Getting to Yosemite by Car

A Warning About Using Your GPS

Please note that GPS units do not always provide accurate directions to or within Yosemite. Yosemite covers 1,200 square miles and does not have a single address. We do not recommend using GPS units for directions in and around Yosemite. If you do use a GPS unit, just keep in mind that if there's a conflict between what the road sign says and what your GPS unit says, the road sign is correct (and your GPS unit isn't). Be sure to use the Tenaya Lodge address (1122 CA-41, Fish Camp, CA 93623), and the GPS should get you there with no issues. Do not just enter "Yosemite National Park" into your GPS, or you'll likely end up on a two-lane road, looking straight at a mountain while your non-helpful device chirps happily: “You have arrived."

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Filling Up

The nearest gas pumps to Yosemite Valley are open year-round inside the park at Wawona (45 minutes south of the valley on Wawona Road) and Crane Flat (30 minutes northwest on Big Oak Flat Road/CA Hwy 120) - and in summer at Tuolumne Meadows on Tioga Road.

At those locations, you can pay at the pump 24 hours a day with a credit or debit card. There's also a gas station at El Portal just outside the park entrance on CA Hwy 140. At any of those places, you'll pay 20% to 30% more than if you fueled up in Mariposa, Oakhurst, or Groveland where prices are comparable to what you find in the bigger California cities.

Snow Chains

During the winter months, snow chains may be required on State Highway 41 or Highway 49. For highway information and snow chain requirements, please call 800-427-7623. For the record, we don't expect there to be an accumulation of snowfall before or on October 22-24. 

When chain control is in effect, all vehicles (including four-wheel drive) must carry tire chains. In extreme weather conditions, even four-wheel drive vehicles will require chains.

Driving Directions

From the West and North

San Francisco/Bay area
Distance: 195 mi / 314 km
Time:4-5 hours
Take I-580 east to I-205 east to Highway 120 east (Manteca) or Highway 140 east (Merced) into Yosemite National Park.

Sacramento
Distance: 176 mi / 283 km
Time: 4 hours
Take Highway 99 south to Highway 120 east (Manteca) or Highway 140 east (Merced) into Yosemite National Park.

From the South

Los Angeles area
Distance: 313 mi / 504 km
Time: 6 hours
Take I-5 north (or I-405 north to I-5) to Highway 99 north to Highway 41 north (Fresno) into Yosemite National Park.

Driving Times Within and Around Yosemite

From Yosemite Valley to:

Wawona Road (continuation of Highway 41):

  • Glacier Point: a little less than an hour
  • South Entrance/Mariposa Grove: a little more than an hour
  • Wawona: a little less than an hour

El Portal Road (continuation of Highway 140):

  • Arch Rock Entrance: about 25 minutes
  • El Portal: about 30 minutes

Big Oak Flat & Tioga Roads (continuation of Highway 120 through the park):

  • Crane Flat: about 30 minutes
  • Big Oak Flat Entrance/Hodgdon Meadow: about 45 minutes
  • Hetch Hetchy (via Evergreen and Hetch Hetchy Roads): about one hour and 30 minutes
  • White Wolf: about an hour
  • Tuolumne Meadows: about one hour and 30 minutes
  • Tioga Pass: about one hour and 45 minutes
  • Lee Vining: about two hours