Trying to help out the environment as well as taking the driver out of the car, the new electric hybrid technology powered shuttle buses are doing the driving for the tourists as well as making most of the Yosemite National Park within walking distance without need of bottled water, a walking stick, and a backpack. All you need is your camera to record the beauty that your eyes behold.
When the park is crowded and parking is at a premium, the shuttle stops help ease the traffic problem near each major site. Just park in one of the day visitor parking areas and walk to the stop nearby. The shuttle is free of charge and has 21 stops throughout the Yosemite Valley. They are even wheelchair-lift equipped. Look for the Yosemite Shuttle stops and board the green and white bus for ease of transportation. A green and white bus shuttle arrives at the stops about every 20 minutes.
To keep traffic and pollution down in the park, the Park Service operates a free shuttle bus service, the Yosemite Shuttle. The shuttle runs in a big loop around the Valley, stopping at key points.
Leave your car in the visitors lot and hop on the shuttle. It's convenient and green, and you can actually see more from the bus than you can from your car: the buses are higher, have large windows, and you don't have to be watching the road all the time.
To explore Yosemite Valley you just need to park your car in the central car park and get on one of the many free shuttle buses that run in the park.
They run daily every 10-20 minutes depending on the time of day. The shuttle service runs from 07:00 - 22:00.
It's the best way to get around the valley, taking you to all the places you want to get to, including the start of the hiking trails.
The shuttles run until about 10p at night. The buses are air conditioned and pretty big. All the stops are numbered and you can pick up a pocket map of the schedule and bus routes. We took the shuttle out to Happy Isles after dark to look at the stars. The drivers are helpful and friendly and will point out wildlife and scenery to you.
Yosemite has more than 3 million visitors every year and most of them go to Yosemite Valley, so it can get very crowded especially during the summer. When you're driving, its also very easy to get distracted by the breathtaking views all around you. It may also be difficult to find parking.
To give the wonderful scenery your full attention, and help the environment, take the free shuttle bus which runs through different points of interest all around the valley. They run every 20 minutes so you don't have to wait too long.
Some shuttle buses are tours or hikers buses and may charge a fee, such as the one going to Glacier Point. But getting around the valley is totally free.
The park has a shuttle bus service around the valley floor. There are many stops located throughout the area, with map posted at the bus stops as well as little paper maps that they give you for free. While you can drive to several locations in Yosemite Valley, others are only reached by shuttle bus, foot of bicycle. Mirror Lake is an example of the latter. The bus can take you to all the major trailheads in the valley floor.
With as many visitors as the Valley gets, the bus system seems a logical and necessary way to reduce the number of cars. If everyone drove, the congestion would be unbearable.
Like most national parks in the United States, Yosemite has a very organized, free shuttle service. There are two separate shuttle routes:
El Capitan Shuttle operates 9am-6pm at 1 1/2 hour intervals, stopping at these areas:
**Valley Visitor Center (sharing with the Valley Visitor Shuttle--stop #5)
**El Capitan Picnic Area
**El Capitan Meadow
**Four Mile Trail
(Note: This shuttle stops only where designated above)
Valley Visitor Shuttle operates from 7am-10pm daily, stopping every 10-20 minutes according to times posted at each stop:
l.Yosemite Village/Day Parking
3.The Ahwahnee Hotel
4.Yosemite Village/Degnan's Food Court complex
5.Valley Visitor Center/shares stop with the El Capitan shuttle
6.Camp 4/Upper Yosemite Fall Trailhead
8.Valley Visitor Center
10.Sentinel Bridge/Yosemite Chapel
11.Housekeeping Camp/LeConte Memorial Lodge
12.Curry Village Rental enter
13.Curry Village Registration Desk
14.Curry Village Parking
15.Upper Pines Campground
16.Happy Isles/John Muir Trialhead
17.Mirror Lake Junction
19.Lower Pines ampground
20.Curry Village Parking
21.Curry Village Rental Center
(Note: These shuttle stops are always in the same order). ENLARGE MAP TO SEE PARKING AREAS which are marked "P".
*This information provided by Yosemite National Park
An environmentally friendly and convenient way of exploring Yosemite is by free shuttle bus. There are three shuttle bus routes in Yosemite National Park: Wawona to Mariposa Grove, Eastern Yosemite Valley, and Tuolumne Meadows. The Yosemite Shuttle runs year-round; starting from the large day-use parking lot, it makes an hour loop around the valley, stopping at 21 stops along the way. Stops include Yosemite Village, Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Lodge, Housekeeping Camp, Curry Village, Mist Falls Trailhead, Mirror Lake Trailhead, and the Ahwahnee Hotel. Buses run from 7 AM to 10 PM; between 7 AM and 9 AM, buses run each half hour; between 9 AM and 6 PM, they run every 15 minutes; between 6 PM and 10 PM, they run every 20 minutes. The Wawona Shuttle makes three stops: Wawona, South Entrance, and Mariposa Grove Parking Lot. The Wawona shuttle operates from 9 AM to 6 PM; the last shuttle leaves Mariposa Grove at 6 PM, so be sure to get down to the parking area by that time. The Wawona shuttle operates usually between April and October. The Tuolumne Meadows Shuttle Bus was not operating when I was in the park; it usually starts in June.
To get around the popular locations around the valley, use the free bus shuttle bus.
With a transparent glass roof, you can enjoy the scene.
Just park your car at one of the various free parking lots.
Just remember where you parked.
It was already dark. We thought our rental car was stolen and got the services of a park ranger who drove us around until we found the actual parking location our car!
The best way to get around the valley is to leave your car in the day-use car park and catch the shuttle buses to wherever you wish to go. They run fairly frequently - every 20 minutes or so - are free of charge and help to avoid congestion on the valley's roads.
For those without cars who wish to venture further afield, there are also hikers buses to Toulomne Meadows ($14.50 one-way or $23.00 return) and Glacier Point ($15.00 each way)
To reduce the amount of car traffic, there is a shuttle that stops at designated spots throughout the Valley.
Rangers suggested to take the shuttle all the way around once to get used to the surroundings.
This shuttle is free and there are 21 stops throughout the Valley.
There is a convenient Shuttle Bus in Season ( May- September) that takes visitors to trailheads and many of the most popular spots and views in the park. Check the parks website or the National Park Service for schedules.
The Yosemite Valley shuttle is free and stops at 23 locations in the park. The shuttles are air conditioned, which is nice because it can get hot in the valley during the summer months. There are a few parking lots in Yosemite where you can park your car and it is a short walk to a shuttle stop. During the height of summer traffic gets very congested and moves very slow.
The Shuttle Buses are a great way to get around Yosemite Valley. They go every 10 minutes from early morning to late at night and stop at all important places like hotels, visitor centers, trailheads and car parks. They are free!
And the drivers are an attraction as well, they are constantly talking into their microphones to entertain and inform their passengers, explain some sights, talk about the hotels, the animals, the weather, the mountains or just have conversations with some passengers and the whole bus can listen. I learnd a lot about the quality of pillows nowadays - they are nothing like the pillows in the good old days!
There is a free shuttle bus which runs along Yosemite Valley. Visitors have the option of using the bus service or driving their own cars. But due to the high volume of traffic in the valley, there is a shortage of parking spaces in the lots in the valley. Your best bet is to park your car in a day use lot and then walk or take a bus over to Yosemite Village. During the peak summer months, there is no other way to see all attractions in the Valley.