driving directions to the Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park

road map of Yosemite National park area


simple map


The park service page with very basic directions to Yosemite National Park from the west, north and south (some routes only available June through October, conditions permitting), is at:



Once you are in Yosemite Valley, directions to get to the Ahwahnee hotel from any/all roads/entrances to Yosemite Valley
are after these next notes at this page about

things to do before you leave,

gas availability

and the park entrance fees.

a strip of Yosemite granite


Possible delays due to road work or completely closed roads are at: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/roadwork.htm “Work is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment and/or materials, and/or construction-related issues. Please drive carefully and watch for warning signs, workers and equipment in the roadway.”

man standing in front of road closed barrier

The National Weather Service has a map of predicted fog severity at:

https://www.weather.gov/hnx/HNXFogSI.html This below is not the current one, but just an example and the one at the webpage is much easier to read:

NWS map of central California with potential severity of fog density

The National Weather Service has an expected snow fall map at: https://www.weather.gov/hnx/winter

The one below is not current, but is offered as an example:

sample map of expected snowfall in California

Just before you leave, call 1 800 427-7623. It is voice activated, so say 140 or 580/205/120 or whatever highway number for road conditions, detours, etc. The Yosemite road and weather phone message is 1 (209) 372-0200.


CALL the road info number before you leave town, and perhaps again during your drive!

Besides rock slide closures, hazardous tree removal or road paving may be planned along your route.

Below rockfall during a January storm:

huge chucks of rock on roadway

The Park service has noted: “drivers are reminded of the greater likelihood of encountering rock debris on park roads during wet weather. Although rockfalls are always possible along all park roadways, they tend to happen more often during winter storms. . .
If you encounter small rock debris on the road, drive through the area (do not stop within the debris) and promptly report it to Park Dispatch. Do not attempt to remove the debris yourself – leave that task to road crews equipped to do so safely. If you encounter large rock debris on the road, turn around and promptly report it to Park Dispatch.”

Having a at least half full gas tank gives you a better opportunity to change routes, idle, drive slowly or turn back, and especially to turn around and take another route if you do not find out about a road closure before you leave town or if it becomes closed when you are already on your way to the park.


The park can’t put up signs warning of every weather related hazard, so moderate speed driving is always recommended, and it is wise to turn off cruise control when the roads are wet.


long crack in pavement on highway

When Big Oak Flat Road in Yosemite National Park was closed in May 2023,
“the road has a crack that is about 200 feet long and up to four feet deep. The road surface has moved two to three inches vertically and horizontally and is continuing to move. The embankment below the road has moved as much as 15 feet downslope and has significant water flow through it. It is not safe to open the road even to limited traffic, and doing so would likely lead to additional road failure.”

And after some repairs, the road had three single-lane sections controlled by traffic lights.

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car tires with chains on them

(Very rarely) there can be enough snowfall in one storm to temporarily close all roads into Yosemite Valley
and it can take one or more days to clear all the roads, (140 is usually cleared before 120.)

Below an entrance station:

snow covered entrance station, road not plowed

sign travel safety advisory

row of rocks carved into brick shapes

The closest gas stations to the Ahwahnee are in El Portal just outside the park ( 15 miles – 30 minutes from the hotel) or within the park at Crane Flat (16 miles – 30 minutes from Yosemite valley) or Wawona (28 miles – about an hour from Yosemite Valley), each 24 hours with credit or debit card at the pump, IF the pumps are functioning.
(Rarely the gas pumps are not available, for example during a Planned PG&E Power Outage, or when they are doing an Air Pollution Control Test, or when Mariposa County inspects the fuel tanks a downtime of 2 or 3 or 4 hours can be expected and when Fuel bank systems are being upgraded stations will not be open for business on the day of installation. When repairs are needed, downtime can be days “pending the arrival of replacement parts,” or they might be, for example, “currently out of 87 octane gasoline. 91 octane and diesel are both still available. We are expecting a delivery tomorrow and the gas pumps should resume normal operation.”)

