Yosemite Valley free shuttle bus

Yosemite National Park has free year-round shuttle buses in eastern Yosemite Valley with stops at most major sites of interest and some trailheads.

This webpage describes the main year-round route, and has maps of the areas at the bus stops.

Plus, below the list of stops and what you can find at each, there are

hints to save time using the shuttle bus,

notes about the best bus stops for overnight accommodations,

AND best bus stops for and/or links to the following Yosemite Valley activities:

art classes, bike rentals, bike paths, campsite availability, grocery store, hikes and their trailheads, horseback riding, ice skating, free and fee internet access, laundromat, lost and found, photo walk, rafting, Ranger talks/walks/evening programs, restaurants & cafeterias / pizzerias / grill / deli , places to get a shower, ski / snowboard / snow shoe walk, picnic, stargazing, swimming, waterfalls and links to local weather reports.

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These other public transportation routes do not run all year:

A second free summer valley bus route, the El Capitan Shuttle (El Cap shuttle), runs from the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center with stops at Camp 4 (the actual Camp 4 campground, not the main bus system Camp 4 bus stop #7 across the road), El Capitan picnic area, (in the vicinity of) El Capitan, Cathedral Beach Picnic Area and the Four Mile trailhead, from “late may or mid June to early October, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.” / every 30 minutes (and again, it is not on a strict schedule)

Other free buses include summer Wawona/Mariposa grove,

and a free winter bus to Yosemite Ski and Snow area (Badger Pass) for ski/snowboard/snow shoe walk that has a more strict schedule than the main free shuttle bus. http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/610220/yssa-shuttle-schedule_2017.pdf.

(Fee) tours include the valley floor tour, Glacier Point, Grand Tour, hikers bus from the valley to Tuolumne/various trailheads along the way/and back, and a bus that runs around stops at Tuolumne Meadows in the summer. (See some links near the end of this page.)

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YARTS (fee), public transit to Yosemite valley/Tuolumne Meadows/Wawona from many nearby places in California. For info on the YARTS bus to and from Yosemite via Sonora, Fresno, Merced, Mariposa, El Portal, Mammoth Lakes, Le Vining, Tuolumne Meadows and more call 1-877-98YARTS. http://yarts.com/routes-schedules/
To find a YARTS bus stop, at the same bus stop/ or next to the bus stop for the free valley shuttle, (often at the Majestic, the Yosemite Lodge, the main Visitor Center and Half Dome Village) look for the blue sign with white lettering, the same logo as on the sides and/or front of most of the YARTS buses:
YARTS logo on a side of a bus

There is an interactive map at: http://map.yarts.com/ which includes nearby RV parks. Connections to Greyhound buses, Amtrak Railroad passenger service and local airports are available.
http://yarts.com/travel-connections/

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From the Yosemite Daily report:
As of Nov. 8, 2017:

All Public Transit Services Suspended At Yosemite Village Bus Stops
Due to road construction, YARTS and Yosemite Valley shuttle buses cannot stop at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center or other stops in Yosemite Village. YARTS riders should be prepared to use bus stops at Half Dome Village, The Majestic Hotel, or the Yosemite Valley Lodge until the current phase of road construction is completed, prior to November 22.
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Shuttle Route Modification
As of today, there will be a single Yosemite Valley shuttle loop. Due to the construction, there will be a modified order of stops. Shuttle stop order follows:

Stop Order: #2, 3, 4, 10, 7, 8, E4, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and then back to stop #2. Stops #1, 5, 9, do not currently exist.
Stop #2 is currently behind near the Yosemite Village Garage.
Stop #E4 is currently just west of the El Capitan Picnic Area.

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There is no parking lot for park visitors at the visitor centers, and very little parking other places (usually only with a handicapped permit). People are asked to park their car at their campsite or hotel or day use parking, leave it there, and ride the shuttle, ride bikes or jog/hike/walk/stroll.

Except when road repairs are being done and some roads might be closed, or during the winter in showy conditions, or when a bus is too full for more passengers, the main free Yosemite Valley Visitor Shuttle buses drive the same route in numerical order.

Once people understand the route most of the buses use, they can switch buses at a couple of major stops to cut a half hour or more off the time needed to get to their destination. Plus, the best stops for some activities, the best stop to start a particular hike and the best stops for some overnight accommodations are not completely obvious.

The most current route map for the free Yosemite Valley shuttle bus is at http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/valleyshuttle.pdf

The shuttle map is also always in the newspaper Yosemite Today that you can get as you enter the park, BUT the route printed in the newspaper might be out of date due to seemingly constant changes in road construction and closed roads.

I suggest you print a copy and use it to reference the descriptions below of what you can find at each stop.

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

(Map below courtesy of NPS)

roads, bus stops, locations in Yosemite valley

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Below the The bus stops usually are (list of stops)

are tricks to save time using the shuttle bus.

moving rainbow line:

moving rainbow line:

You will be less frustrated with the bus arrivals and departures if you understand that:

The Yosemite valley main shuttles run every ten to 20 minutes, depending on the time of day, and depending on traffic (usually from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.). In seasons other than summer, buses sometimes run every 30 minutes. They are not on a strict schedule, such as city bus systems. If traffic is heavy, they might be slower than the ten to 20 minutes intervals.

Sometimes two or three buses can arrive at a bus stop right after each other. Sometimes one of the multiple buses arriving at a stop may let off passengers and drive off without picking up any, due to needs for space onboard at a following stop.

moving rainbow line:

moving rainbow line:

The bus stops usually are:

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1) Yosemite village visitor parking at a turnout just off of the roundabout, is a large Day Use parking lot (this day use parking lot is also known as “Camp Six” ). It is just south of Yosemite Village. It can sometimes be faster to walk north to the grocery and Valley Visitor Center than to wait for a bus, especially during high usage times.

In the photo below of the turnout for shuttle bus stop #1, you can see, in the foreground, the edge of the (new in 2017) round-about.

shuttle bus at turnout

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2) Yosemite Village In front of the main grocery store and Village Grill.

The main store has the biggest selection of food and gifts, toys, Yosemite logo clothes. (You will find a bigger selection of lower cost, sometimes fresher produce in larger groceries near home, so bring your own.) See also a list of usually stocked over-the-counter medications below the medical center info below.

cases of fruits and vegies

gifts Yosemite Village store: refrigerated grocery case of packaged food

map below courtesy of NPS

map showing locations of Yosemite Village buildings

Next to the store used to be the Art Activity Center https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/happy-isles-art-and-nature-center with lessons and programs “for artists of all ages and abilities.” These programs were moved to the Happy Isles Visitor Center, shuttle stop 16, and the building was taken down in late 2017, to “be restored to a seasonal wetland in 2018.” The Happy Isles location will usually be open late March through October.

Behind the store and across the back parking lot and across a road is the Village Garage (see center right of the map above), 209/372-1060, 8am – 5pm, / 24 hour AAA, CSAA towing available. Propane service available until 4:30 p.m. The mechanics can handle most minor emergency repairs such as radiators, water pumps, brakes and tire repairs, but no repairs available on weekends. They can tow within the park (CSAA/AAA towing included) but (as of early 2017) do not have a tow truck that can handle big RVs.

