Photo by Lech Naumovich

Central Valley to

from Central Valley
Yosemite summary f42601faabcfe566e107e85172a5e7540e1f7c100b55010f4330c57ccd19a3c7
Boasting massive granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia trees and much more, Yosemite is one of the world’s premier national parks!
Did you know you can take transit to many of the destinations in Yosemite? YARTS is a entire transit system dedicated to getting people to and from the park, and once you are there, the National Park Service operates a free shuttle, dropping you off right where you want to go. Amtrak offers an extensive rail and bus network, connecting to YARTS in Merced in California’s Central Valley.
Plan a one way hike, enjoy the scenery on the way to your destination, save time and money, no parking hassles, and many more benefits, all by taking transit to Yosemite!

Additional Info

Getting to Yosemite from Central Valley

Pick up the YARTS bus at various spots in Merced. See details on the YARTS site here
Board a luxury bus for a scenic ride through Mariposa and El Portal, and then directly into Yosemite National Park. Get dropped off at a number of key Yosemite Valley destinations including Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite Village, the Ahwahnee Hotel, or Curry Village. Schedule and Interactive route map here
Free shuttle service throughout much of the park is available once you get to Yosemite, including the Yosemite Valley Shuttle that makes frequent stops at many popular destinations in the Valley. Another free shuttle covers Tuolumne Meadows. See details on all the transit options to numerous destinations throughout the park here
From Yosemite Valley, YARTS also offers transit to Tuolumne, the east side of the Sierra, all the way to Mammoth. Maps, schedules and more info here



$25 round-trip, $13 one-way

Child (12 & under)/Senior (62+)

$18 round-trip, $9 one-way
* With YARTS’s Family Friendly Fares, one child (12 or younger) rides free with each paying adult. Each additional child rides for the children’s fare (see above).
All YARTS fares include Park entrance fee!
See full fare schedule.


There are a number of comfortable and affordable lodging opportunities in Yosemite from camping under the stars to cozy cabins to more traditional hotels, all close to transit stops in the park.

Housekeeping Camp

(801) 559-4884 ~$120/night in summer, ~$80/night off-season, sleeps up to 6.

These simple living quarters don’t have telephones or TV, but are surrounded by plenty of amenities, such as a camp store, laundry facility, central restrooms and showers (just a short walk from any of the 266 units), and lots of rental gear available (including bedding). Curry Village and the heart of Yosemite Valley, with all of their restaurants, gift shops, outdoor adventure access, guided tours and ranger/naturalist programs, are located nearby and accessible by the free Yosemite Valley Shuttle. Just hop on and off at stop #12, located across the street from Housekeeping Camp at LeConte Memorial Lodge.

Curry Village/Camp Curry

(801) 559-5000 $124-$162/night, sleeps 4

This historic village has unique rustic tent cabins with electric light and cot beds (bedding is provided). Heated cabins are also available. Restrooms, showers and a pool are centrally located in the village and shared with other Curry Village guests. All amenities in Curry Village are accessible via the year-round Valley Shuttle (stop #13b) and YARTS.

Upper Pines , Lower Pines , North Pines Campgrounds

From $26/night

Upper Pines and Lower Pines Campgrounds are both accessible via Valley Shuttle stop #19. North Pines Campground is accessible via Valley Shuttle stop #18.)

Yosemite Lodge

(801) 559-5000 (rates $227-$239/night)

As the closest lodging to Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Lodge is a great choice for those who want to play and stay in the heart of the Valley. With 241 newly renovated eco-friendly rooms (some including bunk beds) and 4 Family rooms, there are options available for everyone wanting very comfortable accommodation in the center of the Yosemite Valley!

It is important to plan ahead and reserve a camping spot well in advance. Yosemite National Park is visited by millions each year and is a very popular tourist attraction, campgrounds are usually full during the summer peak season.


Yosemite Lodge at the Falls Restaurants

Three restaurants situated around the Yosemite Lodge offer options for any dining preference: The Mountain Room Restaurant has fine dining in an elegant atmosphere; The Mountain Room Lounge serves light appetizers and cocktails; and The Yosemite Lodge Food Court is a great spot for casual dining, coffee, and picnic items.

Curry Village Restaurants

Some of the many amenities available in Curry Village include 5 casual dining options with pizza, a buffet, grill, coffee, and cocktails at family-friendly pricing.

Yosemite Village Restaurants

Degnan’s Deli has sandwiches, salads, snacks, vegetarian and gourmet foods, and a variety of coffees and other beverages (open year-round). Degnan’s Cafe is open from May - September and offers smoothies, baked goods, deli items, snacks, ice cream and coffees, as well as computer and internet access. Degnan’s Loft is open from May - September and located above Degnan’s Deli. The Loft serves pizza, salads, soups and appetizers as well as beer and wine in a family-style restaurant atmosphere. The Village Grill has patio seating and is open from April - October, serving burgers, grilled sandwiches, salads and milkshakes.

The Village Store

The Village Store is located in Yosemite Village and offers a full line of souvenirs including T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and Junior Ranger accessories. he Village Store also carries groceries, fresh meat and produce, baked goods, camping supplies, books, magazines, postcards, bagged ice, and firewood. An ATM is available inside the store.

The Village Store is currently open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Housekeeping Camp General Store

Basic groceries, snacks, beverages, firewood, bagged ice, and camping supplies are available, in addition to souvenirs, maps, books, and children's gifts.

Tuolumne Meadows Store

General convenience store offering groceries, cold beverages, camping and cooking supplies, maps, and souvenirs. Open seasonally from May through September.

More Information

The Mountaineering School, located in Curry Village rents Yosemite camping gear, backpacking and climbing equipment on a first come first served basis only. Please contact the Mountaineering School at (209) 372-8344 for additional information. See more information here

Rent bikes from Curry Village Guest Services and explore even more of the Park! Bicycles are available for hourly or daily rentals from the Curry Village Recreation Center (Valley Shuttle stops 13a and 21), on a first-come, first-served basis for $12/hour and $34/day. sure to pick up a trail map at the rental shop. More info here

Bringing your bike and gear with you is another great option. Each bus offers ample storage for you backpack, bike, climbing gear or any other luggage you intend to bring for your outing. Bikes and packs are allowed in the storage compartments under the YARTS’ buses, as space allows. Keep in mind that if the storage is full, you may not be able to bring your bike, more info here The San Joaquin Amtrak train allows bike storage and there is no extra cost or reservation required, see more info here

Treat the family to an evening of entertainment at The Yosemite Theater Films and live performances are held nightly at this theater behind the Valley Visitors Center, with tickets available in the Visitor Center ($4 for children/$8 for adults). The Yosemite Theater is run by the Yosemite Conservancy, with proceeds supporting conservation, restoration and education programs within the park.

Top Transit Accessible Excursions