map of Yosemite Village day use parking and round-about

In the map below you can see roads leading to the (new in 2017) Yosemite Village free day use parking lot, at free shuttle bus stop #1, (short walk to the main Visitor Center, biggest Yosemite grocery, museum, Post Office, restaurants)

and farther below a close-up more detailed map of the roundabout (circular roadway)

aireal photo of roadway and part of a parking lot

The parking lot is, in the map directly below, the green square with a white P in it, labeled as Yosemite Village Parking and the round-about is the tiny circle to the upper right of the green square.

map with roads, river and a few locations

The parking lot / round-about is at the intersection of

– the two-way road from Sentinel Bridge and Southside drive (coming in from the west and going around the day use parking lot approaching the round about from the south)

– and the one way road from Pines Campgrounds, Curry Village (briefly named Half Dome Village), Curry Village free day use parking lot, coming into the roundabout from the east,

– and the two-way road directly to the north of the roundabout past the back of the Village Store on the west, the garage on the east and to a “T” intersection with two-way Ahwahnee Drive, which can take you to the Medical Clinic, Church Bowl picnic area and the Ahwahnee Hotel (temporarily named the Majestic Yosemite Hotel).

Anytime there is a rockfall, one way roads can need to become two-way. All the signs, roadways, etc. shown at this webpage could change without notice, so take a look before you make any turns.

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Please note that the round about only has one-way traffic in a counterclockwise direction,

sign with counterclockwise arrows

and has YIELD signs for all vehicles entering the roundabout (but not all drivers yield).

map showing map of Yosemite Village Day use parking and round-about

Note also that there is usually only one entrance to the Yosemite Village Day use parking lot that is open, the one on the southwest marked Parking Lot Entrance on the map above, (the driveway on the southeast is often coned off).

The main lot entrance is on the left in the photo below, the round-about is on the right:

roadway and parking lot in forest

If you miss the main entrance you will join dozens of other vehicles seen entering the round-about from the south, driving all the way around the round-about and finally exiting the round-about in the direction they came in from, often causing yet another preventable traffic backup.

Below is a photo of vehicles exiting the main parking lot entrance, taken from the north, as if you had come from the direction of the Lodge, Camp Four, Yosemite Falls, Sentinel Bridge or Southside Drive:

vehicles on roadway and coming out of a driveway to the left

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RVs and trailers should not park in Yosemite Village free parking,sign that says Visitor Center parking area, no trailers or RVsbut should instead try to find parking at the Yosemite Falls parking lot (a left hand turn at the road entering the above map from the west). Or RVs and trailers should go to their campsite and park there and use the free shuttle bus, ride bikes, walk, stroll, hike to get around the east end of Yosemite valley.

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Take a photo on your smart-enough phone, standing a bit away from where you parked, so you can find your vehicle.

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The directional sign you see just before entering the round-about from the south is below:

sign listing Yosemite village store, medical clinic, Ahwahnee hotel, visitor center, Yosemite Valley Lodge, park exits

and here is a picture of the road as it enters the roundabout from the south:

cars driving on a circular roadway

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The directional sign you see just before entering the round-about from the east

car turning right off a circular road

on the one way road from Pines Campgrounds, Curry Village (briefly named Half Dome Village) and the Half Dome Village free day-use parking lot is below:

sign with arrows and village-store-medical-clinic-Ahwahnee-hotel-visitor-center lodge and park exits

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A photo of the roundabout with a truck entering from the one way road from the east, and the shuttle bus stop #1 driveway that you should not try to use for parking:

circular roadway, bus and truck

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All roads leading into Yosemite Valley merge on to Southside Drive,

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When you come from Southside Drive and make a left across Sentinel Bridge, go past shuttle stop 11, the directional sign you see, right in front of you, coming to this map / to the road around the Yosemite Village Day Use parking, is below.

directional sign

Also to the left, but not mentioned on this sign, is Camp 4.

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To the northwest of the Yosemite Village day use parking there is a wide cross walk across Northside Drive

crosswalk painted on roadway

pedestrians can use to get to shuttle stop 11 (instead of getting on at shuttle bus stop #1 at the east side of the Village Day use parking lot) and possibly take a half hour or longer off of their shuttle bus ride to, for example, Happy Isles, the trailhead for Vernal mist trail, Nevada Falls and Half Dome.

But be prepared for drivers who do not stop for you,

even with such an obviously well marked crosswalk.

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At the back of the parking lot, on the northern end, along a path to the Village store area, there have been displays of color photo trail maps

including this of the two ways to go to Vernal and/or Nevada Fall, (most people go up the Mist trail and down the John Muir trail and in winter only some parts of the trail may be open, see Mist Trail info.)

Yosemite cliffs, waterfalls, trail on a map

This shows the loop trail to Mirror Lake from shuttle stop #17 (but also see an alternative trail from the Ahwahnee (temporarily named the Magestic Yosemite Hotel) about half way down the webpage at this map.

map showing cliffs, trails on Mirror Lake loop

This shows the trails to lower Yosemite Falls from shuttle stop #6, the trail to Columbia Rock and on to the top of Upper Yosemite Fall, and the trail thru Cook’s Meadow.

If you take the lower section of the figure-8-ish Cook’s Meadow loop, you will cross a bridge with a display about the many times Yosemite Valley has flooded so badly it has become a lake.

map with waterfalls, cliffs, trails and a few buildings

See more color photo trail maps at a display in front of main valley Visitor Center.