There are no gas stations in Yosemite valley. If you run out of gas or almost run out of gas in Yosemite valley, and would not be able to get to the nearby-but-not-close gas stations listed above, the garage often has 5 gallon containers of gas to sell AAA / CSAA members.

The Yosemite garage can handle most minor emergency repairs such as battery charge, radiators, water pumps, brakes and tire repairs, (IF they happen to have a needed part in stock, otherwise they will have to order it or you will need to look for help elsewhere, which could include expensive towing out of the park, so people are advised to check everything that powers, stops, cools, heats, ventilates and lights their vehicle before they leave on an adventure. Check the windshield wipers, defroster, exhaust system, antifreeze level and tire pressure. Perhaps consult Prepare for winter driving which has a link to bad weather driving tips, tips for using tire chains, tricks for dealing with frozen car locks, how to prepare your vehicle for winter driving, how to de-fog the windows, a winter survival kit for your car and what to do if you get stranded. Don’t have tire chains? Yosemite requires them in the winter (and even in the spring or fall). Try: Snow chain rentals and see: Safe driving in rain and fog.

–In the winter, keep at least a half-full gas tank (to prevent gas line freezeup). Why? Any space above the gas in the tank has moist air in it. In the cold, especially overnight, that can condense into water. The water will sink to the bottom of the tank and if enough builds up it can end up going to your fuel line and cause hard starting or even block the fuel line completely.

This warning from Canada can apply to any long-distance drive: “Visitors to large cities and popular tourist destinations should be aware that parked cars are regularly targeted for opportunistic smash-and-grab thefts, and they are cautioned to avoid leaving any unattended possessions in a vehicle, even in the trunk. Due to the high incidence of such crimes, motorists in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and some other jurisdictions can be fined for leaving their car doors unlocked or for leaving valuables in view. Visitors should exercise precaution to safeguard their property.”

Another source mentioned smashed windows when car thieves target property left in plain sight
such as luggage, purses, electronics, laptops, tablets, and even expensive sunglasses.

sign that says please do not leave valuables in your car

stars, including part of the Milky Way

Yosemite Park entrance fees:

You will need to pay a park entrance fee. The Yosemite park (valid for seven consecutive days) entrance fee as of early 2024, is $35 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle.

A Yosemite annual park pass will cost $70.

A National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Interagency annual pass costs $80 for a year.

OR find someone who is an active duty U.S. military member or dependent and has their ID Card (CAC card or form 1173) and can get a free national parks pass https://store.usgs.gov/MilitaryPass

OR someone who is 62 or over to get a lifetime seniors pass for $80.

Current park entrance fee details are at: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/fees.htm

(The passes can’t be transferred/shared, the pass holder needs to be in your vehicle and show a photo ID.)

cell phone shape says do not reply on your cell phoneYour cell phone will not function in a lot of Yosemite. During times that you need to have a reservation to enter the park, you would have wanted to print the reservation for your hotel (or campsite, etc.) stay and bring it with you, along with your photo ID, to show the ranger at the entrance station.

carved wood ceiling beam

DIRECTIONS to get to the Ahwahnee hotel

All the signs, roadways, etc. shown below could change without notice, so take a look before you make any turns.

Sometimes one or more roads are closed suddenly due to a rock fall / mud slide that needs to be cleared. Roads that were two lanes in the same one-way direction can need to be designated as two-way. Watch for signage and please be assured that some drivers will not notice the changes, even with multiple signs. (There was a large sign with flashing lights at the beginning of this section of road designating this change and then four of these yellow double arrow signs alongside the road on both sides. We watched multiple vehicles drive in the wrong lane for part or all of this section of road.)

two way road sign with large arrows and car in wrong lane

thin line of various colors of rocks

Roads in Yosemite valley were changed considerably during the Yosemite Valley Circulation Pilot.