There is no bus stop for the Yosemite valley medical clinic (see upper right hand corner of the map above) but it is a short walk from the main grocery store on the road to the Majestic (Ahwahnee). Open summer daily 9-5, fall/winter/spring M-F 9-5 / closed major holidays and when the doctor is out of town, but with 24 hour/seven days a week ambulance. For ambulance service call 911, (or 9-911 from a Yosemite hotel room, but please verify this when you check in). They can do a “limited array of lab tests, basic X-rays”, urgent care such as “illness evaluation and treatment (colds, flu, and infections) and injury care (fractures, sprains, strains, cuts, abrasions)”.

Read current details at: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ymc.htm

The medical clinic does not sell over-the-counter medications, but you can buy them at the main Yosemite Valley grocery, including, but not limited to, (this list from July 2017) brand name and some generic, (adult and in some cases children’s) pain relief (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen), allergy, stomach upset, cough syrups and lozenges, including Afrin, Alka Seltzer, Beano, Benadryl, Dayquil, ExLax, Gas Ex, Imodium, Lactaid, Meta Mucil, Nyquil, Pepto Bismol, Preparation H, Tagamet, Tums, Zantac, and small first aid kits/Band-aids.

This Yosemite valley medical clinic is not a full hospital. The nearest, with 24 hour / 7 day a week emergency care, is John C. Fremont hospital in Mariposa, at least an hour drive from Yosemite valley. http://www.jcf-hospital.com/ From Yosemite on highway 140, just as you enter Mariposa, take a hard right hand turn on Smith road, then after about a half mile, a right on Hospital Drive. The long driveway to the emergency room is a left turn just before the main hospital buildings. Their webpage says: “Air ambulance service is available to rapidly transport critical patients who need specialized care.”

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About half-way between stops 2 and 3 is Church Bowl, with restrooms, water (one of the few picnic areas with potable drinking water) and picnic tables with views of the Ahwahnee Meadow and Glacier Point:

picnic table in foreground, cliff behind

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 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).

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3) The Majestic (Ahwahnee) Hotel The bus stop is just out into the parking lot, not under the cover of the porte-cochere (covered hotel main entrance).

Below, the view from the free shuttle bus stop looking toward the Majestic (Ahwahnee) porte-cochere.
looking from Ahwahnee bus stop towards porte-cochere:

The shuttle stop is not on the map of the hotel, but would be just outside of the upper left hand corner of this map:
http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/381354/majestic-yosemite-property-map_web.jpg

People who are not guests at the hotel can dine there. Reservations are often advised and there is a dress code for some dining room meals. Menus for the dining room (including the Sunday Brunch) and bar are at: http://www.travelyosemite.com/lodging/dining/the-majestic-yosemite-hotel/

The schedule for free one hour tours of the hotel can be found in the the newspaper Yosemite Today.

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4) At the corner of Degnan’s (Deli / Loft / Cafe / Kitchen) in Yosemite Village, right across the street from the north end of the Village grocery store and Village Grill complex.

Menus are at: http://www.travelyosemite.com/lodging/dining/yosemite-village/ http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/759094/yosemite_degnans-loft_menu.jpg

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5) main Valley Visitor Center

Park rangers on duty to answer questions, exhibits, park info presentations, and bookstore with maps, books, postcards, posters, clothes (with discounts for Yosemite Conservancy donors). Restrooms are located between the Visitor Center and the Indian Cultural Museum.

At the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center there is a huge raised relief map of the geological features. Below, a photo of part of this display, showing Half Dome from above and the trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls (and on towards the top of Half Dome), on the right:
section of raised relief map
There are history, geological and nature displays.

marmot at display Yosemite visitor center: figure of a marmot and painting of mountain environment

display shows how glaciers carved Yosemite valley over the ages

Two films play every half hour play in the theater behind the main building. (Mon.- Sat. 9:30 a.m. to (last film) 4:30 p.m. (Sunday first showing at noon). Yosemite – a Gathering of Spirit by Ken Burns (you can watch it at: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365316730/) shows on the hour and The Spirit of Yosemite a great visitor orientation film with some swooping aerial views along with history and scenes from all seasons and all parts of the park, shows on the half hour. Free. Both films are captioned and an audio transcription of Spirit of Yosemite is available at the information counter in the Valley Visitor Center.

To the right as you face the building is the Ansel Adams Gallery and then the Wilderness Center, (open spring to fall for backcountry permits and bear canister rentals, with displays on pre-trip planning, minimum impact and Yosemite’s wilderness). Further to the right is the U.S. Post Office.

Yosemite Museum (Indian Cultural Museum)/store is to the left as you face the Visitor Center.

In front of the Indian Cultural Museum is a cross‐section of a Giant Sequoia tree that visitors can touch and a re-creation of an umacha, a Miwok and Paiute cedar bark house.

museum entrance with cross section of tree

Museum exhibits are listed at https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/historyculture/museum-exhibit.htm including links to some displays after an exhibit has closed.

a glass case with Indian baskets

The valley museum occasionally features paintings and watercolors.

For example, one summer, paintings by Chris Jorgensen, such as shown in the photo, (courtesy of the National Park Service), below:

NPS Chris Jorgensen watercolor:

You can look at some of the collection online “. . . explore more than 2,000 catalog records for objects and images from the Yosemite Museum collection. These records include American Indian basketry, historic objects related to John Muir, and photographs taken by Carleton Watkins and George Fiske” (including the Jeffrey pine that once grew on Sentinel Dome). “This project was made possible by a generous grant from Yosemite Conservancy, which has supported the Yosemite Museum for over 90 years.”

Go to
https://museum.nps.gov/ParkPList.aspx and search for Yosemite National Park.

The Indian Cultural Exhibit, (which interprets the cultural history of Yosemite’s
Miwok and Paiute people from 1850 to the present) Village of the Ahwahnee, is behind the visitor center. Sometimes staff present programs about Ahwahneechee skills and culture.
https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/historyculture/indian-village-of-the-ahwahnee.htm

This stop also has stops next to it for the El Cap summer shuttle and the summer express bus to and from the main day use parking at stop #1.

Cell phone service is usually okay in the vicinity of the main visitor center.
In June, 2017 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 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. ”

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6) At the end of the loop path to the base of lower Yosemite Fall (almost all relatively flat walk, one mile (1.6 kilometers) round trip).

At the bus stop, and at the restrooms/picnic area a bit up a path to your to your left, you will find maps of the lower Yosemite Fall loop trail, or actually more a path/walkway, to the base of lower Yosemite Fall.

lower Yosemite Fall walkway map:

The river is in blue, loop trail is in brown, the bridges over the river are in tan, the main road at the bottom of this picture of the map is in gray. Shuttle bus stop #6 is in the lower right hand corner of this map. The red dot is the restrooms and picnic area (no grills) .

