Instantly recognizable and famous world over, Yosemite’s star landmarks are as magical to meet as any Hollywood A-lister. Driving into Yosemite Valley from either Hwy 140, 120 or 41 will offer you glimpses of icons such as Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. There are plenty of opportunities to stop along the way for photos, but to truly enjoy these monoliths it is best to get on the trail. Short and ADA accessible trails like the ones that lead to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall or Bridelveil Fall are gentle enough for almost every visitor. For more of a challenge pack a lunch and plenty of water and head up towards Vernal Fall where you’ll be rewarded with rainbow mists and stunning views.
The Valley overflows with activities to suit every taste. Rent bicycles or bring your own, and cycle the extensive paths that meandering through the Valley floor. Cast off in a raft and enjoy a gentle ride on the Merced River. Or express your creative side in an outdoor watercolor workshop. A range of seasonal and year-round outdoor activities, entertaining tours, and world-class visitor centers and museums await valley visitors.
Options for every group, at every price level.
Where you lay your head at night is as much a part of your Yosemite experience as your daytime activities. Snag stellar deals and book rooms, campsites, and cabins to fit any budget. Discover the perfect lodging option for your interest and budget on our Places to Stay page.
Directions to Yosemite Valley.
Highways 120 and 41 make a beeline for the Valley through the park’s west and southern entrances. Highway 132 joins Highway 120 shortly before the north entrance and connects to the Valley via a support road. Take one highway in and another on the way out to maximize your views!
The general entrance fee is $20 per car, providing a week of unlimited entrances and exit privileges.
Visit our Travel Tools page to find tips on when to go, entrance gate information, and mileage charts. Plan your route with our interactive map to include the best roadside attractions, lodging, dining, and more!
Once in the Valley, many visitors find it easiest to leave their car in the lot.
Shuttle: Free shuttles make frequent trips between valley features and amenities, including Yosemite Village, Half Dome Village & Happy Isles. Buses also reach destinations throughout the park, including Glacier Point, Wawona, and Tuolumne Meadows, though some of these routes charge a fee. Some destinations are not available in winter. For more information and to view schedules, visit the Yosemite Bus page.
Bike: Whether you brought your own bicycle or plan to rent inside the park, smooth paths and flat trails make bikes a favorite method of valley travel. More than eight miles of paved paths and the highways offer plenty of routes. Learn about rentals, paths, and biking rules.