Please note: Effective Sept. 6, 2016 – Yosemite Valley will have several detours due to ongoing construction projects. These detours will be in effect until early Spring 2017. You can click here for a direct link to the Yosemite National Park Service website concerning this project. You can also download the project map and information here.
Using public transit to get to Yosemite can be an affordable, sustainable, and more relaxing way to see the area. There are several options for the visitor relying on public transit. You can fully utilize public transit options for coming to Yosemite from any major city in California, year round!
If you are coming in winter, chances are the roads will be clear depending on which highway you are traveling on. There four entrances to Yosemite. Tioga Pass or Hwy 120E is generally closed October-May, all other entrances remain open. Occasionally, an incoming storm may make change the road conditions so that tire chains may be required for your vehicle. Because of this the park service generally recommends that tire chains be carried in your vehicle during the winter months. However, most rental companies do not allow cars to be used with tire chains.
Below is a video explaining winter road travel in Yosemite. Plan to check the road conditions number before your arrival to Yosemite by calling (209) 372-0200. If chains are required during your visit and you are in a rental vehicle you can always enter the park by bus from the Highway 140 entrance using YARS (see more information below).
The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) has been operating in the Yosemite region since 2000 and has provided an alternative to driving to over one million riders during that time.
YARTS is safe, comfortable, economical and convenient.
During the winter, YARTS is the easiest way to access the park along State Highway 140 from your hotel without having to worry about taking tire chains. In the summer, YARTS provides an alternative to wasting time looking for parking. We recommend leaving your car at your hotel or one of the many free and secure parking lots in Mariposa or El Portal.
Your entrance fee is also included, so this option is green in more ways than one! Year-round the State Highway 140 route has connections to Amtrak and Greyhound so you can easily travel to Yosemite using public transit from most major cities in California. YARTS also runs along State Highway 41 in the summer months, so you can hop on the YARTS bus to Yosemite from the Yosemite/Fresno International Airport (FAT) as well.
In Yosemite, YARTS makes connections with the Valley Shuttle and Tuolumne Meadows (summer only) shuttles (both free).
Learn more at www.yarts.com or call 1-877-989-2787.
For tours from San Francisco or within Yosemite National Park, please see our Tours page.
One of the best services to take advantage of during your trip to Yosemite is the free shuttle bus. Parking (especially in the busy summer months) can be difficult and it’s best to park your car and take the shuttle where ever you need to go around the Valley Floor. Plan your route by viewing the shuttle map.
Best of all, the shuttle is free!
Amtrak trains have service all throughout California and can connect you to Yosemite from most major cities. You can book your trip to Yosemite from the Amtrak website and connect to the YARTS bus from the Amtrak station in Merced from both northern and southern California destinations. The YARTS bus continues down State Highway 140 and has convenient stops at several hotels in Mariposa, Midpines, and El Portal, as well as stops at Yosemite Valley lodging.
The Fresno Yosemite International Airport is the nearest international airport to Yosemite National Park and Mariposa County. You can rent a car or take the YARTS bus from Fresno to lodging in Fishcamp, Wawona and Yosemite Valley along State Highway 41. However, many travelers choose to fly in at SFO, San Jose, Oakland or Sacramento due to a greater variety of flight options and cheaper prices. From these northern California airports is is roughly a 3.5 to 4 hour drive.
From major Bay Area airports, the closest driving route is along State Highway 140 and the nearest lodging to the park is located in Mariposa, Midpines, and El Portal. From the Bay Area you can fully take public transit, here is a great article on how to get to Yosemite from BART.