Some of the picnic tables have great views of Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America (2,425 ft):

picnic table in foreground, Yosemite Falls in background

Along this walk you can find the location of John Muir’s hang nest (cabin he built in a tree) At that webpage you can read warnings about the real dangers of trying to swim in the pool at the base of the fall. Suggest you try swimming at a beach at Swinging Bridge instead, see stop #7 or at Housekeeping camp, stop 12.

sign no bikes on lower Yose fall trail: Please walk your bike on this path/trail, even though it is paved.

From the far west pathway (or from the Yosemite Lodge) along this loop trail, the view of Yosemite Falls (lower, middle and upper, in full flow in February 2017). Yosemite falls, upper middle and lower in full flow

A bronze relief map along the western trail depicts the watershed that drains into Yosemite Falls and shows the trails.
bronze relief map on a stone base

Yosemite Nature Notes video about Yosemite falls:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mSNY3TdDZ4

There is no bus stop across the street going in the opposite direction. For example, if you come from the Visitor Center or campgrounds direction and you get off at this stop (#6) to do the hike to the base of lower Yosemite Falls, if you want to catch a bus returning in the same direction, you need to walk to stop 8 at the Yosemite Lodge to catch it or climb on again at stop six and ride the bus for a couple of stops until it comes back around.

A quick walk you should not miss is in the vicinity. At shuttle bus stop #6, looking across the road at a cross walk near the bus stop, you can see a meandering path leading to a pedestrian bridge over the river.

crosswalk across road and people on trial on other side of road

When you first step up on to the bridge, on the left hand side, there is a metal sculpture showing the depths of the water various years Yosemite Valley has flooded. It is amazing to stand on the bridge and see when Yosemite valley became a lake. Yes, the entire bridge has been under water at times.

metal sculpture with various years on it

A 360 degree view from the bridge (taken before the sculpture was installed) is at https://www.google.com/streetview/#us-parks-trails-and-beaches/yosemite-national-park

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7) Camp 4 near the Yosemite Lodge day-use parking lot at the end of the path to Swinging Bridge. This stop is across the main road (Northside Drive) from Camp 4 (Sunnyside) walk-in campground and the trailhead to Columbia Rock / Upper Yosemite Falls.

Upper Yosemite Fall hike has details. Camp Four to Columbia Rock is 2 miles (3.21 kilometers) round trip, 1,000 feet (304 meters) elevation gain. Camp 4 to top of Yosemite falls is 7.2 miles (11.59 kilometers) round trip, 2,700 foot (823 meters elevation gain.

For a map of Camp 4: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/camp4map.pdf showing shuttle stop 7, the trailhead for the Upper Yosemite Falls hike and the location of the largest boulder within the campground, Columbia Boulder, (or Big Columbia), which has the “world’s most famous boulder problem” – the route named “Midnight Lightning”. There is fascinating reading on how climbers can avoid injuries/stay alive, by Ranger John Dill, at: https://www.friendsofyosar.org/climbing

Stop 7 is closer than stop 8 to the Yosemite Lodge hotel buildings Laurel and Juniper.

A short walk from stop 7 is Swinging Bridge and a good swimming area (in season) with shallow and deep water, sandy beaches and views of Yosemite Falls.

NPS photo swinging bridge swim area

Across the bridge is a large picnic area with tables, grills and accessible vault toilets (bring your own water or purify some from the river). Some of the picnic tables have views through the trees of Yosemite Falls.

picnic table and grill, view of Yosemite Falls in background partially obstructed by trees

See details at: swimming in Yosemite including thunderstorms, bacteria in the water, safety issues, favorite beaches, swimming pools with lifeguards.

(As of fall 2017: “the (Camp Four) parking lot is being expanded, bringing the capacity to 130 vehicles. Either later this fall or in Spring, 2018 , 25 campsites are being added (each site can accommodate 6 people) which will bring the total to 57 campsites. A new comfort station is also being constructed in which showers will be included. This will be the first park campground that will provide shower facilities for people staying in the campground.”)

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8) Yosemite Lodge, just across the road from the hotel lobby, tour desk, restaurants, gift shops.

Map below courtesy of NPS

yosemite lodge map:

Map of Yosemite Lodge showing the swimming pool, bike rentals pick-up area, shuttle bus stop #8:

map with parking spaces, pool, buildings

See current larger map with the pool, restaurants, restrooms, ATM at:

http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/381353/yosemite-valley-lodge-property-map_web.jpg

Guests of the Yosemite Lodge and people who are not guests at the lodge can rent a bike there. To pay and arrange for a rental go into the lobby and find the tour desk. Pick up the bike near the pool (see map above).

Lodge guests swim for free and people who are not guests at the Lodge can swim in the pool for a fee:
http://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/swimming/ large swimming pool with lots of chairs around the deck

See also: Swimming in Yosemite National Park.

People who are not guests at the Lodge can dine there. Menus for the Mountain Room, Mountain Room Lounge, and Food Court (to be remodeled and reopen spring 2018 as the Base Camp Eatery), are at:
http://www.travelyosemite.com/lodging/dining/yosemite-valley-lodge/

Cooking in/around Yosemite Lodge rooms is not allowed, but there is a picnic area, with picnic tables, fire grates, a swimming beach a short walk from the hotel, see map to Swinging Bridge at swimming in Yosemite National park and another nearby picnic area, with picnic tables but without fire grates, across Northside Drive from the Lodge, about equidistant between bus stops 8 and 6.

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9) Valley Visitor Center (right across the street from stop #5)

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10) Across the street from stop #2 at the main grocery in Yosemite Village

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11) Sentinel Bridge / chapel (walk across the bridge to the Yosemite Chapel)

Near sunset you will find lines of photographers on Sentinel Bridge waiting to see if Half Dome turns gold or pink.

The parking lot just north of Sentinel Bridge is one of the best places to take pictures of moonbows (lunar rainbows during a full moon in spring) on upper Yosemite Fall.

A 360 degree view from Cook’s Meadow, steps away from this shuttle bus stop is at

https://www.google.com/streetview/#us-parks-trails-and-beaches/yosemite-national-park-cooks-meadow-loop

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12) YCHC – Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) (library, children’s corner, displays, occasional programs).

Across the road from bus stop 12 you will find Housekeeping Camp, (open more or less April to October, weather permitting) with showers and laundromat – the laundromat is usually open through the winter even when housekeeping units are not open. To find the laundromat, bear left when you enter the Housekeeping parking lot.

Map showing Housekeeping Camp, the biggest beach, the pedestrian bridge over the river to other swim beaches, laundromat and showers:

http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/330396/housekeeping-camp-property-map_web.pdf

See details about swimming in the river at: swimming in Yosemite including thunderstorms, bacteria in the water, safety issues, favorite beaches, swimming pools with lifeguards.

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About half way between stop 12 Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge) and stop 13 Half Dome Village, is employee housing. 27 “one- and two-story structures providing housing and shared common spaces and a wellness center.”

https://www.argsf.com/portfolio/yosemite-new-employee-housing-sustainable-design/

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There used to be bus stops at Half Dome (Curry) Village recreation rentals bike and or raft rental in summer, but they are no longer used so when raft rentals are open you will walk a couple of blocks to get to them.