In some areas, roads are quite different than previously (example: some two way roads are now only one way), and people could find themselves taking a wrong route in the valley

that could add at least a half-hour to their travel time.

And note what it says at:

“Any time spring through fall, one- to four-hour delays are possible at entrance stations. It’s best to arrive by 8 am or in the afternoon to avoid delays.”

The Yosemite Conservancy sent an email to donors:

“If you do choose to brave the crowds, be sure to sign up for the park’s new traffic alerts by texting YNPTraffic to 333111.
The system provides real-time updates on parking and traffic diversions in Yosemite Valley.”

Examples of updates:

On the Friday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend: “YOSEMITE: Help us maintain emergency access by parking in designated spots. Vehicles in the roadway will be towed and/or cited”

“YOSEMITE: Curry parking full. Parking may be available at Yosemite Falls parking area. Park only in designated spaces.”

“YOSEMITE: East Yosemite Valley is closed. Vehicles are being turned around near El Capitan. Watch for pedestrians.”

When Yosemite valley parking lots fill, here is a park service map of how incoming traffic was redirected:

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map with roads above and below river

In the map above, after 120 and 140 meet in the valley, along the top road shown on the left, you cross the river on the Pohono bridge and the road becomes a giant one way loop from the west end of the valley to the east end (unless there has been a rockfall on part of it, or if the park is doing road repairs on the outgoing part of the loop, then it could be two-way). Just before the bridge, coming towards you from the left is Northside Drive (usually) one-way. Don’t be one of the people who does not see the signs telling them to not drive on Northside Drive.

Southside Drive runs almost the length of Yosemite valley, in a one way direction west-to-east, as outlined in red in the map section below:
simple map

or as seen in this drawing
drawn map

You can see a full sized copy of this drawing at  https://npgallery.nps.gov/HFC/AssetDetail/1fe70b41-8920-4744-a1b6-203c12fe84eb


After crossing the bridge, as you go along the next section you will catch glimpses of the Merced River on your left:

river trees and edge of road


If you are in the right hand lane you might find room for your vehicle in a small turnout on the right to see Fern Spring:

spring flowing in steps down a slope


Along the upcoming section of road is a John Muir display many people look for in Yosemite, a sign at a turnout on southside drive where John Muir camped with Theodore Roosevelt. The park service wrote about their camping trip together: “Roosevelt had sent Muir a letter asking to meet him in Yosemite: “I want to drop politics absolutely for four days and just be out in the open with you.” At their meeting, Muir spoke of environmental degradation, like development, and asked for another layer of protection as a national park to improve management. Muir convinced both Roosevelt and California Governor George Pardee, on that excursion, to recede the state grant and make the Valley and the Mariposa Grove part of Yosemite National Park.” This was the start of Yosemite National Park.

This signsign at Roosevelt turnout in Yosemite is at a turnout on the right hand side of Southside drive, 0.45 miles east of Pohono Bridge, where Southside Drive first comes away from the river.

map with river and roads

and see also how to find the location of John Muir’s cabin (hang nest) and sawmill in Yosemite Valley.


A little later, from the right, the road (highway 41) from Oakhurst/to Badger Pass “Wawona Road” on the map above, joins this route.

Taking a brief stop on the Wawona road if it is your route, (or taking a side trip up the Wawona Road if you took 120 or 140) to Tunnel View (see pictures below) can be quite worthwhile especially if you are coming into the park in daylight.

road map with Merced river

people at edge of a parking lot with view beyond

NPS photo of Tunnel View (the massive rock form on the left is El Capitan, in the background in the center is Half Dome, the waterfall on the right is Bridalveil Fall:

NPS photo of Yosemite valley including El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall and a mass of clouds

This view is worth stopping for even if you are running late and even if there is rain or snow falling. The Yosemite Fund (now called the Yosemite Conservancy) and the National Park Service funded a remodel in 2008 with educational exhibits, expanded handicap accessible viewing area and improved traffic flow. Thousands of people stop each day in the summer.

