Visit Yosemite National Park From Mammoth Lakes

Sep 05, 2022

NOTE: Yosemite National Park is accepting visitors by advance reservation only from May 20-September 30. See below for more details.

Located just 45 minutes north of Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite National Park is one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. From soaring peaks and towering waterfalls to tranquil lakes and ancient forests, Yosemite offers a variety of breathtaking natural beauty for an unforgettable adventure.

Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

Enjoy hundreds of miles of scenic hiking trails. Walk to the edge of a 3,000 foot-high precipice, or experience the great depth of the chasm from the Valley Rim. On high country trails, encounter another Yosemite of mountain peaks, wildflower gardens and permanent snowfields. A visit to Yosemite is not complete without greeting the true giants of the tree world—the Sequoias. And if you’re looking to snap some stunning photographs, Yosemite’s natural landmarks are legendary—Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and Sentinel Dome.

Yosemite has far more to offer than just its beauty. Experience fishing for wild trout in summer or fall, with many extraordinary angling opportunities for four species of wild trout. Or enjoy Yosemite Valley’s excellent bike path system (bikes are available to rent if you don’t bring your own). The park is also a birder’s paradise, the rich variety of birds is a reflection of the park’s amazing ecological diversity.  

Getting to Yosemite National Park from Mammoth Lakes

Yosemite National Park is easy to access from Mammoth Lakes, and together they make a great pairing on any outdoor enthusiast’s itinerary. To get there from Mammoth Lakes during summer and fall, take the Tioga Pass State Highway 120 to the eastern gate into Yosemite National Park.  

Yosemite Area Regional Transit (YARTS) offers transportation for visitors who would prefer to travel by bus from outlying communities into Yosemite Valley rather than drive themselves. For a reasonable fare, you can purchase round-trip tickets for the scenic ride into the park and leave your vehicle parked at your hotel. The bus typically runs from June through September when Tioga Pass (Hwy. 120) is open. Weekend service is available in June and September with daily trips to and from Yosemite in July and August.

Yosemite National Park Reservations

Reservations for day-use visitation to Yosemite will be required May 20 through September 30, 2022. Day-use reservations can be obtained on starting March 23, 2022 at 8 am. Reservations are not required for visitors using YARTS or other NPS-approved tour operators to enter the park. Additionally, visitors who are only accessing the Hetch Hetchy area, or those with a wilderness or Half Dome permit will not need a day-use reservation to enter the park for the dates of their permit, but the entrance fee still applies.

New this Year:

  • Day-use reservations will be valid for three consecutive days (vs. seven last year). Visitors will no longer be required to show up on the first day of their reservation; they can enter the park on any of the three days for which their pass is valid.
  • Locals and visitors will be allowed to pass through the park without a day-use reservation (with an allotted time restriction from gate to gate).

More information can be found on the Yosemite National Park website.

Meghan Miranda

Meghan has been living and playing in Mammoth Lakes since 2016. She enjoys any outdoor activities that her dogs can tag along for. See more of Meghan's adventures on her blog Meg Moves Mountains.

More Blog Posts By Meghan Miranda