For bike rentals at Half Dome Village, ask at the little kiosk next to registration, and see the map below at stop #13

To go rafting, go north from stop 13 (also known as 13A or 13B on some maps). This is whether you want to rent a raft or have your own. If you have your own, more info is at: Yosemite Valley Rafting Advice

Raft rental reservations are advised, up to 80% of rafts are reserved the day before. http://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/rafting/ You make them at the little kiosk next to Half Dome Village registration. You can spot the kiosk on the map at http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/524862/half-dome-village_property-map_web.jpg

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13 (also known as 13A or 13B on some maps) Half Dome (Curry) Village in front of Stoneman Cottage, near the registration front office. Pay phones outside the office.

Guests at Half Dome Village and people who are not guests at Half Dome Village can rent a bike or a raft there.

You arrange and pay for rentals, in season, at the little Tour Kiosk next to the front office. On the map below, see to the west of the stores and food, north of the parking lot, for the Bike Rental Pick Up area.

map of Half Dome Village Yosemite June 2017

This photo of bike rentals is taken from the direction of the Half Dome Village (formerly Curry Village) guest parking lot.

rows of bikes and tent cabins behind

and at their website, a map of the kiosk/cabins/pool/restrooms/grill/lounge:

http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/524862/half-dome-village_property-map_web.jpg

People who are not guests at Half Dome Village can dine there. Hours / basic descriptions of food services at the Pizza Deck, Coffee Corner, Half Dome Village Dining Pavilion, Meadow Grill, Chuck Wagon BBQ and Half Dome Village Bar (not all of which are open all year, opening and closing dates can vary depending, in part, on weather) can be found at: http://www.travelyosemite.com/lodging/dining/half-dome-village/

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14) Half Dome (Curry) Village parking (across the road from stop 20).

365 day a year shower house and summer swimming pool on the right up the service vehicles only road from the parking lot. The map below shows bus stops 14 and 20, and the road to the shower house / pool:

map with a blue pool, bus stops and parking lot

large swimming pool with umbrellas and lounge chairs poolside

Guests at Half Dome Village swim for free and people who are not guests at Half Dome Village can swim in the pool for a fee:
http://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/swimming/

See also: Swimming in Yosemite National Park.

The permanent ice rink was removed winter 2017 and replaced with a seasonally installed portable ice rink at a different location which promptly flooded in heavy rains and was closed, at first temporarily, then it did not reopen. When in operation it is located in the parking lot near stop 14, but it might move back to it’s original location for winter 2018. http://www.travelyosemite.com/winter/half-dome-village-ice-skating-rink/

Some winters the buses do not run to stops (15, 16, 17 and 18) on the Happy Isles loop road, when they do run they may stop after a major snowfall.

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15) Upper Pines campground, (across the road towards Half Dome (Curry) Village from the campground) near the trailhead parking lot, across the road from the end of the first loop of campsites.

maps of Upper, Lower and North Pines campgrounds and bus stops 15, 18 and 19: : https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/pinescombined.pdf

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16) Happy Isles with (on the bus stop side of the river) restrooms, a nature center, Art Activity Center (https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/happy-isles-art-and-nature-center with lessons and programs “for artists of all ages and abilities, usually open late March through October), and a fen (marsh). Summer Junior Ranger Walks often start at Happy Isles.

Across a bridge, up the road to the right, is the trailhead for the mist trail and the rest of the John Muir Trail including to Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, Half Dome and . . . Mount Whitney.

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17) Mirror Lake junction (service sometimes ends earlier than other stops). The path to Mirror Lake from this stop is steep in parts, but wheelchair accessible.

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18) North Pines campground and stable, You can no longer ride horses in Yosemite Valley, go instead to the Wawona (Big Trees) stable. At Wawona is also where you can pay for a horse-drawn stage ride.

“From approximately late May through September, a daytime kennel is available at the Yosemite Valley Stable. You must provide written proof of immunizations (rabies, distemper, parvo, and bordetella) from your veterinarian. Dogs under 20 pounds may be considered if you provide a small kennel. No food is allowed, due to wildlife management concerns. Because of limited kennel space, advanced reservations are highly recommended. Contact 209.372.8326 for more information.” And all this is subject to change.

maps of North, Lower and Upper Pines campgrounds and bus stops 18, 15 and 19:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/pinescombined.pdf

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19) Pines campground at the entrance to Lower Pines, which has three double campsites, (Upper Pines campground entrance is across the road, North Pines campground is up the road and over a bridge).

maps of Lower, Upper and North Pines campgrounds and bus stops 15, 18 and 19:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/pinescombined.pdf

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20) Half Dome (Curry) Village parking (right across the road from stop 14)

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21) Half Dome (Curry) Village recreation rentals bike and/or raft rental in summer is no longer being used.

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Bus logistics and courtesies

– – – Most drivers prefer you wait until everyone has finished getting off before you get on.

– – – Most prefer you enter from the door at the front end of the bus and exit from the back, but will sometimes tell passengers they can exit any door. OR, if you ask politely, the bus driver might let you and your huge backpack exit from the front where you got on instead of going all the way to the rear exit, but be sure to ask before the last moment.

– – – Please take the baby out of the stroller and fold up the stroller.

– – -You can wear your ginormous backpack or put it in your lap, but it shouldn’t have a seat for itself if the bus is crowded.

– – – No inflated rafts, tubes, etc. are allowed, but are okay if they fit on your lap. (An inflated raft is too big to fit down the aisle and it’s wet, sandy and or dirty and gets others on the bus dirty. Either sew a large drawstring bag or buy a duffle bag or large backpack big enough to fit each fully deflated raft/your lifejackets in. It won’t be much bigger than a big backpack that others might be carrying on the bus. See Yosemite Valley rafting advice.)

– – – You can’t stand next to the driver. Everyone standing in the aisle must be behind the yellow line near the front of the bus:

four pairs of legs/feet/shoes behind a yellow line on the floor of a bus

– – – All the free Yosemite shuttle buses are accessible with wheelchair lifts and tie‐downs. Maximum size for wheelchairs on shuttle buses and tour buses is 24 inches wide x 46 inches long with a weight limit on tour buses of 750 pounds. Bus drivers will help passengers on and off buses or notify them of stops. If you need assistance, ask the bus driver.

– – – Any time usage is high, especially on a summer afternoon, standees need to move to the back to let more people on.

shuttle bus standees:

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To save time using the shuttle bus:

The main buses go to stops 1 through 21 in that order all day in the summer, (or a few less stops in the winter).

If you had come from the Pines campgrounds and got off at the main store in Yosemite Village at stop #2 it would be a mistake to get back on the bus at the stop you got off at to go back to the campgrounds. If you did you would need to ride the whole bus route and it could take you an extra half hour or longer to get back. It would make more sense to walk across the street and get on any free shuttle bus that stops at stop #10.