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Descriptions of each shuttle bus stop and ways to use the shuttle bus effectively, and save time, find activities/trailheads/restaurants/showers are at: Yosemite valley free shuttle bus at this website.

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You might also want to read How to not collide with a deer,
Safe driving in rain and fog,
Prepare for winter driving,
and/or wildlife jams

Road trip advice and etiquette has ideas for limiting boredom, getting along on a road trip and some packing and safety tips.

Overnight lodging in Yosemite Valley

Swimming in Yosemite National park, including pools open to the public and notes about relatively safe and unsafe places to swim on rivers, etc.

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Cell phone service is not available all over Yosemite valley, but is usually okay in the vicinity of the main visitor center. In June, 2017 and February & June, 2018, April 2019 we got 4 bars for Verizon and 3 bars for AT&T near the main visitor center, versus 2 bars for each at the Majestic and 2 bars Verizon, 1 bar AT&T in Upper Pines campground, at the Yosemite Valley Lodge and Curry Village (briefly named Half Dome Village). The park service said: “Cell phone coverage in Yosemite is spotty . . . Cell service is often impacted during daily peak visitation by the large number of people trying to access limited service; if you have four bars of service, but you can’t get a signal, this is why . . . cell coverage depends on your phone, the cloud cover and other seemingly mysterious factors and is not always reliable. ”

Bears do break in to vehicles in Yosemite National Park (potentially year-round) and food storage rules apply all over the park, as in this sign at a day-use parking lot:

A sign that says: Proper food storage required. Bears frequent this area. Vehicles in violation may be impounded and the owner may be cited. All food must be stored properly including ice chests, containers, toiletries, and trash. DURING THE DAY. Store food in a food locker if possible. Close vehicle windows if food is in your vehicle. DO NOT leave food visible in your vehicle. DO NOT store food in open bed of a pickup truck. AFTER DARK. All food must be stored in a food locker. DO NOT store food in your vehicle. NO CAMPING OR SLEEPING IN VEHICLES

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The National Park Service warns:

“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 . . . 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, Curry Village (briefly named Half Dome 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).”

Here is a map of the three main Yosemite Valley day use parking lots:

map with roads, river and parking lots locations

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section of huge log with no parking anytime sign on it

If you arrive too late to easily find parking, will you be thinking about

Inventing a parking space?

sign that says do not drive or park off pavement

Almost all sides of all roads in Yosemite valley are closed to parking. There are a few turnouts and you can park along sections of some roads if you get there early enough, below a section of southside drive/ Happy Isles loop road just north of Curry Village (briefly named Half Dome Village):

row of cars along road

and here, a section of Northside Drive just south of a walkway to the base of lower Yosemite falls:

roadway with cars parked alongside one side

These two photos were taken in December, when there were plenty of parking spaces in all the free day use parking lots. There were quite a few adults in this SUV that parked at the end of the row of cars above, on the bike path, fully blocking the bike path:

SUV parked on Yosemite bike path

Does this driver park on sidewalks at home? Did the adult passengers really not notice the height of the curb, to be able to tell the driver that they were perhaps not parked where they should be?

SUV moving off bike path, one tire down on roadway

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When a helicopter needs to land in the Ahwahnee meadow 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 stripes for no parking with big letters on the pavement that say NO PARKING, on the other side of the road:

When the stripes did not function to keep people from parking there, the park started setting out a row of red pylons and tall no parking signs, which people still ignore, as in the car at the top of this photo that drove between the pylons to park:

no parking sign and car parked just beyond it

And on the far end of the Church Bowl restroom/picnic area side of the road, a car parked off the side of the road, not in a parking space, (off road behind a large rock meant to deter anyone from parking there) with a parking ticket with a minimum $130 fine (ticket under the windshield wiper) in this photo:

car with an orange parking ticket

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Putting on your emergency flashers when you pull into a free shuttle bus stop driveway does not turn it into a parking space for you, and when the shuttle bus arrives you will be honked at to move, as the red car below was:

red car driving away as shuttle bus pulls in behind it

Did they not see the two signs at the side of the shuttle stop driveway/shuttle parking space?

sign that says no parking this side of streetsign that says no parking loading zone

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A red painted curb is a no parking zone anywhere in the U.S., (including Georgia, where this mini-van was from), and in national parks, in part because some red curbs mark the space an ambulance or fire truck would need to get by. Yes, no parking is allowed even if one family member stays in the vehicle while the other rushes in to shop:

long red painted curb and vehicle with open door

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Each space in a parking lot is usually paved, has painted stripes and has a concrete beam your tires would hit to keep you from going too far (see the car on the right). In this photo, the driver of the SUV on the left decided to move into the dirt/plants to the side of a parking space at the end of a row, with tires slightly into the legal space already occupied by someone else. Ooops, tires partially in that space does not make it legal.

car in a dirt space

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Did this driver from Arizona move the no parking a-frame sign over, or was it already moved over and he choose to ignore the sign, red cone, “No Parking” in large letters on the pavement and two giant trash dumpsters?

two trash bins, no parking sign, car and red cone

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And, yes the following signs are sometimes also ignored, “it’s just for a minute so it’s okay, right?”

sign that says emergency vehicle security parking

sign that says no parking, fire lane

row of rocks carved into brick shapes

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Some park visitors have found themselves
spending a lot of time tracking down where their vehicle was towed to,

or where their ice chest / cooler was taken
when a Ranger confiscated it from their open pickup truck bed.

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Top reasons to not speed in a National Park. align=”center”>__________________________________________