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Getting Around Yosemite National Park

Getting Around Yosemite National Park

Shuttles and tram tours make it easy

Want someone else to drive you around Yosemite? Smart idea. The park offers a wide range of public transportation, from free shuttle buses to fee-based tours. Free shuttles run throughout Yosemite Valley daily (until 10 p.m. in summer), shorter hours in winter. Simply hop on the shuttles at any one of 19 stops; buses run about every 10 to 20 minutes. Free shuttle buses also access Highway 120, the Tioga Pass Road, in summer. (Ed. note: If you do plan drive to Yosemite yourself, before leaving it’s advised to check the park's Current Conditions. There can be road closures due to snow, flooding, and other weather conditions.)

The park’s most popular fee-based tour is the year-round Valley Floor Tour, a two-hour, 26-mile trip through Yosemite Valley, offering easy viewing of famous sights like Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Falls. A guide narrates the tour while you sit in an open-air tram and enjoy unobstructed views. (In winter, the tour takes place in an enclosed bus.) Other routes access Glacier Point, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, and Tuolumne Meadows. Great tip for hikers: Take the bus to Glacier Point or Tuolumne Meadows, then hike back to the valley.

To really leave the driving to someone else, consider getting to the park via public transit. The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) operates year-round on Highway 140 out of Merced, with summer service from the north in Sonora and from the east in Mammoth Lakes. Each route has multiple stops, including in gateway towns. If you plan on making your way to the park directly from an area airport, nearly all of them have Amtrak or Greyhound lines that serve Yosemite; those that don’t (Mammoth Yosemite and Merced airports) have YARTS service. Once you arrive at Yosemite, you can use the park’s shuttle system.


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