• Rainbow over Half Dome


    National Park California

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a reservation to visit Yosemite?
No, you don't need a reservation to visit Yosemite. However, if you plan to spend the night in Yosemite, you should have a reservation for lodging, camping, or backpacking. (Hookups are not available in any Yosemite campgrounds.)

I've heard that there is hantavirus in Yosemite. What do I need to know?
We now have answers to frequently asked questions about hantavirus.

Are there vehicle restrictions in Yosemite?
You can drive your car into and around Yosemite (shuttle buses are not mandatory).

Some roads have vehicle length restrictions and others close seasonally.

Will I need to bring tire chains?
Tire chains may be required in fall, winter, and spring due to snowy or icy conditions.

How do I get to Yosemite?
You can find driving directions here.

Will the Tioga Road be open?
The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) is open approximately late May through October, though these dates vary depending on conditions. You can see a list of opening and closing dates since 1980.

When do the Half Dome cables go up and come down?
The Half Dome cables are installed immediately before Memorial Day weekend, but this can vary depending on conditions and trail crew availability. The cables usually remain up through Columbus Day (in October). A permit is required to hike Half Dome. The National Park Service strongly discourages hikers from attempting the cable route when the cables are down. Learn more about the Half Dome hike.

Where and when can I see Horsetail Fall, the waterfall that resembles the Firefall?
Horsetail Fall is visible in winter and early spring in Yosemite Valley and it can glow orange during sunset in mid to late February. (more...)

Where and when can I see frazil ice?
Frazil ice forms along Yosemite Creek, and some other creeks in Yosemite Valley, most commonly in March and April. The phenomenon is entirely weather-dependent, so it's difficult to know when exactly it may happen (or if it will happen at all). (more...)

What is there to see in Yosemite?
You can find a list of attractions in Yosemite here.

What is there to do in Yosemite?
You can find a list of activities here.

When is the best time of year to visit Yosemite?
It depends what you're looking for! While most people visit Yosemite during summer, there are advantages to visiting throughout the year. You can find more information here.

How can I protect bears from my food (and my food from bears)?
Yosemite's bears are always searching for food and consider anything that looks like or smells like food to be food. Learn how to store your food while visiting Yosemite.

Can I bring my pet to Yosemite?
Pets are allowed in Yosemite, but with some restrictions. You can find more information here.

Is Internet access available in Yosemite?
Internet kiosks and wi-fi are both available. You can find more information here.

Will my cell phone work in Yosemite?
AT&T: Voice and 3G (4G HSPA+) data service are available in parts of Yosemite Valley Voice and EDGE data service are available at Tuolumne Meadows.

Verizon Wireless:
Voice and 3G data service are available in parts of Yosemite Valley and El Portal. Voice and 1x data service are available in Tuolumne Meadows, Crane Flat, and Wawona. (Service in Yosemite is provided by Golden State Cellular; data roaming must be enabled on your phone to use data.)

If you have any information to add, please let us know.

How can I get a job or find volunteer work at Yosemite?
A variety of organizations hire employees and volunteers to work in Yosemite. Learn more about jobs, internships, or volunteer positions.

Do you have a question that's not answered here? Send us an email and we'll consider adding it to this list.

Did You Know?