landscape of yosemite national park

How To Get From Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park

Need to get from Los Angeles to Yosemite? You’re in luck, it’s a well travelled route, so you can get there in more ways than one. How you take the journey depends on how you like to travel, and if you’re short on time or if you have all the time in the world to soak in the incredible views along the way. Either way, you’re going to experience some of the most awe-inspiring vistas in the world. Yosemite National Park is full of crashing waterfalls, abundant wildlife, plunging valleys, granite cliffs, and so much more. Let’s get you there. Here are some of the best ways to get from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park.

Getting from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park

Plane

The quickest way to get from Los Angeles to Yosemite is by car. However, it’s not the most simple. There are two options for flying to Yosemite. Firstly, you can hop on a flight from LAX to Eastern Sierra Regional Airport (BIH). This is a ski seasonal service, so it only runs in the winter months, with a stop in San Fransisco along the way. Once you get to Eastern Sierra Regional Airport, you’re still about 90 minutes away from Yosemite, but there is a direct bus that takes you there.

If you want a year-round option, not just a seasonal one, then you could fly from LAX to Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT). Both United and Alaska Airlines offer flights all year round and a lot of them are simple direct flights, which can be as short as 56 minutes. You do have to take the bus from Fresno Airport to Yosemite National Park, which takes around four hours to get to the Yosemite Visitor’s Center. It does stop at some hotels along the way, but if it doesn’t stop at yours, but then you have to get a taxi from the Visitor’s Center. This bus service only runs from May to September, so if you make this journey during the winter, you’ll have to book a rental car or a shuttle bus.

Car

road to yosemite from los angeles

The most popular way to get from Los Angeles to Yosemite is by car. Who doesn’t love a road trip? If you’re coming out of town and need to hire a car, the first step is finding a great deal for the car you want. Then, you can set sail on the journey. There are two options, depending on the kind of journey you want – you can take the direct route, which takes around five hours, or you can take the even more scenic route, which will take around ten hours. Both drives will be beautiful, but the ten-hour journey along the coast is an adventure.

There are a few things to be aware of when driving to Yosemite. Some of the more scenic and popular areas in Yosemite, such as the Tioga Pass, require a reservation. Be sure to research where exactly you’re going and if you need to book a driving slot. Visitors also have to pay a fee of $35 per vehicle, unless they have an annual pass. This pass is valid for seven days, though, which might be all you need. Another thing to note is that during the winter months, typically starting from November and sometimes going as late as May, some roads will be closed off due to weather conditions. You might have to alter your route if this is the case.

Bus

If you don’t drive or you want to be more environmentally conscious, you can easily hop on a bus from LA to Yosemite. It’s also the most affordable way of doing the trip. While there isn’t a direct bus to Yosemite, there is a direct bus to Merced. The journey takes around 6 hours, with regular stops to get some food and stretch your legs. From Merced, you switch to a local Yosemite bus, which will take you to the Yosemite National Park Visitor Center. This second journey can take up to three hours, taking the total driving time up to nine hours.

The bus from LA to Yosemite is air-conditioned and comfortable, with restrooms and free Wi-Fi. It’s also incredibly convenient, there are several stops in Los Angeles that get you on one of these buses, including Union Station, Downtown Greyhound Station, North Hollywood Greyhound Station, and more.

Aleyna Yilmaz

Aleyna loves learning about a culture through its food, whether that's closer to home or being out there in the world. She’s always happiest when experiencing somewhere new, but her base in Manchester is a close second. A blend of her love of writing, food, travel, and culture has naturally led her to travel writing full time.

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