Below is a picture of a bus at stop 10, with people walking across the street to the store:

bus on the right hand side of the road, people crossing

and another photo from a bit down the road, of a bus at shuttle stop 10 on the right, and people waiting for a bus at stop 2

Yosemite Valley shuttle bus, and two bus stops with people at them

If you had come from the Pines campgrounds and stopped at a Half Dome Village (Curry) restaurant or store and wanted to go back to the campground it would be a mistake to get back on the bus at the stop you got off at. Again, you should cross the street and get on a bus with a shorter ride one less half hour or more to your destination.

Below is a picture of the two bus stops at Half Dome Village (Curry Village) parking, stop number 14 on the left and stop number 20 on the right. (See also the map at bus stop #13.)

Curry Village shuttle bus stop:

If you had come from the Yosemite Lodge to the Valley Main Visitor Center it would be a mistake (and take you up to an hour longer) to try to go directly back to the Lodge by getting on a bus at the stop you got off at. Walk across the road for a much faster ride.

Here are two bus stops at the (main) Yosemite Valley Visitor center (number 5 on the left, number 9 on the right):

two buses across the street from each other

Coming from the big day use parking lot at stop #1, or from Half Dome Village (Curry) and the campgrounds to most destinations in Yosemite Village, (Degnans, Post Office, Ansel Adams gallery, Wilderness Center, Visitor Center, museum) it makes more sense to get off at the main store (stop 2) and walk to the main valley Visitor Center, Degnan’s or the Post Office, etc. than to stay on the bus and ride all the way to the Majestic (Ahwahnee) Hotel (stop 3) and back, unless you need some of the chocolate truffles at the Majestic (Ahwahnee) Sweet Shop.

Guests at the Lodge or Majestic (Ahwahnee) who go ice skating, or rent a raft will have a much longer ride back if they get on at the stop they got off at, again, cross the road to the other bus stop for a shorter ride back.

Given how long the wait can be for a bus in the winter it can be faster to walk between the Majestic (Ahwahnee) and the main store/Degnans than to wait for a bus, especially of you just saw a bus leave the Ahwahnee stop.

To go from Housekeeping Camp to the main grocery store in the Village, it can be faster to walk than to take the bus. Use the pedestrian bridge (near unit #48) over the river and follow the trail.

http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/330396/housekeeping-camp-property-map_web.pdf

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Notes about bus stops for overnight accommodations

map of Pines campgrounds:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/pinescombined.pdf

Campers in Upper Pines campground in the higher numbered campsite loops (188 – 240 and 158 to 187) will find that it is a much shorter walk from the Happy Isles stop to their campsite than from the official Upper/Lower Pines campground stop(s) at the west end of the campground. This makes these campsites the best for a short walk back after a Half Dome or Mist Trail hike that took a bit longer than you expected.

Campers in the lower half of Upper Pines and all of Lower Pines will find the stop at #15 gets them to their campsite faster than riding all the way to Happy Isles, the stop at the end of the road to Mirror Lake, past North Pines then finally getting off at the #19 stop at the entrance to Lower Pines.

(If you are heading into Upper Pines please don’t walk right through Upper Pines campsites 26, 27, 28 etc, at the end of the first loop after you get off the bus, please walk between the campsites.)

Campers in the higher numbered sites in Lower Pines (70s, 80s) will often find when there are lines for and waits for space on the buses at Half Dome (Curry) Village, it is more pleasant (and sometimes faster) to walk to their sites, using the boardwalk across Stoneman Meadow.

People at the valley backpacker’s walk-in (for use the night before and/or after a backpack trip, permit required) will find it is a slightly shorter walk from the Majestic (Ahwahnee) bus stop than from North Pines IF you can find the way on the back road, but you have a topo map, right? In spring in snowy years, the trail from the back end of North Pines to the backpacker’s walk-in can be flooded with ankle + deep water and the Majestic (Ahwahnee) stop would be much easier to use. The Majestic (Ahwahnee) stop would also be a much shorter bus ride to and from the main store, the cafeteria at the Lodge or to visit friends at Camp Four. Backpacking advice

Half Dome (Curry) Village canvas tent cabins numbered in the 1100s, 700s and 600s are closer to stop 15 than to the Half Dome (Curry) Village stops #14 and #20. Half Dome (Curry) Village canvas tent cabins numbered 1- 9 and all of the wood cabins (numbered with a letter after the number, such as 1D, 8A or 22B) are closer to stop 13B than to the Half Dome (Curry) Village stops #14 and #20.

Yosemite Lodge buildings Laurel and Juniper are closer to the Camp Four bus stop #7 than the official Yosemite Lodge stop #8. Buildings Tamarack, Dogwood, Aspen, are about equal distance to the Lower Yosemite Falls stop #6.

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Here are the bus stops for things to do in Yosemite, the following Yosemite Valley activities:

(small fee) art classes usually meet in front of the art center quite near the main store in Yosemite Village. The Art Activity Center https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/yosemite-art-center has lessons and programs “for artists of all ages and abilities”, usually open late March through October.

Bike rentals, helmet included, are at Half Dome Village (see map at stop #13) and the Lodge (next to the pool, see map at stop #8), spring through fall, some years as late as November. Find a way to bring our own, rentals are (ALL of the following is subject to change) as of June 2017, (higher prices some previous years) $12.50 an hour or $30.50 a day. (With an attached trailer $19 an hour, $56.50 a day.) Most years they say that bike rentals start at 8 a.m., last bike out at 5:45 p.m. and bikes need to be back in by 6:45 p.m.; with your own you can ride early and late into the day. Reservations only available, and often required, for ADA bikes (“hand-crank bicycles, and tandem bicycles for visually impaired guests”). Rental bikes must stay in Yosemite valley and they do not allow you to ride them on all roads that you can ride your own bike on.

There are more than 12 miles of surfaced bike paths on the valley floor and even in the winter the weather is sometimes good enough to ride or rollerblade. A map of bike paths is at: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/biking.htm and you can ride on paved roads (if you obey traffic laws), but not on dirt trails, on paths closed due to spring flooding or the paved pathway to lower Yosemite Falls. Please walk your bike at the Yosemite Falls pathway or lock it up at the trailhead.

Yosemite Search and Rescue would like to remind you: “California law requires riders under 18 to wear helmets. Helmets are optional for bicycle riders 18 and over but they are an outstanding idea, inexpensive, and in many cases are the difference between a minor headache and life-altering or life-ending injuries. Unfortunately, when one observes bicycle operations in the Valley, the majority of adult bike riders, and even some children, opt to skip the helmet. Once the crash occurs, it’s too late to reconsider your decision to skip the helmet.”

This quote is from:
https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/frontcountry-biking-accident-halts-visitors-backcountry-plans.htm

http://www.berkeleywellness.com/fitness/injury-prevention/article/helmets-cyclists-best-friend

Campground status and campsite availability: call 1 209 372-0266.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/campground-status.htm

The Yosemite Valley Campground Reservations office is in the visitor parking area at Half Dome Village, stop # 14, at the north-east corner of the parking lot (at the back corner, furthest from Half Dome Village stores/pool/guest check-in).

