Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau
It’s approximately 3.5 to 4 hours’ drive, depending on seasonal conditions.
It’s around a 6-hour drive to Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park, depending on seasonal conditions.
The nearest major airport is Fresno, however public transit is available from SFO, LAX, and FAT (Fresno) via Amtrak buses to YARTS (regional transit system). It’s important to note that there are 7 flights daily from LAX to Fresno and regular flights from Las Vegas.
There are four main entrances to Yosemite. Three stay open all year round, but Highway 120/Tioga Pass/Eastern entrance closes Oct-May.
A handy tip is not to always trust google maps as it is programmed to send people to the nearest entrance of the park, which isn’t necessarily always where you want to go.
For example, if you’re coming from San Francisco, it’ll tell you to follow the 120 which seems like the shortest route. However, the 120 closes in the winter and even when it’s open, it brings you to a higher elevation, quite a distance from the valley floor, which is where most people want to be.
While it looks a lot farther, it’s actually the same amount of time to take the 99 down to 140. Plus – a lot of the hotels in the area are going to be along this route.
This gives you a quick rundown of the biggest attractions in Yosemite. There’s much more than this, but if you have limited time – these are the must-sees.
- Half Dome is one of the most famous icons of Yosemite National Park and El Capitan is one of the largest. Tunnel View was actually made famous by photographer Ansel Adams. This is an amazing spot to visit as you can see both Half Dome and El Capitan from here.
- Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in in North America, with a drop of about 700 meters. Then, of course we also have Vernal Falls and the Giant Sequoia trees. These are the ones that can fit a car in the base of the trunk with room to spare. They’re said to be among the largest and oldest living things on earth. If you head to Mariposa Grove, you’ll find a tree that is estimated to be between 1,900 and 2,400 years old!
- Last but not least we have the town of Mariposa – this is a classic gold rush town and a very American experience! You can take a covered carriage ride around town and even go panning for gold!
While it can be difficult to say for sure, especially due to seasonality, there is certainly a reasonable chance you’ll see a bear around Yosemite National Park. Remember to always be safe, exercise caution around all wildlife, and follow the rules and guidelines of the park. Find more information at the Yosemite National Park website.
Restaurants in the area run the gamut from casual, DIY picnic goodies from a market to burgers, sandwiches, pizza, pasta and even luxury dining. Yosemite restaurants are perfect whether you’re staying in a hotel, motel, B&B or even camping in Yosemite Mariposa County.
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AutoCamp Yosemite Opens
Relive a classic of Mid-century Americana with the Autocamp in Yosemite, a unique accommodation made of Airstreamer Camper-trailers, updated with the latest mod-cons.
Yosemite National Park is covered in Visit California’s STAR online training program.