FAQs

Frequently asked questions and answers about traveling to Yosemite National Park.

photo by Crystal Sagan

National Parks to Offer Healthier Food Choices

Healthy options are cropping up at national park eateries thanks to the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program. Read More...

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Become a Junior Ranger

Each year over 27,000 children became junior rangers during their park visit. Although Yosemite’s junior ranger program is aimed at kids aged 7 to 13 years, anyone (even senior citizens!) can complete the educational activities in the booklet, then pick up a bag of trash to help keep the park clean and attend a ranger-guided program in order to earn an official junior ranger badge. Read More...

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Do I need a reservation to visit Yosemite?

No, you don’t need a reservation to visit Yosemite. However, if you plan to spend the night in Yosemite, you should have a reservation for lodging, camping, or backpacking.

Are there vehicle restrictions in Yosemite?

You can drive your car into and around Yosemite (shuttle buses are not mandatory). Some roads have vehicle length restrictions and others close seasonally.

Will I need to bring tire chains?

Tire chains may be required in fall, winter, and spring due to snowy or icy conditions.

How do I get to Yosemite?

You can find driving directions, driving itineraries, and scenic drives here.

Will the Tioga Road be open?

The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) is open approximately late May through October, though these dates vary depending on conditions.

When do the Half Dome cables go up and come down?

The Half Dome cables usually are installed by the weekend before Memorial Day weekend, but this can vary depending on conditions and trail crew availability. The cables usually remain up through Columbus Day (in October). The National Park Service strongly discourages hikers from attempting the cable route when the cables are down. Learn more about the Half Dome hike.

What is there to see in Yosemite?

You can find a list of natural wonders in Yosemite here.

What is there to do in Yosemite?

You can find a list of activities here.

When is the best time of year to visit Yosemite?

It depends what you’re looking for! While most people visit Yosemite during summer, there are advantages to visiting throughout the year.

How can I protect bears from my food (and my food from bears)?

Yosemite’s bears are always searching for food and consider anything that looks like or smells like food to be food. Learn how to store your food while visiting Yosemite.

Can I bring my pet to Yosemite?

Pets are allowed in Yosemite, but with some restrictions.

Is Internet access available in Yosemite?

Internet kiosks and wi-fi are both available. You can find more information here.

Will my cell phone work in Yosemite?

Digital cell service is available in and near Yosemite Village to AT&T and Verizon customers (you may get a weak signal elsewhere in Yosemite Valley, as well). Verizon customers with analog-capable phones may receive service near Wawona, Crane Flat, and Tuolumne Meadows. If you have any information to add, please let us know.

How can I get a job or find volunteer work at Yosemite?

A variety of organizations hire employees and volunteers to work in Yosemite. Learn more about jobs, internships, or volunteer positions within MyYosemitePark.com contact npi@aimmedia.com.

Top Ten Things to do in Yosemite Park

1. Yosemite Valley Waterfalls

When snow melt from mountain peaks brings icy waters rushing downstream into Yosemite Valley, great waterfalls spring to life. During the peak seasonal flow, which usually happens in May, the thundering of waterfalls can be heard clear across the valley. Read More...

2. Famous Viewpoints

Yosemite’s Tunnel View with Half Dome, Valley View with Merced River, Glacier Point, and Olmsted Point are the most famous views in the National Park. Read More...

3. Walk Among Giant Sequoias

Start by taking the whole family on a joyful nature walk through the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. Read More...

4. Black Bears & Wildlife

With more than 400 kinds of animals and multiple life zones for plant life, Yosemite is a top spot for wildlife watching. Read More...

5. Explore Trails

Whether you want to get out of the car and do a little exploring, or you’re planning a backcountry adventure on foot or horseback, we’ve got just the thing for you and your family. Read More...

6. Go Camping on Your Yosemite Vacation

Nothing beats sleeping under the stars in Yosemite National Park, especially if you’re looking for a little family togetherness Read More...

7. Go Rock Climbing in Yosemite

Stalwarts like the giant wall of El Capitan, the polished promontory of Half Dome, and skyscraping Glacier Point all call to expert climbers, who sometimes bivouac overnight while suspended in mid-air. Read More...

8. Yosemite’s Curry Village Ice Skating Rink

Yosemite is covered in powdery blankets of snow, and the valley becomes a winter wonderland. Read More...

9. Explore History & Culture

Yosemite is the wild, wild West. From its earliest Native American inhabitants, to the mid-19th-century California Gold Rush, and the later arrival of ranchers, loggers, and hoteliers, the land surrounding Yosemite National Park is amazingly rich in historical sites. Read More...

10. Festivals & Ranger-Led Activities

Come to watch waterfalls in spring, go hiking in the Sierra Nevada high country in summer, roast marshmallows over your campfire in fall, and go skiing and snowshoeing in winter. Timing your visit to coincide with one of the region’s many festivals will only enhance your Yosemite vacation. Read More...

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