Cell phone service is NOT available in all parts of Yosemite. It is usually okay in the vicinity of the main visitor center.

In June, 2017 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 Half Dome Village.

It is much faster for most people to walk to the chapel from Yosemite Village day use parking or from the Lodge or Housekeeping Camp than to ride the bus from those places.

There are no gas stations in Yosemite valley. You can pay 24 hours with your credit or debit card at El Portal, Crane Flat or the Big Trees Lodge stations.

Golf at Wawona http://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/golfing/

To go to a grocery store you have many choices. The main store in Yosemite Village (stop 2) has a larger selection, but the grocery at Half Dome (Curry) Village, Housekeeping or the Lodge might be closer to where you are staying and the bag of ice in your lap will be less likely to melt as much. The Majestic has basic sundries, snacks/trail food and those chocolate truffles. For hours each is open check the park newspaper

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – HIKES: – – – – – – –

hiking advice

A Yosemite Conservancy Naturalist can be hired to lead your choice of a custom hike:
https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/custom-adventures/day-programs

trail conditions: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm#trails

Yosemite Valley hike map:
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/valleyhikes1.pdf

Wawona hike map
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/wawonahikes.pdf, including Chilnualna Falls, tram route, and the locations of the Fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree, California Tunnel Tree, the Grizzly Giant, Telescope Tree, Fallen Giant and Clothespin Tree.

Crane Flat and White Wolf hike map, including the Tuolumne Grove nature trail and the location of the Fallen Giant and Tunnel Tree:
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/cfwwhikes.pdf

Hetch Hetchy day hikes, including Wapama Falls and Rancheria Falls.

To bus and walk to Bridalveil Fall use the summer El Cap shuttle. Once at the Bridalveil Fall parking area, the walk is .5 mile (.8 kilometers) round trip.

to see a 360 degree view of Bridalveil Fall go to:
https://www.google.com/streetview/#us-parks-trails-and-beaches/yosemite-national-park-bridelveil-falls-trail-1

To hike to Columbia Rock (2 miles round trip, 1,000 feet elevation gain), upper Yosemite Fall (7.2 miles round trip, 2,700 feet elevation gain), Yosemite Point or Eagle Peak (Three Brothers) use the Camp Four/lodge day use stop #7 and head across the main road and through Camp Four. Upper Yosemite Fall hike

To see a 360 degree view from along the upper section of the trail, go to:

https://www.google.com/streetview/#us-parks-trails-and-beaches/yosemite-national-park-upper-yosemite-falls-trail

To hike to Mirror Lake, and beyond to the Snow Creek trail https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/snowcreektrail.htm

the trail along the cliffs below the Royal Arches, (across the parking lot from the Majestic (Ahwahnee) hotel) is longer but can be much more pleasant and less crowded than the paved road from stop 17. At the start of this trail, in some months, you can see and feel mist from the Royal Arch Cascades.

(in heavy rain – two photos below from February 2017 – the white is not snow, it is rushing water – this section of trail can become an unsafe creek/river!)

multiple creeks flowing across a normally dry trail

water flowing in a trail during rainstorm

Compare the photo above to April 2017:

a trail with a little water flowing across it

Or make it a loop (to or from) the official Mirror Lake trailhead bus stop (to or from) the Majestic parking lot.

The trailhead is just to the left of the red Valet parking sign shown in this photo:

trailhead just beyond a parking lot
At the start of the trail, right next to the parking lot, on the left hand side of the trail, you might be able to spot a rock where Yosemite indians ground acorns and left behind deep holes in the rock. (You could call it the original Ahwahnee kitchen.)
large flat rock by side of trail

To hike to Glacier Point via the Four Mile trail (4.8 miles one way, 3,200 foot elevation gain, not open all the way in winter) use the Camp Four / lodge day use parking stop and take a short walk across the river at Swinging Bridge and slightly south/west on the main road to the trailhead. (This would be faster than using the summer only El Capitan shuttle.) There is very little parking at the trailhead.

map showing part of east Yosemite Valley

See a 360 degree view from Glacier Point down to Vernal and Nevada falls, and across to Half Dome at:

https://www.google.com/streetview/#us-parks-trails-and-beaches/yosemite-national-park-glacier-point-trail

See a 360 degree view from the Four Mile trail:

https://www.google.com/streetview/#us-parks-trails-and-beaches/yosemite-national-park-four-mile-trail-1

Find a map of the Four Mile Trail at: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/fourmiletrail.htm

People who want to get a bus ride to Glacier Point and hike back down the Four Mile trail or the trail past Illilouette, Nevada and Vernal Falls, can do so in months when the road is open. The road has opened anywhere from April 14 to July 1, depending on snow pack. Book a one way ride on the Glacier Point tour (most years leaving 8:30 a.m. leaving from the Lobby entrance to Yosemite Lodge, bus stop 8 http://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/guided-bus-tours/

To hike to Vernal Fall (the top is 3 miles round trip, 1,000 feet elevation gain) Nevada Fall (the top is 5 miles round trip, 1,900 feet elevation gain) or Half Dome, (permit required) Happy Isles stop. (There are pictures at Vernal Fall Mist Trail.) Or rather, to hike to Half Dome and back in one day, get up earlier than the buses run and make your way there. (You need a permit to go to the top of Half Dome http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm )

You can go directly to the trailhead by walking from the Happy Isles bus stop across the bridge.

See a 360 degree view from Glacier Point down to Vernal and Nevada falls, and across to Half Dome at:

https://www.google.com/streetview/#us-parks-trails-and-beaches/yosemite-national-park-glacier-point-trail

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The Yosemite valley stable no longer offers horseback riding, you need to go to Big Trees Lodge (Wawona) usually May to early September. http://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/horseback-mule-riding/ This is also where you can pay for a horse-drawn stage ride.

Ice skating see stop #14.

Free internet access / WiFi (subject to change, it has been fee, not free, in the past) is available at Degnan’s Kitchen (when not too many people are trying to use it),

and at the tiny Yosemite Valley branch of the Mariposa County Library in the Girl’s Club Building across a road from the main Visitor Center area. See the bottom left corner of the map below. The library is often only open a few days a week and usually not open on weekends. It has WiFi free on your device and usually two operable computers. You will find much easier access at whatever concession services facility is allowing people to pay for access (often the Lodge). (Guests at Half Dome Village, the Lodge and the Majestic (Ahwahnee) have free access, but not at all locations at those hotels.)

map with Yosemite library, Girls Club, main visitor center

books on shelves, man working at a computer

Details about fee internet access are at: http://www.travelyosemite.com/discover/travel-tips/cellular-service-internet-access/

“From approximately late May through September, a daytime kennel is available at the Yosemite Valley Stable. You must provide written proof of immunizations (rabies, distemper, parvo, and bordetella) from your veterinarian. Dogs under 20 pounds may be considered if you provide a small kennel. No food is allowed, due to wildlife management concerns. Because of limited kennel space, advanced reservations are highly recommended. Contact 209.372.8326 for more information.” And all this is subject to change. The kennel is at shuttle stop #16.