Google maps 360 degree street view at Tunnel View.

The red X below is where Tunnel View is:

simple map drawing


The two parking lots, one on each side of the road, have a small number of parking spaces:

parking lots from above

Webcam near Tunnel View located on a dome near the Wawona Tunnel:


More photos of the view from the parking lot at tunnel view:
photos below by Quang-Tuan Luong/terragalleria.com
, all rights reserved.

QT Luong Yosemite valley from tunnel winter snow: QT Luong valley from tunnel view winter fog: QT Luong Yosemite Valley from tunnel view: terragalleria Yosemite valley winter glorious pink sunset: terragalleria photo of Yosemite valley winter glorious pink sunset

thin line of various colors of rocks

Where all the routes into Yosemite Valley merge is at about the center of the map below, where the lower road labeled Wawona Road comes into the Yosemite Valley Southside Drive:

map with roads above and below river

0.25 miles east of the intersection of Southside Drive and Wawona Road there are long paved turnouts at Bridalveil Straight on both sides of the road with a view of El Capitan on the left

El Capitan and roadway

and Bridalveil Fall on the right, where a long trail to Bridalveil fall comes out to the road.


Watch out as you drive through here for people standing in the roadway to look at the view, get a picture, often not looking out for oncoming traffic:
people in road

aerial photo of road section with note that it is a heavily congested area

Bridalveil Straight was redesigned in 2022. Note that if you want to stop here, as you approach you should be in the left hand lane to find a parking space, as much of the right hand lane is a no parking zone designated for shuttle buses and tour buses. (The four thin blue rectangles in the map below are to show busses.)

simple map


In the summer this section of road can have a bus/emergency vehicle lane in place and drivers of private vehicles must stay in the left lane. Signage is put up when this is in effect.

Follow signs that say “to all Valley Destinations” for about five miles. The river will be on the left side of the road, although you won’t be able to see it at times.

You’ll go past a few turnoffs to picnic areas. There will be a stretch of road with meadows on both sides and a row of parking on the left where you can stop and see Yosemite Falls on the left, or Half Dome a bit farther on the right.

Here is one of the boardwalks next to the parking, across the meadow (picture taken in May):

waterfall in background, people walking on wooden boardwalk in foreground

In the NPS photo below of flooded Sentinel Meadow taken May 16, 2005, you can just make out the sunken edge of the boardwalk across the meadow between the two posts on the fence and can just see Yosemite Falls thru the low clouds in the background. Next to it is the same place in June, 2005 and again in February 2008

flooded Sentinel meadow Yosemite May 16 2005 NPS photo: meadow Yosemite falls June 2005: Yosemite Falls and snowy meadow feb 4 2008:

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If you have a few extra minutes and can find parking on the left hand side of the road,

waterfall and parking at side of road

a short walk takes you to a display about massive flooding when Yosemite valley has turned into a lake. At the end of the left hand side of Southside Drive long parking strip, directly across from the chapel,

chapel building
follow a path towards a pedestrian bridge over the river.

The map below of free day use parking lots shows the chapel in about the middle of the map, and a dotted red line showing the path to the bridge. The bridge is just below the letter “M” in the words Yosemite Valley Lodge in the map below.

simple map

The bridge is in the upper left hand side of this photo:

road in foreground, path to bridge beyond the road

You can stand next to the display

metal sculpture with various years on itand see that the water flooding over the bridge in 1997 would have been up to the chin of many adults (had they been able to stand on the bridge at all).

A description of the flood display and more photos are at: Yosemite floods display on Superintendent’s Bridge. And find photos of a longer walk in the area at Cook’s Meadow.

thin line of various colors of rocks

Shortly past the Chapel on the right, you arrive at an intersection before Sentinel bridge to the left across the river.

The blue dot on the map below is this next intersection:

simple map

Plan to be in the correct lane for your destination.

