Getting To Yosemite National Park (Best Options)
Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevadas is a popular tourist destination due to the area's beautiful scenery and rich ecosystem. Explore Yosemite National Park with this guide to the park's entrances, neighboring communities, and surrounding airports.
Arch Rock Entrance
Image from Flickr by vera
You can enter Yosemite Valley, home of El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls, quickly from this Highway 140 entrance. It's the quickest way from the town of Mariposa and offers breathtaking views of the valley.
Big Oak Flat Entrance
From here, you can access the beautiful Tioga Road area, including Tuolumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake. Or you can continue towards Yosemite Valley. Visitors from the San Francisco Bay Area tend to favor it.
You can reach the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove by taking Highway 41. This woodland is home to the world's oldest and largest surviving trees. Travelers from Fresno and Southern California appreciate the easy access - from Los Angeles, it's 280 miles and about a 5-hour drive.
Hetch Hetchy Entrance
Image from Flickr by Laura Jolly
This entry is located at the park's northernmost tip, along Highway 120. It provides access to an equally beautiful area of the park. Hetch Hetchy Valley is a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful reservoir, hiking trails, and tranquil atmosphere.
Tioga Pass Entrance
Tioga Road is a beautiful drive across the Sierra Nevada mountains that provides access to the park's highland. From this entrance, you can access a scenic route that winds through the stunning alpine landscapes of the Sierra Nevada.
Towns and Cities Nearby Yosemite National Park
There are a variety of small towns on the outskirts of Yosemite where you can base your stay. Check out the list below for nearby towns.
Small Towns Near Yosemite
Mariposa is ideally situated as a park entry. Tourists can refuel and relax in Mariposa before continuing on to Yosemite's breathtaking scenery. Mariposa has a charming downtown area with a variety of hotels and restaurants perfect for visitors. Even though it's a bit of a drive from the park, it's a better alternative than some of the smaller towns because there are more lodging and dining options.
El Portal is a little town with housing and dining options close to the Arch Rock entrance. You're at a great spot to discover Yosemite Valley and the surrounding area.
Groveland is home to numerous quaint stores, cafes, and hotels due to its convenient location on the way to the Big Oak Flat and Hetch Hetchy entrances.
It's easy to find lodging, food, and retail options in Oakhurst, which is close to the South Entrance. From this location, you may quickly reach Mariposa Grove and the southern portion of the park.
The little alpine community of Fish Camp can be found just south of Yosemite National Park's South gate. Those planning to explore Sequoia National Park should stay in Fish Camp because of its convenient location near the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. This tiny town has campgrounds for its visitors.
This quaint town near Yosemite's Tioga Pass entrance is an excellent home base for exploring the park's high altitude landscapes.
Major Cities Near Yosemite
International airports may be found in San Francisco, which is about 190 miles west of the park. It takes about three to four hours to drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, depending on the weather and traffic.
You can also fly into Oakland Airport, which is located around 180 miles west of Yosemite. Driving from the airport to the park takes about three to four hours. Cars are available for rent right at the hotel.
Approximately 140 miles north of Yosemite National Park is the international airport in Sacramento. Travel time from Sacramento to the park is around 2.5–3.5 hours.
Los Angeles is 280 miles south of Yosemite. It can take as long as six hours to get from Los Angeles to the park due to the awful traffic in the area.
Fresno Airport is the closest major airport, located 65 miles south of Yosemite National Park. It will take you about 2 hours to drive from the airport to the park.
Enjoy the Park
You can have a wonderful day exploring Yosemite's natural treasures no matter how you get there. Our Yosemite National Park Tour will ensure that you don't miss a thing on your next trip.
Ready to take the tour? Check out Shaka Guide's Yosemite National Park!
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