The laundromat is at Housekeeping camp, shuttle bus stop 12. To find the laundromat, bear left when you enter the Housekeeping parking lot.

Map showing Housekeeping Camp, the biggest beach, the pedestrian bridge over the river to other swim beaches, laundromat and showers:

http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/330396/housekeeping-camp-property-map_web.pdf

Lost something on a shuttle bus, (or elsewhere in Yosemite)? https://www.nps.gov/yose/lostandfound.htm

The Mariposa Grove is not in Yosemite Valley. https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/mg.htm

for a 360 degree view of the Mariposa Grove go to:

https://www.google.com/streetview/#us-parks-trails-and-beaches/yosemite-national-park-mariposa-grove

for an article on the Mariposa Grove restoration with before and after pictures, go to:
https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/sites/default/files/useruploads/ym-aw_2017-magazine-final.pdf

The Pioneer Yosemite History Center, with a collection of historic buildings, covered bridge, horse-drawn stage rides and daily Ranger tours in warm months is at Wawona. Download a brochure:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/pyhc.pdf

You might sign up for a free or fee photo walk at the Ansel Adams gallery, but the walk could meet at the Majestic (Ahwahnee), check the park newspaper.

To go rafting, get off at stop 13. This is whether you want to rent a raft or have your own. If you have your own, more info is at: Yosemite Valley Rafting Advice

Raft rental reservations are advised, up to 80% of rafts are reserved the day before. http://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/rafting/ You make them at the little kiosk next to Half Dome Village registration. You can spot the kiosk on the map at http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/524862/half-dome-village_property-map_web.jpg

Ranger talks, walks and evening programs meet at various locations, including in front of the main visitor center, in front of the Yosemite Museum, at a campground/amphitheater, at a shuttle bus stop, at the Lodge amphitheater behind the office, at the El Capitan Bridge, the Majestic (Ahwahnee) hotel shuttle stop or back lawn, check the park newspaper.

There are restaurants and cafeterias, pizzerias / grill / deli of various sizes and styles at Half Dome Village (Curry Village), Yosemite Village, The Majestic (Ahwahnee) and Yosemite Lodge. Links to menus for the restaurants are at the bus stop listings for each lodging above. The main grocery at stop #2 has premade individual meal-type salads with dressing packets, and at the back of the store, whole or half grilled chickens, plus lots of sliced cheese/meats, crackers/breads, cookies to pack an impromptu picnic from.

(Fee) downhill ski and cross country ski/snowboard (free) snow shoe walk with a Ranger Naturalist, use the free winter bus to the ski resort from, usually in this order: Half Dome Village, Yosemite Village, The Majestic Yosemite Hotel and Yosemite Valley Lodge, usually with early morning and mid-morning runs to the ski resort and early afternoon and late afternoon returns. Expect this bus to run on a more rigid schedule than the free valley shuttle buses might.
http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/610220/yssa-shuttle-schedule_2017.pdf

To get a shower in the summer go to Housekeeping or Half Dome (Curry) Village. In the winter only Half Dome (Curry) shower house is open. From the Half Dome (Curry) Village bus stops, walk toward the large buildings. To the right, the biggest building houses the stores and a small food service. To the left of them is a service vehicles only road. Up that road a short distance on the right is the shower house (and swimming pool entrance in the summer). The map below shows bus stops 14 and 20, and the road to the shower house / pool:

map with a blue pool, bus stops and parking lot

The Yosemite valley stable no longer offers horseback riding, you need to go to Big Trees Lodge (Wawona) usually May to early September. http://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/horseback-mule-riding/ This is also where you can pay for a horse-drawn stage ride.

Stargazing can be on your own or is offered during many summers above the valley at Glacier Point. Amateur astronomy clubs host star gazing at the Glacier Point Amphitheater (in cooperation with the park). The program is canceled if the sky is overcast.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/programs.htm

Swimming has details about free for hotel and cabins guests, or pay a fee for others swimming pools with lifeguards and suggestions for swimming in the river in Yosemite Valley.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – to see WATERFALLS: – – – – – – –

Bridalveil Falls can be seen from viewpoint turnouts along Northside Drive on the drive out of the valley (including Valley View on the left hand side of the road just before you leave the valley, about the time you begin to see directional signs for highways leaving the park), at Tunnel View, at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel along the Wawona Road (Highway 41) and by a short walk from a parking lot on your way into Yosemite Valley, or by taking the summer-only El Capitan Shuttle (El Cap shuttle) and walking down southside drive.

Cascade Falls is located three miles east of the Arch Rock entrance station, on the left hand side of the road when you drive into the valley, with a parking area just before it on the right hand side.

Staircase Fall, (one of the first to dry up after spring flow) comes down from Glacier Point to Half Dome Village, stop # 13b, behind the cabins with bath, and can also be seen at the Half Dome (Curry) Village parking, stop 14 & 20, and from the back lawn of the Ahwahnee, stop #3 and various other places.

three sections of a cascade coming down a cliff as if down stairs

Vernal and Nevada Falls, as well as Illilouette Fall can be seen from Glacier Point (road open only in the summer/fall) or by trail from Happy Isles, shuttle stop #16.

Yosemite Falls can be seen from many viewpoints in meadows and along roads in Yosemite valley. To walk to the base of lower Yosemite falls, go to shuttle stop #6. To hike to the top of upper Yosemite Falls go to shuttle stop #7.

Yosemite Conservancy webcam of Yosemite falls is at: https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/webcams

How much water will there be in the Yosemite waterfalls?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – WEATHER REPORTS: – – – – – – –

Yosemite valley

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-119.61292&lat=37.73639#.WOVKuGe1vct

Glacier Point:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-119.57500&lat=37.72725#.WOVLMme1vcu

Tuolumne Meadows:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-119.35666&lat=37.87522#.WOVLm2e1vct

Wawona:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-119.65851&lat=37.53845#.WeoySTtrzct

White Wolf:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-119.64886&lat=37.86591#.WeoyfTtrzct

Mariposa Grove:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-119.60039&lat=37.50387#.Weoyzztrzct

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The Yosemite Guide newspaper, which you will be offered a copy of as you pay at an entrance station to enter the park, has hours of operation for visitor centers, museums, tours, stores, food service, post office, laundromat, showers, auto service, gas stations, and a calendar of park activities including Ranger walks.

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Things to do during a Yosemite snow storm besides hiding in your tent uses the free valley shuttle bus.