And watch out for people who are not sure of which lane to be in who decide to suddenly change lanes in the middle of the intersection, or even stop in the traffic lane to consult a map. OR rarely, but it happens, who drive part way along the right hand lane, past the left hand turn over the bridge they needed to get to the Lodge, and then try to back up in that lane, even for many car lengths.

simple map

People going to the Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite Falls free day-use parking lot, trailhead for the Yosemite Falls hike and Camp 4 should be in the left hand lane and turn left and go over the bridge. Yes, you will be driving on the left hand side of the bridge, but there is an inches tall, wide barrier to separate traffic.

Here is the view as a vehicle turns on to Sentinel bridge from Southside Drive in the proper lane:
car turning on to bridge

Here a view from the far side of Sentinel Bridge with a vehicle coming from Southside Drive across Sentinel bridge (right hand lane)
and a truck coming from Northside Drive on Sentinel Drive towards the bridge (left hand lane)
in what feels like the wrong lane to be in, even when you have done it quite a few times
(note the width and height of the barrier between the lanes):

truck and car in reverse traffic flow


If someone drives past and around the middle-of-the-road barrier (shown in the map below as the word barrier in the green almost-a-triangle)
simple map

and starts to drive the wrong way on Sentinel Bridge, they will find multiple signs saying wrong way:
signs that say wrong way

We watched one day as a driver turned left from Southside Drive onto the wrong lane on the bridge. Pedestrians on the bridge sidewalk chased after her, waving their arms and stopped her past the second Wrong Way sign.

She then backed up off the bridge

car backing up along road

and instead of turning and continuing on Southside Drive in the proper direction, turned around, went around the large barrier and seemed to be heading for the proper lane to cross the bridge.

vehicle turning on to road

But instead she put on her emergency flashers and drove back the way she originally came on Southside Drive, with traffic coming at her,
as she was driving the wrong way on the 2-lanes-in-one-direction road.

(After she drove down into Yosemite valley, from whichever entrance, she had driven 5 to 6 miles on Southside Drive with both lanes in the one-way direction, and now she put on her flashers and drove the wrong way . . .)

car with flashers on on driving in wrong direction on one way road

As she passed us, we were on a path near her side of the road, facing her and waving our arms widely and frantically (and we saw a cell phone up to her head).


Watch out when approaching this intersection.
and note that this is not the only section of the one way roads that circle Yosemite valley
that you can find wrong-way drivers on.

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After sunset Sentinel bridge may have lots of photographers trying to get a picture of Half Dome with pink or gold color

photographers standing in snow on a bridge with Half Dome in their photo

and if the water is flat enough, the reflection in the Merced River, as in the NPS photo below:

NPS photo of Half Dome with a reflection in river,

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If you turn left over the bridge, the road bears right and then bears left on to Northside Drive, where oncoming traffic in the other lane is coming from the east end of Yosemite valley.

simple map

People going to Yosemite Valley Lodge can find maps of the hotel and area at Yosemite Valley Lodge.

People going to Camp 4 can find a map at Camp 4 (four) Map.

rocks packed together

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Straight ahead after the intersection at Sentinel Bridge is two lanes in one direction,
if signs tell you to, get in the left lane because the right hand lane is for buses/ambulances only, as are some other roads in the valley at some times of the year.

road sign right lane bus only

In busy traffic times, if you get tired of waiting for traffic to move, and think you don’t see an officer, so you move into the bus only lane, you might find two law enforcement rangers on bikes stopping you:

vehicle stopped by law enforcement in Yosemite

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When you drive straight ahead instead of turning left over Sentinel Bridge,

you then go past Housekeeping Camp on the left with the laundromat (sometimes open all year even in winter when Housekeeping Camp is closed), bear left when you enter the parking lot.

Past some employee housing on the right, (if you arrive after dark in winter you might see the lights of the ice rink), this usually one-way section of road comes to an intersection that previously had stop signs and two-way traffic.


Plan ahead which lane to be in as you approach this next intersection.


