Traffic in Yosemite National Park

 

Each year, Yosemite National Park welcomes over four million visitors. If you’re visiting Yosemite—particularly Yosemite Valley—in summer, expect extremely high visitor concentrations, resulting in extended traffic delays, extremely limited parking, busy trails, and no lodging or campground availability. Expect delays of an hour or more at entrance stations and up to two to three hours in Yosemite Valley. If you are planning to visit Yosemite, plan ahead and arrive early in the morning. You may also experience delays and difficulty finding parking from spring through fall, especially on weekends and around holidays.

The following information applies May through September, and on weekends and holidays during spring and fall.

Top Travel Recommendations

  • Arrive early and stay late, and visit Yosemite during the week instead of on weekends.
  • Ride a YARTS bus to enter the park.
  • If you drive, park your car for the duration of your stay. Driving from site to site increases traffic congestion and can cause frustration for you and your passengers.
  • Ride free shuttles to enjoy Yosemite Valley, once parked.
  • Bring plenty of food and water for potential delays and stop and use restrooms when they are available.
  • Enjoy the entire Yosemite region—consider visiting gateway communities, such as Mariposa, Groveland, Lee Vining, and Oakhurst.
 
 
Two lanes of traffic with cars and a standstill from foreground to background
Traffic in Yosemite Valley can back up for miles once parking lots fill.

Yosemite Valley

If you are planning to visit Yosemite Valley by car for the day, arrive before 9 am, after which parking is usually full.

Parking is available at Yosemite Village, Half Dome Village (formerly 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.

Once all parking in Yosemite Valley is full, you may be redirected to other areas (which will also have limited parking).

 
Three lines of cars waiting at a checkpoint
When parking fills at Glacier Point, the Glacier Point Road may close at Badger Pass or Chinquapin until space is available at the Glacier Point parking lot.

Visiting Glacier Point

If you are planning to visit Glacier Point (typically open May to November), 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).

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 (typically open late May or June to November), arrive by 10 am. Parking in Tuolumne Meadows is limited and roadside parking is prohibited in certain areas. Do not park on vegetation. Other than 30-minute parking at the visitor center, the most parking is available near Lembert Dome. Park at appropriate designated trailheads if you plan on hiking. Once parked, use the shuttle that operates along Tioga Road from Olmsted Point and Tenaya Lake to Tioga Pass (typically mid-June through early September). If you have a reservation at the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge or the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, please park your car there and use the free shuttle.

YARTS and the Tuolumne Meadows Tour and Hikers' Bus provide bus service between Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley.

 
A long line of cars queued at entrance station

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 mid-March through mid-October, 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 Hetchy

From 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: June 15, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200

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