Yosemite park: plan your visit

Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful protected natural areas in the world.  It is found in the federal state of California, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.  The park is one of the most frequented in the United States, visited every year by more than 5 million people. Being full of extraordinary natural beauty, dotted with high cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, giant trees, and streams.


Mariposa Grove
Mariposa Grove


Being such a vast area there are various ways to reach it, starting from the airports:

  • Fresno-Yosemite International (FAT) = Driving time: 1.5 hours to Wawona (2.5 hours to Yosemite Valley). Public transportation: May 15 to September 15 only to Wawona and Yosemite Valley via YARTS; all year via Amtrak or Greyhound (through Merced)
  • Oakland International (OAK) =  Driving time: 3.5 hours to Yosemite Valley. Public transportation: All year via Amtrak or Greyhound.
  • Sacramento International (SMF) = Driving time: 3.5 hours to Yosemite Valley. Public transportation: All year via Amtrak or Greyhound.
  • San José International (SJC) = Driving time: four hours to Yosemite Valley. Public transportation: All year via Amtrak or Greyhound.
  • San Francisco International (SFO) = Driving time: four hours to Yosemite Valley Public transportation: All year via Amtrak or Greyhound.

The aforementioned airports have public transport that will take you to the park, but I personally recommend that you rent a car. It is the best option you will be free, and you can organize your stay much better. All the information about the transports here!


Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley


You can pay the entrance fee or purchase an annual or lifetime pass at any park entrance station. All park entrances (except Hetch Hetchy) are open 24 hours per day. You can pay on the way out. There are 2 principal options for the entrance:

Seven-day pass =  Non-commercial car, pickup truck, RV, or van with 15 or fewer passenger seats $ 35 per vehicle (no per-person fee),  $ 30 per motorcycle (no per-person fee). Foot, bicycle, horse, or non-commercial bus or van with more than 15 passenger seats $ 20 for a person aged 16 or older.

Annual pass ($ 70) = providing free entrance to Yosemite for 12 months from the date of purchase.
Annual pass covering entrance and standard amenity fees for national parks and other federal fee areas.  valid for 12 months from date of purchase. This replaces the National Parks Pass and Golden Eagle Pass.
They accept cash, checks, traveler’s checks, and credit/debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover).

Free Entrance Days:
Monday, January 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
Saturday, April 20 (First day of National Park Week)
Saturday, September 28 (National Public Lands Day)
Monday, November 11 (Veterans Day)


Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite
Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite



Yosemite, but we strongly recommend that you make reservations for camping or lodging if you plan to spend the night. I chose to stay at the Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite. The Evergreen Lodge is located in the center of Yosemite park, the nearest airport is Oakland (OAK) or San Francisco International Airport.

The Evergreen Lodge offers two types of accommodation, tent or cabin. Everything depends on your budget, I personally preferred the tent for economic themes, price 60 € per night/person with breakfast included (very good breakfast). Remember to bring your swimsuit, as we have a pool and a hot tub open year round, weather permitting! In case you forgot, they also sell costumes for men, women, and children in the gift shop. Read more here!

In case your budget is much higher, I highly recommend The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. This iconic 1927 historic hotel is located in a valley overlooking Half Dome, Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls and 1.5 miles from the city of Yosemite.


The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Now discover Yosemite Park what to do post!

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