During high traffic times, especially on busy weekends in the summer, traffic at this intersection can be backed up for many car lengths.

park ranger and a row of vehicles

A ranger might be directing people who do not have reservations for Curry Village or a Pines campsite to turn left and not try to park in the full parking lots to the right.

two a-frame signs in road

Or there might be different signage,

signs that say trailhead parking full and food lodging, retail



simple maplarge concrete barrier to block and split road traffic

Be in the right hand lane and turn right to go to Curry Village Curry Village free day use parking lot, Curry Village (briefly named Half Dome Village), with the wood floor canvas roofed/walled tent cabins and the Pines campgrounds.

OR get in the left lane and turn left to go to Yosemite Village Day Use parking (which is a short walk to the main Visitor Center, biggest grocery, museum, Post Office, various restaurants) and to the garage, Medical Clinic, and the Ahwahnee hotel, or back out of the park.

People going to the Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite Falls free parking lot, and Camp 4 (Camp Four) who failed to turn at Sentinel bridge should also turn left at the Curry intersection.

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This road eventually bears left, goes past one side of the Ahwahnee meadow, and brings you to the round about that is no longer used as a circular road as you might be used to.

The first set of signs (photo below) tells you:

Left Lane
Curry Village
Yosemite Valley Lodge

Right Lane
The Ahwahnee
Yosemite Village

(The photo below has two lanes on the left for vehicles and two lanes on the right for bikes and pedestrians.)

roadway with large signs on both sides

You should anticipate which lane you want to be in, and also anticipate that many people will not realize which lane they should be in and may change lanes suddenly or even come to a full stop in the roadway.

Past these signs, before the round-about, there are signs warning of a pedestrian crosswalk,
15 mile per hour speed limit signs, and another sign tells you that the Left Lane Must Turn Left (and go around one side of the former round-about)


cars on roadway

This round-about (tan circle in the right hand side of the photo below) was originally rotary (driven in a circle), but the new traffic plan turned it into two sections of road, both sides of the circle going in the same direction.

Cyclists and pedestrians as well as drivers should be even more careful than usual as some drivers may be distracted, may not yield to traffic already in the circle, or may stop completely instead of driving into it, because they are not sure which lane they should be in or where they should exit the round-about.

roadway from above

If you want to go to the Yosemite Lodge, Camp 4 (Camp Four), Yosemite Falls free day use parking or back out of the park, you circle around the round about from either lane and continue on Northside Drive.

Northside Drive runs almost the length of Yosemite Valley as a one-way road, from east to west, as outlined in red on the map below:

simple map

OR if you want to go to the store, garage, medical clinic or the Ahwahnee hotel you briefly enter the round-about and turn right, as shown in this sign showing the right lane route:

sign with arrows

If you briefly enter the round-about and turn right, you then drive on a two-way road past the garage and more on your right / the backside parking lot of the main grocery store (which has pubic restrooms and handicapped parking) on your left and make a right at the stop sign.

sign US DistrictCourt, Ahwahnee hotel medical clinic

The next (two-way) road section, Ahwahnee Drive, takes you past the Medical Clinic on your left, then past the Ahwahnee meadow on your right, Church Bowl on your left (a small picnic area with restrooms).

picnic table with grill

As you pass Church Bowl your view ahead of Half Dome is blocked by 114 Ponderosa and 117 Cedar trees which will be removed to restore the view.

This next photo is from the Merced River Plan (look for page H-27), which says about the tree removal work. . .”large trees help buffer the impact, and potential damage, of rockfall by absorbing some of the force and rock debris. Most of the trees currently obscuring the view are outside of the rock fall zone, on the south side of the road and not effective in protecting any structure. No trees on the north side of the road within the rockfall hazard zone will be removed.”

road, meadow and skyline

When a helicopter needs to land in the Ahwahnee meadow (in the right hand side of the photo above), across the road from Church Bowl, to pick up someone who needs to go to a bigger hospital, (or when a helicopter needs to land for Search and Rescue training) people are asked to stay on the restroom/picnic area side of the road, and traffic going through is briefly stopped.

