Planning your trip to Yosemite is easy
Whether you are planning your first trip to Yosemite or your next visit we want to make sure you have all the travel tools to get you to one of the greatest places on earth, Yosemite! From printable maps to interactive maps where you can choose what you want to see or do we’ve got you covered. You will find everything you need to make your planning easy! Start by selecting one of the options below to get started and don’t forget to stop by and say hi or join the Yosemite Nation and share your experience!
Yosemite Vacation Planner
Yosemite’s vacation planner is a great way to review a lot of what Yosemite has to offer. Visit the Yosemite Vacation Planner page to view our planner online.
The Trip Planner is where you can add all of your interests by simply clicking the “Add to Itinerary” button at the top of each interest page. Visit the Trip Planner page to find out more information.
Gateways to Yosemite
Entering into Yosemite through one Highway and leaving out another is a great way to see new parts of Yosemite. Visit the Gateways to Yosemite page to read and see about Yosemite’s highways.
Want to look up a specific interest such as the visitors center, hotels, shopping or fishing? Choose your choice of interest and location by visiting the Interactive Map page.
Weather conditions are always important to know before visiting Yosemite. You can view the road and weather conditions by visiting the Road Conditions and Weather page.
Driving through Yosemite can be an amazing experience, although when in heavy traffic, the scenic routes can interrupt this peaceful drive. Schedule to enter the park at non-peek hours by viewing the NPS Traffic Forecast.
Before entering Yosemite, you can fill up with gas in Mariposa or Fish Camp. There are no longer any service stations in Yosemite Valley and gas is not available. The nearest gas to be pumped is in El Portal on Highway 140 (13 miles). There are also stations at Crane Flat on the Big Oak Flat Road (15 miles), and in Wawona on the Wawona Road (27 miles). Plan ahead and be sure you have plenty of gas before you drive into the valley.
A repair garage is open all year behind the Yosemite Village Store. A towing service is available 24 hours a day by calling 372-8390.
Visit the Wilderness Center
At the Wilderness Center, just east of the Visitor Center on the pedestrian mall in Yosemite Valley, detailed information is available about the park’s wilderness, there are educational displays, a trip planning section is provided, and guidebooks, maps and backpacker supplies are offered for sale. For additional information, visit the NPS wilderness information website at www.nps.gov/yose/wilderness
Key Phone Numbers
Wilderness permit reservations
Current wilderness conditions
For more information about making a reservation or obtaining a permit call (209)372-0310.
Treat the Water
Unfortunately, microscopic organisms known as Giardia lamblia are present in wilderness lakes, rivers and streams. They can cause illness (sometimes quite severe), so you should not drink from these sources without first treating the water. Your options are to boil it for three minutes, to use a chemical disinfectant like iodine or chlorine (less effective than boiling), or to use a Giardia-rated water filter available from outdoor equipment stores, at the Wilderness Center, or from the Yosemite Store online at www.yosemitestore.com.
Many wilderness trips begin at elevations much higher than you may be accustomed to and then go even higher. It’s a good idea to arrive a day early to let your body adapt to the thinner air. Don’t over-exert, and drink plenty of fluids to avoid altitude sickness.
Bear Proof Your Campsite
Yosemite’s black bears are clever and very persistent. If you fail to set up your camp and store your food properly, your whole trip an be ruined. Always follow these six steps:
1. Use the food storage boxes at your trailhead for keeping any food that you will not be taking on your backpack trip. Never leave food or food-related supplies in vehicles left overnight at trailheads.
2. Store your food in a bear-resistant food storage container. Weighing just 2.9 pounds and holding from 5 to 7 days worth of food for 1 person, the canisters are strongly encouraged by the National Park Service, and required above 9,600 feet. They are for sale and rent at the Wilderness Center, the Curry Village Mountain Shop, and the Village Sports Shop in Yosemite Valley, at the Crane Flat Store, at the Tuolumne Reservation Cabin and the Mountaineering School in Tuolumne Meadows, at the Wawona Information Station and the Wawona Store, at the Big Oak Flat Information Station, and at the Hetch Hetchy Information Station.
3. Hang your food and anything with an odor as instructed by the NPS if you don’t use a canister. Hang pots and pans from food bags as an alarm. Sleep 20 to 30 feet from where you hang items so you can hear the bear and scare it away as quickly as possible.
4. If a bear approaches you camp, act immediately to scare it away. Yell and make as much noise as possible. Throw small rocks no larger than golf balls at the bear. Make noise and chase the bear. Multiple people chasing a bear increases effectiveness.
5. Always maintain a distance. Do not advance on a bear that appears to feel threatened or cornered by you. Do not attempt to retrieve food or gear from a a bear until the item is abandoned.
6. Food taken by bears is your responsibility. Please clean up and report all bear damage to a ranger. Improper food storage can result in the killing of conditioned bears, personal injury, and property loss. Please do your part to keep Yosemite’s bears wild.
What Can I Do With My Children
Though just being in Yosemite should be enough to keep young people occupied and engaged, there are lots of activities and programs that will enhance their visit to the park. During your stay, be sure to check the Yosemite Today newspaper for scheduled events that are specially designed for kids.
Take a Hike
With just about every park locale offering flat to moderate walking, a family hike is a great way to burn youthful energy and to reach undeveloped, uncrowded spots with remarkable views and natural beauty. Take a picnic and make a day of it!
Enjoy a Bike Ride
The best park bicycle riding is in Yosemite Valley, which features miles of bike trails. Bring your own, or rent bicycles at Yosemite Lodge or Curry Village. Don’t forget your helmets.
Visit Happy Isles
The Nature Center at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley is devoted to kids, with wildlife exhibits, nightlife display and a number of other presentations. There are books for sale and “Explorer Packs” on a variety of topics can be checked out. They include activities for children designed to help them learn more about the natural world they live in.
Help Them Become Junior Rangers
Explore the Indian Gallery and Garden
Take in a Campfire Program
Winter Activities for kids
Engage in Snow Play
Go Skiing or Snowboarding
Visit the Skating Rink
Snowshoe with a Ranger
Where In The Park Can I Find….???