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Yosemite Valley

Explore Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is a land of unparalleled grandeur. It is best known for its massive cascading waterfalls, giant granite domes, ancient giant sequoia trees, and vast wilderness spanning over 700,000 acres. You likely have many questions on how to best explore this iconic National Park. Here, we’ve gathered all the details to help you plan.

Visiting Yosemite

  • The park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The entrance station to Hetch Hetchy is only open during daylight hours.
  • Entrance fees are required year-round, excluding fee-free holidays.
  • Reservations for entry are NOT required during fall and winter, and will NOT be required during summer 2023! Reservations were required in the summers of 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, and in summer 2022 when numerous key visitor attractions were closed for critical infrastructure repairs.
  • Permits are NOT required for day hikes within the Park, unless you are hiking to the top of Half Dome.
  • Wilderness permits are required for any backpacking or camping within the Park.

Transportation

  • The nearest airport to Yosemite National Park is Fresno Yosemite International Airport. It is a 1 hour and 20-minute drive from the airport to Tenaya at Yosemite and an additional 10 minutes to the Park’s south entrance.
  • You can also take public transportation into Yosemite. The YARTS bus runs year-round along Highway 140 from Merced, or from May to September along the following routes: Highway 41 from Fresno; Highway 120 from Sonora; Highway 120/395 from Mammoth Lakes. Each route ends in Yosemite Valley.

Weather

  • Yosemite receives most of its precipitation from January through March.
  • Summers are generally dry and hot during the day with cooler temperatures in the evening. Occasionally, there may be an afternoon thunderstorm. During this season, temperatures in Yosemite Valley usually range from 51° F to 87° F.
  • Yosemite’s winters are snowy and cold but can be sunny. In Yosemite Valley, average temperatures typically range from 28° F to 53° F.
  • Springtime in the Park can be unpredictable, with sunny and warm days followed by winter storms. In Yosemite Valley, average temperatures range from 39° F to 69° F.
  • Much like spring, fall is highly variable, with temperatures ranging from hot and dry to rainy or snowy – sometimes, within the same week. Average low temperatures in the fall are 35° F and average high temperatures are 54° F.

Find Your Ideal Itinerary

Looking for a guide to plan your perfect getaway to Yosemite National Park? View these specially curated road trip itineraries from Explore Better, featuring Tenaya at Yosemite:

Sun

Snow

A family inside a tree at the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

The Mariposa Grove

Visit the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite, featuring approximately 500 giant sequoia trees, including the famous California Tunnel Tree.

Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley

Explore the magic of Yosemite Valley, home to Yosemite’s star attractions including El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and many more.

Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point

Visit Glacier Point for a breathtaking birds-eye view of Yosemite Valley from over 3,200 feet above the valley floor.

Chilnaulna Fall at Wawona in Yosemite National Park

Wawona

Take a trip back in time at Wawona, established in 1857 and located less than eight miles from Tenaya at Yosemite.

Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park

Tuolumne Meadows

Learn about the largest subalpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada, located in Yosemite’s high country at an altitude of 8,575 feet.