Because you won’t know a helicopter is coming and won’t be able to move your vehicle fast enough, the entire meadow side of the road at Church Bowl is closed to any parking at all times,
(even to get out and quickly take a picture or use the restroom).

In this photo you can see a few parking spaces in a row alongside the restroom/picnic area side of the road and the commonly ignored stripes for no parking with big letters on the pavement that say NO PARKING, on the other side of the road:

roadway from above


Just past Church Bowl on the left of the road is this stone entrance gate:

stacked stones create and entrance gate


When you get near to the Ahwahnee the road you are on will approach a parking lot and have a deliveries road to the right, don’t take it.

sign with arrows that says hotel and deliveries

On March 31, 2023 the parking lot you see was turned into valet parking only and they put a Do Not Enter sign at this parking lot entrance:

do not enter sign next to parking lot entrance
Stay on the the perimeter road that runs between the cliff face on your left and the main parking lot on your right.

and you will see a Welcome to The Ahwahnee sign asking you to “Please proceed to entrance” by staying on the road as it bears right across the far end of the main parking lot (where you previously could turn right and park your vehicle).

sign says welcome to the ahwahnee

(The reason the sign says “Maximum clearance 11’6.” is because there is a roofed driveway section ahead at the hotel entrance.)

As you drive along an end of the larger paved parking lot to your right there are signs:
sign says valet parking authorized personnel onlyvalet parking only sign and rows of cars in parking lot

The road then bears left as you pull up under the porte-cochere (roofed two-lane driveway by the hotel main entrance).

Approaching and under the porte-cochere there are two lanes.
a sign that says thru traffic keep left valet parking keep right

The right lane is for passenger/luggage drop off/pickups and valet parking, the left lane is for thru traffic.

two lanes under a roof

snow covered hotel porte cochere

And yes, more than one person got his large RV stuck
when he ignored the “maximum clearance 11 foot 6 inches” sign.
(Many rental RVs require a 12 foot clearance due to roof top air conditioners.)

tthree signs along a roof line, one saying maximum clearance 11 foot six inches

At the porte-cochere, pull into the line of vehicles on the right and drop off passengers, unload luggage for the bellman to take (or you can bring them in) and tell them if you want to either find a free day-use parking space at the back (dirt or mud/snow) lot (which they might inform you is currently full) or have the valet park your car in the paved parking lot you just drove by.

Ahwahnee Hotel Valet Parking fees are listed at a sign at the hotel entrance under the porte-cochere

sign says valet rates overnight hotel guests only $30, day-use $15, day-use with validation$10


Rates: overnight – hotel guests only $30,

day-use $15,

day-use with validation $10

The website noted: *Validation is given when there is a purchase of product and/or food and beverage from Sweet Shop, Ahwahnee Gift Shop, Bar or Dining Room.”


All other parking in Yosemite National Park at day-use parking lots, picnic areas, other hotels, stores, restaurants, is free (with your paid park entrance fee or pass) or there will be a parking space at most campground campsites included in the rate you pay for the campsite. People not staying overnight at the hotel will find parking easier at almost all other locations in the park. See: Parking and traffic jams in Yosemite valley tips and tricks.


Below, the view from the free shuttle bus stop / (some years) YARTS bus stop, looking toward the Ahwahnee porte-cochere (covered entrance), notice the end of the white bus under the covered entrance towards the right hand side of the photo.

bus stop #3

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The park service notes that Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations
are located in Yosemite Valley at:

The Ahwahnee (six level 2, 6 kW/h)
You do not need to be a guest at the hotel to charge your vehicle, however, you must move your vehicle from the space once it is finished charging

Village Store (Yosemite Village) (one level 2)

Yosemite Valley Lodge (eight level 2)

Located by Alder building and between Juniper and Laurel buildings
Yosemite Falls Parking (10 level 2, 11 kW/h) Located just west of Yosemite Valley Lodge

Sometimes these charging stations need repairs and will not be operable, perhaps even for days.

