Recent years have seen Yosemite inundated with traffic. Families plan their trips and travel from far distances to visit this magnificent area only to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and find themselves circling lots for hours looking for an elusive parking space.
The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System – or YARTS as it is mostly known – is public transit service that has been taking the stress out of driving to the park for two decades. Coach buses traverse four corridors through six surrounding counties bringing tens of thousands of visitors into the park every year. Travelers come from all over California, the United States and more than 100 countries.
YARTS provides convenient connection service to individuals traveling train and bus. Passengers on Amtrak or Greyhound who travel into the Fresno or Merced stations have their YARTS fares included in their tickets.
Multiple YARTS Stops
If you’re traveling by car, the buses make stops along four routes into the park:
- Hwy. 120/395 starting in Mammoth Lakes on the east side of the park.
- Hwy. 120 starting in Sonora to the west of the park
- Hwy. 41 originating in Fresno.
- Hwy. 140 starting in Merced.
Along the way to the park, YARTS has stops at designated park and ride lots, campgrounds and RV parks.
YARTS staff recommends showing up at the YARTS stop early to beat the crowds. Before boarding, you can load any strollers, backpacks, bikes or luggage into the stowage area.
Once aboard the air-conditioned bus equipped with a restroom.
Ride Free Park Shuttle
As you enter the park, YARTs buses get to use the “bus-only” lane when park traffic is heavy, which means less time for you in a vehicle and more time outdoors in the park. Once you’re in the Yosemite Valley, you can get to where you want to go by taking the free park shuttle. It serves the valley, El Capitan, Tuolumne Meadows (in the summer) and in the winter the Badger Pass Ski Area, recently known as the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area. Without having to worry about where to park at trailheads or visitor centers, you can maximize your time in the park.
And at the end of the day, you don’t have to worry about the drive home.
For more information:
For more information about YARTS, ticket prices, or the seasonal schedules, please visit www.yarts.com or call (877) 989-2787. Updates on YARTS schedules can also be found on Facebook and Twitter by searching for @rideyarts.
YARTS is a California Joint Powers Authority comprised of Merced, Mariposa and Mono Counties in partnership with Caltrans, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service and the United States Forest Service. The Merced County Association of Governments provides staff services and operational support for YARTS.