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El Cap Meadow Google maps street view (see the summer El Cap shuttle bus) :

https://www.google.com/streetview/#us-national-parks-and-historic-sites/yosemite-national-park-el-capitan-meadow

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A different bus runs to various stops at Tuolumne Meadows in the summer. It runs most of the day to stops at Tuolumne Lodge, trailhead parking near Tuolumne Lodge, Wilderness Center/parking lot, Lembert Dome, store/grill/campground, Visitor Center, trailhead for Cathedral Lakes at the west end of the meadows, Pothole Dome, the east (beach) end of Tenaya Lake, the west end of Tenaya Lake (also the Sunrise trailhead), the May Lake trailhead and Olmstead Point. Usual schedule: service begins at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge at 7 a.m. Buses arrive at approximately 30-minute intervals between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The last shuttle bus leaves Olmstead Point at 6:00 p.m. Most years the shuttle bus also makes two morning (9 a.m. and noon) and two afternoon (3 p.m. and 5 p.m.) runs from Tuolumne Lodge to Tioga Pass with a stop at Mono Pass. All this is subject to change. Look for route maps at the shuttle stops and Visitor Center and/or http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tmbus.htm

This bus was free for years, but see below for new rates from the Yosemite Newspaper (2016 and 2017).

“The Tuolumne Meadows Area Shuttle is now running for a fee, payable by cash only. There are a number of different stops between Olmsted Point and Tioga Pass, with varying fees. A few of the commonly asked about stops and fees are included below.

Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center to Tenaya Lake $4

Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center to Olmsted Point $6

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge to Tioga Pass $8

For more information contact the tour desks at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, Yosemite Lodge or Half Dome Village.”

There is also a daily hiker’s bus in warm months with stops along the road between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows. You can plan to start a day hike up in the high country and take a trail down to the valley, including the Snow Creek trail/Mirror Lake trail and Upper Yosemite Falls trail.

http://www.travelyosemite.com/media/399880/tuolumne-hikers-bus_rates_schedule_2016.pdf

The Big Trees tram tour runs in the summer in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. See the Yosemite Guide newspaper for info or call 209 375-1621.

There is also a free winter bus to Yosemite Ski and Snow area (Badger Pass) for skiing, snowboarding and the Ranger snowshoe walk. http://www.yosemitepark.com/badger-shuttle-schedule.aspx

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There is little parking in Yosemite valley beyond your campsite, hotel area or day use parking. If you park off the side of the road, not in a parking space, (as in the photo below, off road behind a large rock meant to deter anyone from parking there) and you can get a parking ticket with a $200 + fine (orange ticket under the windshield wiper) in this photo:

car with an orange parking ticket

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Driving times and distances from Yosemite Valley to dozens of places in California and a few in Nevada can be found at:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/mileages9-2007.pdf

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Yosemite driving / hiking distances

hiking distances for most Yosemite National Park trails can be found at:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/trailheads.pdf

Bridal Veil fall parking to Bridalveil fall .5 mile (.8 kilometers) round trip

lower Yosemite fall round trip from bus stop 1 mile (1.6 kilometers)

Mirror Lake round trip from bus stop 2 miles (3.22 kilometers) round trip

from Happy Isles bus stop to:

– Vernal Fall footbridge 1.4 miles (2.25 kilometers) round trip, 400 foot (122 meters) elevation gain

– top of Vernal Fall 3 miles (4.83 kilometers) round trip 1,000 foot (304 meters) elevation gain

– top of Nevada Fall 5 miles (8.05 kilometers) round trip 1,900 foot (579 meters) gain

Four mile trial to Glacier Point 4.8 miles one way, 3,200 feet (975 meters) elevation gain

Camp 4 to Columbia Rock 2 mile (3.21 kilometers) round trip, 1,000 feet (304 meters) gain

Camp 4 to top of Yosemite falls 7.2 miles (11.59 kilometers) round trip, 2,700 foot (823 meters) elevation gain

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Yosemite driving distances

junction Big Oak Flat road and El Portal Road – Junction Northside and southside drives .9 mile

-Junction Northside and southside drives – junction El Cap crossover 1.4 miles

(Southside drive) junction El Cap crossover – junction at Sentinel bridge 2.7 miles

junction at Sentinel bridge to junction at Half Dome Village 1 mile

Yosemite Village – junction El Cap crossover 3.2 miles

Bridal Veil fall parking to far end of Wawona tunnel 1.6 miles

junction of Southside drive at Half Dome Village to start of Happy Isles road .4 miles

start of Happy Isles road to Mirror Meadow bus stop 1.2 miles

Mirror Meadow bus stop to junction at start of Happy Isles road .4 miles

junction of Southside drive at Half Dome Village to main day use parking .8 miles

Yosemite Village to Tioga pass road 18 miles

Tioga pass road to Tioga pass entrance station 47 miles

Tioga pass entrance station to Lee Vining 13 miles

junction Tioga pass road to Big Oak Flat entrance station 9 miles

Big Oak Flat entrance station to Hetch Hetchy 18 miles

Yosemite Village to Chinquapin Junction 14 miles

Chinquapin Junction to Glacier Point 16 miles

Chinquapin Junction to south entrance station 17 miles

Yosemite Village to Arch Rock entrance station 11 miles

Arch Rock entrance station to Mariposa 34 miles

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Driving times from Yosemite Valley (if you are not behind a slow moving vehicle or snow plow, or in backed-up traffic that is trying to leave Yosemite valley in the afternoon) :

Wawona/Mariposa Grove: about an hour

Glacier Point: about an hour

Crane Flat: 30 minutes

Hodgdon Meadow/Big Oak Flat Entrance: 45 minutes

Hetch Hetchy: 1.5 hours

Tuolumne Meadows: 1.5 hours

Tioga Pass: 1.75 hours

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FAQ: I can find Camp 4, but what are people referring to when they talk about Camp 11 or Upper Tecoya??

Yosemite Place Names has locations and/or information about Camp 1, Camp 2, Camp 3, Sunnyside Walk-in Campground, Swan Slab Meadow , Columbia Boulder, (or Big Columbia), Camp 6, Camp Tresidder, Camp 7, Lower River Campground, Camp 8, Camp 9, Camp 11, Clark’s Campground, Camp 12 , Camp 13, Camp 14, Camp 15 , Upper River Campground, Camp 16, Camp 17, Camp 20, Lamon Campground, Happy Pines Campground, Yosemite All-Year-Round Hotel, Ahwahnee 6th floor roof garden and dance hall, Library Suite , Sunroom, golf course, Naval Special Hospital, Ash Can Alley, Basket Dome, Boy’s Town, Bug Camp, Camp AE Wood, Camp Yosemite, Camp Lost Arrow, Chinquapin, Chowchilla Mountain Road, Crane Flat Complex, Tamarac Complex and Mariposa Complex, Curry dump site, Curry orchard, Devil’s Bathtub, El Cap Crossover, Ferguson rock slide, Fort Yosemite, Gentry Station, John Muir Hotel, Kenneyville, Great Sierra Wagon Road, La Casa Nevada, Alpine House, Le Conte Memorial, McCauley Cabin, Miller Cascade, Miwok round houses, Monroe Meadows, Northside Drive, Ostrander Ski Hut, Ranger’s Club, Rancheria Flat, Railroad Flat and Abbieville (Hennessey’s Ranch), River Straight, Southside Drive, Stoneman House, Taft Toe, Tecoya (Upper, Middle and Lower), Thousands Cabins, Too-lool-a-we-ack, Train Wreck, Village Drive, Wahhoga (or Wah-hoga), Wosky brown, Wosky Pond.

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Yosemite trips index