There are plans for more Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, “park leaders are pushing ahead with plans to expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations in Yosemite Valley, including at Yosemite Village, Curry Village and the Ahwahnee Hotel, as well as in Wawona and at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza,” courtesy of the Yosemite Conservancy:

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This Google maps street view of the Ahwahnee allows you to click on directional arrows and take a tour of the hotel.

sign that says bears are very active

from an NPS video you might see at a visitor center:

Not just bears, but also Ravens want to get into your gear, and some have figured out how to get into day packs or . . . a bag tied onto a motorcycle:

raven pecking at a bag on a motorcycle

I suggest you stay with gear you tied on to your vehicle or in an open truck bed until it can get stored properly from animals / birds.
Notes on preventing bears from breaking into your vehicle are at bears.

carved wood ceiling beam

Ahwahnee hotel map webpage has summer and winter photos of rooms, balconies, parlors, (and the views from some of them), including the Presidential Suite with the huge balcony at the (south) far end of the Ahwahnee from the parking lot, the large third floor parlor with fireplace, two main building ADA Suites, featured room 417 with its own, small, private balcony, 5th floor rooms that share a balcony, the El Dorado Diggins Suite Jacuzzi tub, the 24 cottages / (bungalows / cabins), including the classic cottages that have an alcove between the bedroom and the bathroom with a bed you can fit a child on, and a door between the bedroom and alcove for privacy, sixth floor Mary Curry Tressider Suite, Library Suite, Underwood room, Sunroom Suite (Sun Porch), Mather, Spencer.

The map of the Ahwahnee hotel includes a larger version of the map below,

map of hotel rooms and public areas


Parking and traffic jams in Yosemite valley tips and tricks


Yosemite trail conditions info is at: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm

Hiking Advice has HIKING SECRETS and etiquette including hiking in the heat, preventing and/or dealing with blisters, logistics of hiking, a day hike gear list, Half Dome hiking advice, winter hiking and the answer to the question: When is the best time of day to cross a mountain stream?

Videos about Yosemite: https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/photosmultimedia/index.htm

Yosemite webcams: https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

Where were they when they got that great picture in Yosemite?

Where can I take a photo that looks like the one on a Yosemite postcard I just bought?
Places to take photos of Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and Staircase Falls.

Selfies can be great, OR dangerous. They were just taking a selfie.

Using a drone is illegal in Yosemite National park, including for photography. See an index of rules and regulations webpages.

The most current route map for the free Yosemite Valley shuttle bus is in the Yosemite Guide newspaper https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/guide.htm , which you will be offered a copy of as you enter the park, or can print in advance.

It looks something like this when there is no road construction, rock slides, excess snow affecting the times/routes:

(Map below courtesy of NPS)

map of Yosemite valley shuttle bus stops

bear walking along fallen tree
The Yosemite National Park rangers would like you to call them if you see a bear in Yosemite,
no matter where it is or what it is doing,
at 1 (209) 372-0322.

If you can, in all the excitement, try to notice if the bear has a tag (usually on the ear), the color of the tag and if possible, the number on it (the tag is large enough that with a telephoto you should be able to read the number).

bear with ear tag

From the Yosemite Daily Report newspaper:
“It is extremely important to remember to yell at bears that are in and around development, even if they are foraging on natural food. Though it is very tempting to get close for a picture, or just to watch these incredible animals, it is important not to give into this urge. Yelling at them if they are in residential areas or near people is critical to keep bears natural fear of humans. Giving bears plenty of space. When bears become too comfortable around people, they will often start causing damage to structures and vehicles, or will even become too bold around people, creating safety concerns.”

NPS bear tracks: bearlogo: from the Keep Bears Wild program NPS bear tracks: