Each year, Yosemite National Park welcomes over four million visitors. If you’re visiting Yosemite—particularly Yosemite Valley—during spring or fall when reservations aren't required, expect extremely high visitor concentrations, resulting in extended traffic delays, extremely limited parking, busy trails, and no lodging or campground availability. Any time spring through fall, half-hour delays are possible at entrance stations (possibly longer in spring and fall when reservations aren't required to drive into the park). It's best to arrive before mid-morning or in the early afternoon to avoid delays.
The following information applies May through September, and on weekends and holidays during spring and fall.
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If you are planning to visit Yosemite Valley by car for the day in spring or fall when reservations aren't required to drive into the park, arrive before 9 am, after which parking is usually full. If you arrive after 9 am on weekends—especially Saturdays and holiday weekends—be prepared for multiple delays followed by inability to find a place to park.
Parking is available at Yosemite Village, Curry Village, and near Yosemite Falls. If you find a parking space, plan to leave your car there; you will not be able to find another parking spot. Use the free shuttle to get around Yosemite Valley. If you have lodging or campground reservations, park your car at your lodge or campground and use the shuttles to get around. Do not create a new roadside or off-road parking space; violators may be towed and/or cited.
Once all parking in Yosemite Valley is full, you may be redirected to other areas (which will also have limited parking).
Visiting Glacier Point
If you are planning to visit Glacier Point (typically open May to November, but opening later than usual in 2023), plan to arrive by 9 am. If the parking lot is full, you may experience delays up to two hours.
As an alternative, you can join a guided bus tour with a round-trip and one-way option (reservations strongly recommended).
During summer, you can also hike to Glacier Point from Yosemite Valley via the Four Mile Trail or the Panorama Trail. Plan for a long day of hiking if you choose to hike!
Visiting Tuolumne Meadows
If you plan to take a day trip to Tuolumne Meadows (when the Tioga Road is open, May or June through November, but opening later in 2023), try to arrive by 10 am. Parking in Tuolumne Meadows is limited and roadside parking is prohibited. In 2022, many parking lots were under construction, so be prepared to park in a different location than you might have planned. Do not park on vegetation. You can park for 30-minutes at the visitor center, and for the Soda Springs walk, there is a new parking lot just east of the visitor center. There is also parking available near Lembert Dome and a large parking lot at the Dog Lake/Lyell Canyon trailhead.
YARTS and the Tuolumne Meadows Tour and Hikers' Bus provide bus service between Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley.
Visiting Wawona and the Mariposa Grove
If you are planning a day trip to southern Yosemite, you might be looking to visit the Mariposa Grove. To visit the grove, park at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza near South Entrance. From the welcome plaza, you'll take the free shuttle into the grove. The shuttle operates from April through mid-October (but probably won't start until July in 2023), conditions permitting. Hours vary depending on time of year. The welcome plaza has about 300 parking spaces and may fill up by late morning. Arrive by mid-morning to increase chances of finding a place to park.
From approximately May through September a YARTS bus travels through the southern corridor of the park with a stop near South Entrance, providing access to the grove via the shuttle. The frequency of stops on this route is limited, so plan accordingly. The Grand Tour, an all-day tour starting in Yosemite Valley, also includes a visit to the Mariposa Grove. There is no other public transportation to southern Yosemite.
Visiting Hetch HetchyFrom May through July, particularly on weekends, parking lots may fill, causing brief delays at Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station.
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Each year, Yosemite National Park welcomes over four million visitors. If you are planning to visit Yosemite, plan ahead and arrive early. In summer, expect extended traffic delays and extremely limited parking. Expect delays of an hour or more at entrance stations and two to three hours in Yosemite Valley.
Last updated: April 13, 2023