Using public transit to get to Yosemite can be an affordable, sustainable, and more relaxing way to see the area. There are several Yosemite transportation 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. View our Road Conditions page for more information on gateways to Yosemite and winter travel.
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 Yosemite transportation 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.
[Note: due to COVID-19, the free shuttle buses in Yosemite are not operating in 2020]
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.
From San Francisco, eco-friendly transportation by AMTRAK train and YARTS bus can be arranged by California Pacific Excursions if you have booked you own hotel rooms in Mariposa, El Portal or Yosemite Valley.
Learn more at California Pacific Excursions or call 1-415-228-9865
Private charter planes can fly into an airport just a few miles from downtown Mariposa at the Mariposa / Yosemite Airport (KMPI).
For commercial flights, the closest airports to Yosemite Valley are Merced Regional Airport (MCE), Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT), or Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH). Merced Regional Airport is the closest to Yosemite Valley and has very affordable rates but it only caters to those flying to or from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Oakland International Airport (OAK). The Mammoth Yosemite Airport has access to Yosemite via the Tioga Pass Entrance between June – October when Tioga Pass is open.
If flying into Merced Regional Airport, you can rent a car or take the YARTS bus from Merced to the closest lodging to Yosemite in Mariposa, Midpines, El Portal and Yosemite Valley along State Highway 140. You can rent a car or take the YARTS bus from Fresno to lodging in Fishcamp, Wawona and Yosemite Valley along State Highway 41.
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 it 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 article on how to get to Yosemite from BART.