Yosemite is always beautiful, but it’s popularity can mean that you have to be strategic about visiting to enjoy it, particularly in the summer months.
Yosemite National Park anticipates an extremely busy Memorial Day weekend. The park expects high visitation, especially from Friday to Monday. Visitors are encouraged to arrive at Yosemite before 9:00 am or after 4:00 pm, after these times you should definitely plan to have a difficult time finding parking.
Once you get in the Valley, plan to park your car at the Yosemite Village, Yosemite Falls, or Curry Village parking areas and enjoy Yosemite Valley by using the free shuttle bus service, bike paths, and hiking trails. Parking in Yosemite Valley is limited and parking is expected to fill early.
The best way to see the park is by bike or walking, do not plan to drive around the valley in summer. You can rent cruiser bikes with trailers for children or rent an electric wheelchair for those who need mobility assistance.
Lodging and Camping
All campgrounds on the reservation system sell out for the weekend early. While there are first-come, first-served campgrounds, they will most certainly fill early. Consider campground and lodging options in the gateway communities surrounding the park and plan to take the bus in to avoid parking.
Additional Tips for Enjoying Yosemite in Summer
Plan trips during the mid-week – Yosemite Valley is most popular on weekends and holidays which can mean traffic congestion. Fewer visitors arrive Monday through Friday.
Arrive before 9:00 a.m. Most vehicle congestion occurs during the middle of the day. If you can’t arrive early, try after 4 p.m.
Take YARTS – YARTS is the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (www.yarts.com). YARTS picks up passengers at multiple locations along Highway 140 (from Merced) and along Highway 120 (from Sonora and Mammoth Lakes), and along Highway 41 (beginning in Fresno). YARTS buses provide multiple drop-off locations throughout the park and in Yosemite Valley. Once visitors are in Yosemite Valley, they can enjoy the free shuttle throughout the valley or simply walk, to enjoy many of park’s most famous sites and destinations.
Explore lesser known areas of Yosemite – Yosemite National Park is a big park with a lot of offer. Consider visiting other areas outside of Yosemite Valley that are just a beautiful. Visitors can explore such areas as Hetch Hetchy and Wawona.
Yosemite is open year round. The best times to experience the park is in the late fall, winter, and early spring.
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Discover the best birding locations in Yosemite Mariposa County. Birdwatchers love the wide variety of species found in Yosemite Mariposa County, from the clear piping of the Black-capped Chickadees that fill the air to rare species like the Phainopepla. Grab your binoculars and come to see the birds in Mariposa County.
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