The largest of Yosemite‘s visitors centers is the Valley Visitor Center (shuttle stop 5, 209/372-0298, 9am-5pm in summer, bookstore open until 7pm), located in Yosemite Valley. Park in the main day-use lot in Yosemite Village.
Campgrounds in Yosemite
The following first-come, first-served Yosemite campgrounds are your best bets for snagging a last-minute site. Try to arrive before noon on weekdays and by mid-morning on weekends, especially in summer.
- Camp 4 (Yosemite Valley): 35 sites; open year-round.
- Tamarack Flat (Tioga Rd.): 52 sites; late May-mid-Oct.
- Yosemite Creek (Tioga Rd.): 74 sites; late June-mid-Sept.
- Tuolumne Meadows (Tioga Rd.): 304 sites; June-late Sept.
- Bridalveil Creek (Glacier Point Rd.): 110 sites; July-early Sept.
- Porcupine Flat (Tioga Rd.): 52 sites; July-Oct.
- Hodgdon Meadows (Big Oak Flat entrance): 105 sites; first-come, first-served Oct.-Apr. only
- Wawona Campground (Wawona): 93 sites; first-come, first-served Oct.-Apr. only
Most of the campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and their surrounding parklands are first-come, first-served.
Getting Around Yosemite
The free Yosemite Valley Shuttle (7am-10pm daily in summer, shorter winter hours) transports visitors around the valley floor year-round. Other free, seasonal park shuttles include:
- Wawona-Mariposa Grove Shuttle (spring-fall)
- Wawona-Yosemite Valley Shuttle (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
- Badger Pass (twice daily from Yosemite Valley, mid-Dec.-Mar.)
- Tuolumne Meadows Shuttle (between Tioga Pass and Olmsted Point, mid-July-early Sept.)
Sequoia National Park operates a free shuttle bus system (9am-6pm daily) from late May through September 1.
Weather, rockfalls, fire, and other natural occurrences can affect driving routes and lodging options. No matter when you go, it’s unwise to travel at any time of year without checking on current conditions: Yosemite (209/372-0200), Sequoia and Kings Canyon (559/565-334).
Excerpted from the Sixth Edition of Moon Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon.