads from around October through April (depending on conditions). You can use public transportation to get to and around Yosemite all year.
What is the best month to visit Yosemite?
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.
People can drive through Yosemite without a reservation
“You must drive the most direct route to exit the park; stopping is prohibited. Violating park regulations can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.” However, the park entrance fee does provide access to visit Hetchy Hetchy during open hours.
Yosemite National Park is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. 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.
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.
Yosemite is open with some services limited due to COVID-19
Reservations are not required to visit Yosemite but are recommended if planning to stay overnight in the park.
Any time chain controls are in effect, all vehicles must have chains in possession, including four-wheel drive and rental vehicles. You may encounter chain controls even before you enter Yosemite.
Yosemite National Park has a hiking trail for everyone. From short, easy walks to the waterfalls and viewpoints, to epic, all day hikes, there is no better way to explore Yosemite than on your own two feet.
A drive to Yosemite is roughly 4 hours (in ideal traffic conditions) and is most convenient if you are headed to the northwestern parts of Yosemite (Groveland, Buck Meadows, etc.)
Buy a Yosemite-only park pass online at yourpassnow.com/r1s/site/74296. Get your America the Beautiful Annual Pass at the USGS online store at store.usgs.gov/pass (shipping and handling fees apply) or at REI's online store at www.rei.com (free shipping and National Park Foundation donation).
The park entrance fee is $35 for private vehicles and $20 for individuals on foot or on bike, and is valid for seven days in both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Yellowstone Entrance Passes
For private, non-commercial vehicles, a 7-day pass to Yellowstone National Park costs $35/vehicle and does not include entrance into nearby Grand Teton National Park. The latter park, home to the mighty Grand Teton and other rugged peaks, also charges $35/vehicle for entrance.
The last known grizzly bear was shot outside the Yosemite region in the early 1920s; the species no longer exists in California despite its presence on the California state flag. Most of Yosemite's black bears, despite their name, are not black, but are brown in color.
Yosemite is open with some services limited due to COVID-19.
Yosemite is smaller than Yellowstone (even though it is the park you should visit). Yellowstone is approximately 3,742 square miles. It spans three states: Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. While Yosemite is only 1,187 square miles in comparison, 95% of the park is considered wilderness.
Yosemite is 124 miles from Lake Tahoe via US-395 S it takes approximately 2 hours 34 mins.
National park officials are working to keep the night skies dark through light pollution monitoring with digital imagery of the horizons.
Is it safe to go to Yosemite alone? It is safe for all travelers to visit Yosemite alone, as the crime rate is very low. To stay safe from wildlife attacks, avoid getting lost, and keep off safety hazards, it's necessary to follow the guidelines of the National Park Service.
The name "Yosemite" (meaning "killer" in Miwok) originally referred to the name of a tribe which was driven out of the area (and possibly annihilated) by the Mariposa Battalion. Previously, the area had been called "Ahwahnee" ("big mouth") by indigenous people.
Cellular Phone Service
Because the towering mountains block the signals from cell phone towers, you phone may not always work in all parts of Yosemite. Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows have good signals. The best signal is in the Yosemite Village area near the Visitor Center.
|Distance type||Miles||Nautical miles|
|Straight line distance||676.95 mi||588.25 nautical mi|
|Driving distance||911 mi||791.80 nautical mi|
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. To enter through the Big Oak Flat Entrance, you will take I-580 east to I-205 east to Highway 120 east via Manteca, Calif.
Tire traction devices are defined in the California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 605. When the term“chains” is used here, it means any “tire traction device” which meets the requirements of (VC) Section 605. Vehicles with cable chains as well as other less conventional devices are legal in California.
Studded snow tires are permitted in California from November 1 until April 30 each year. During this time, studded tires are permitted in any location within the state. Studded snow tires are not considered tire traction devices and may not be used in lieu of chains.
Snow Chain Pricing
$40 to $100: Semi-auto or "assisted" fitting tire chains will cost between $60 and $80, while self-centering chains with auto-tensioning will be a little bit more expensive for an average passenger vehicle.
The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park, from Crane Flat to Tioga Pass) is usually closed from November through late May or early June. (View a list of opening and closing dates.) When the Tioga Road is closed, alternate routes are available to get to various destinations.
There are more than 25 waterfalls at Yosemite National Park, ranging in size from the 100-foot-tall Alder Creek Falls to the 2,425-foot-tall Yosemite Falls. Many of the most famous waterfalls at Yosemite can be seen from designated viewpoints or after a short walk along paved, often-accessible trails.
However, two days will be enough time for one great hike (the best way to see Yosemite) and a few other glimpses into what this 1,200 square-mile UNESCO World Heritage site and natural wonder reveals to visitors.
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).
There has been very little development here with only 30 private homes in the area. Due to the unique nature of Foresta, private inholdings inside Yosemite, very few more will be homes built.
|Rating:||Short family-friendly stroll|
|Access:||Bridalveil Fall Trailhead along Wawona Road near the junction with Southside Drive (4 miles west of Yosemite Village)|
|Time Required:||15-30 minutes|
|Length:||.3 miles round-trip|
|Elevation Change:||Mostly level (75-ft elevation gain)|