Yosemite National Park Transportation

The good news is that one of America’s favorite national parks is just one hour north of Mammoth Lakes. The even better news is that you don’t even have to drive.

More than 3 million people visit the park each year, which means the windy mountainous roads can be very busy in the peak travel seasons. Yosemite is also starting a road construction project, which is expected to cause delays. If you want to see the park, but don’t want to worry about driving you can still get there easily and comfortably with the Yosemite Area Rapid Transit System (YARTS).

The large commuter buses travel daily to and from Yosemite National Park from a number of destinations including Mammoth Lakes. Here’s everything you need to know about taking YARTS to Yosemite for the day.

Mammoth Lakes YARTS Stops – Bus Stops there are five bus stops in mammoth Lakes that YARTS buses pick-up and drop-off. The Yosemite-Mammoth route starts and finishes at the Mammoth Mountain Inn, and also stops at the Village, Juniper Springs resort, Mammoth Lakes Park and Ride, and the Shilo Inn.

Schedule – Summer service begins on June 1 and ends September 27. The service runs on weekends only in June and September, and daily in July and August. Daily routes begin at 6 AM departing every few hours with the last bus returning between 5 and 8PM. Check the schedule to plan your trip.

Rates – Round-trip tickets from Mammoth Lakes to Tuolumne Meadows or Yosemite Valley range from $18 to $36. You can purchase tickets on the bus with cash or credit.

Bus Stops in the National Park – YARTS buses stop at all designated stops and sometimes they even stop at additional locations if it is determined to be safe and accessible for unloading. YARTS can only pick up at designated bus stops. Be sure to check the map before you go off for the day and plan a pick-up spot.

Baggage and Bikes – Bags, including backpacks of any size, and bikes are allowed on YARTS buses. Larger packs may need to be stored in compartments under the passenger seating. Bikes are allowed in the storage compartments under the bus, or if you’d rather not bring your own, bikes can also be rented inside the national park.

Wheelchair Access and Service Animals All YARTS buses are wheelchair accessible. To be sure that there is space, Contact YARTS 48 hours prior to your boarding to make a reservation. Service animals are allowed on all YARTS buses.

Monica Prelle

Monica Prelle is an outdoors, wine, and travel writer who would rather be running, climbing, or mountain biking. See more of Monica's posts here, read more of her work at monicaprelle.com and connect on twitter @monicaprelle

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