map of Yosemite Village day use parking and round-about

In the map below you can see roads leading to the  Yosemite Village free day use parking lot, (also known as Yosemite Village Parking or Camp 6 parking area) at free shuttle bus stop #1.

and farther below find a close-up more detailed map and photo of parking rows and this roundabout (that is no longer used as a circular roadway / rotary / traffic circle)

roadway from above

The parking lot is, in the map directly below, the black 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 black square.

simple map

 

The parking lot / round-about is accessed via 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.

After this one-way road section leaves the Curry Village / Pines Campgrounds area, it 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 you will see (photo below) tells you:

Left Lane
Curry Village
Yosemite Valley Lodge

Right Lane
The Ahwahnee
Clinic
Yosemite Village

(The photo below has two lanes of vehicles on the left hand side, two lanes of bikes/pedestrians on the right hand side of the photo.)

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

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 use the two-way road directly to the north of the roundabout that goes 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 (for awhile named the Majestic Yosemite Hotel).

You briefly enter the round-about and turn right, as shown in this sign showing the right lane route:

sign with arrows

OR to go the the Yosemite Village Day Use Parking Lot, (Visitor Center on the sign above), use the right hand lane and either look for the driveway in that goes off the round-about, or the driveway in further down Northside Drive, past the free shuttle bus stop #1.

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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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simple map

 

The first entrance / driveway to the Village / Yosemite Valley Welcome Center day-use parking lot exits the round-about just past the north of the round about,

roadway as seen from above

The car at the center/right of this photo is just turning into that first driveway:

cars leaving roadway

Just after you come in through the first entrance in the photo above,

the main section of this day use parking lot is to the left.

In the photo below the red letter 1 is the roofed shelter for shuttle bus stop #1, the red letter 2 is the restroom building:

parking lot and builidings

The photo below has the Yosemite Valley Free Shuttle bus stop #1 roofed area just to the left of center,  a restrooms building on the right, and a long row of handicapped parking spaces and some picnic tables:

parking lot and buildings

and just after you drive in through the first entrance, to your right there is a roadway to the main grocery and the new in 2024 Yosemite Valley Welcome Center
roadway in parking lot

This map, courtesy of the park service, shows the services just to the north of the
free day use parking lot (the letter P in the lower right corner of the map)
simple map

A second entrance is farther down Northside Drive, at the far left of this photo:

parking lot from above

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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 RVs

but should instead try to find parking at the Yosemite Falls parking lot. 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 will be able to find your vehicle.

If you get on a shuttle bus, (note the shuttle bus stop number) turn around briefly and look back in the parking lot to find where your vehicle is (to the right, left, straight ahead, how many rows back?) and you will be able to find it much more easily when you return it it after a day of sightseeing.

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The round about and day use parking was previously accessible from Southside Drive via a two way road over Sentinel bridge, but there is longer a right turn on the section of Northside Drive to get to the Yosemite Village Parking or the round-about (or to the Ahwahnee Hotel, Medical Clinic, Village Store). This Northside Drive road section is now one way only, leading to to the Yosemite Lodge, Camp 4 and park exits.

People who do not follow signage often cause yet another preventable traffic backup.

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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At the back end (northwest corner) of this parking lot there is a short walk
(sometimes faster than waiting for a shuttle bus)
or bike path to the Village Store (biggest grocery)

and it to

Degnan’s, Yosemite Exploration Center (formerly the main Visitor Center) / theater / bookstore, Ansel Adam’s gallery, museum, Post Office, etc. (you can find detailed descriptions about these facilities at free Yosemite Valley Shuttle bus.

The path looks like this as you go towards towards it in the parking lot:

path and signs

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

crosswalk painted on roadway

pedestrians can use to get to the parking area at Sentinel Bridge for a walk at Cook’s Meadow

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

even with such an obviously well marked crosswalk.

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When you leave the day use parking to go elsewhere n Yosemite valley, you need to know which lane to be in ( or your drive could be much longer than planned.)

You will be driving towards the intersection of Northside Drive and the road coming in from the left that goes over Sentinel Bridge and around the east end of Yosemite Valley. Please anticipate other drivers who were not sure which lane to be in and will change lanes suddenly or even stop in the traffic lane to consult a map.

You will be coming on Northside Drive as shown at the bottom of this map of the intersection:

simple map

Be in the right hand lane to leave Yosemite Valley (via either 140, 41 or 120), go to Yosemite Valley Lodge, Camp 4 (Camp Four), or the upper and lower Yosemite Falls trails and Yosemite Falls day-use parking lot.

Be in the left hand lane to go to Housekeeping Camp, Curry Village, Curry Village Day-use parking and the Pines Campgrounds. Please note that as you bear left in this lane you end up crossing Sentinel Bridge in the left hand lane, rather than the right hand lane you are used to driving on. (There are barriers between the lanes along this stretch of road.) See this map of the intersection of Sentinel Drive and Southside drive:

map of a road intersection
rocks packed together

 

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 (once temporarily named the Majestic 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 the Exploration Center ( formerly the main valley Visitor Center).

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Please respect fencing designed to keep people from walking off of official pathways & trails and wearing out plants, killing wildflowers. Below, on the right, the eroded river bank below the Yosemite Village day use parking lot:

2 photos of river bank

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Descriptions of each free 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.

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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 in all parts of Yosemite.
It is usually okay in the vicinity of the Exploration Center.
Many years we got 4 bars for Verizon and 3 bars for AT&T near the Exploration Center, versus 2 bars for each at the Ahwahnee and 2 bars Verizon, 1 bar AT&T in Upper Pines campground, at the Yosemite Valley Lodge, Curry Village and some other locations in East Yosemite Valley.

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

You might find a dumpster in the parking lot.
dumpster with sign that it is full

In the photo above, the note on it says:
“Dumpster Full
This dumpster is full and has been wired shut to prevent black bears from accessing the overflow trash. Please do your part in protecting Yosemite wildlife by finding another dumpster to dispose of your trash. Thank you.”

PLEASE, when a dumpster is full don’t just leave your trash sitting next to it, find another dumpster.

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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,
each with a black box with the letter P in white in it.

simple map

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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.

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 a roadway 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:

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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.

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When Yosemite Valley flooded in 1997, this parking lot was called Camp six and had employee housing in large tent units. Here are photos of some of them after the flood waters receded:
overturned car and 2 damaged tent units
tent partially on top of car

During the 1997 flood, according to the NPS, “Camp Six – 80 wood framed employee tent cabins and support facilities floated off their footings and destroyed attached underground gas and overhead electric utilities. Several contractors used this location as a construction staging area. Field offices, stockpiles of material, and equipment were extensively damaged. The concessioner stored seven tour tram vehicles in this area. Major engine damage occurred when they were submerged.”
carved wood ceiling beam

You have a number of lodging choices of where to stay overnight in Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, including campsites or

wood-walled cabin without a bath; heated or unheated wood floored, canvas sided and roofed tent cabin; wood walled cabin with a bath

luxury or generic hotel rooms, suites with a bath

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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 it’s 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.

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You can find basic to extravagant, (a few with a dress code),
casual, fast (grab and go)
or with table-side service,
indoor and outdoor food service

at multiple locations in Yosemite Valley, as well as four grocery stores

all of which are served by the Yosemite valley free shuttle bus.

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