Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of information are you looking for?

Trip Planning
Getting to Yosemite

Visiting Yosemite in Winter/Tire & Snow Chain Info.
Wildlife
Other

Trip Planning

Q: How do I make or change a reservation?

A: You can make a reservation online at http://www.yosemitepark.com/Reservations.aspx; if you’ve already made a reservation online, you can change or cancel it online by logging into your account. 

To make a reservation by phone or change or cancel a reservation you made by phone, call (801) 559-4884 Monday - Friday: 7 am to 8 pm PST & Saturday & Sunday: 7 am to 7 pm PST.

Q: Can I book tours and other activities online or by email?

A: Currently no; please call (209) 372-4FUN (386) to book tours and other activities. The hours of operation are Monday - Friday: 7 am to 8 pm PST & Saturday & Sunday: 7 am to 7 pm PST.

Q: Are there rooms available, and how do I find rates?

A: Visit http://www.yosemitepark.com/Reservations.aspx and click on “Make Your Reservation.” A screen will come up with a calendar that helps you see the dates when there is availability.

Some accommodations in the Yosemite sell-out as early as 366 days in advance for summer months, especially over holiday periods.  However cancellations occur often, so if you check back periodically online at http://www.yosemitepark.com/reservations.aspx.

Q: Is there someone that can help plan my trip?

A: Personal trip planners are currently not available, but there are several tools you can use to help you plan your trip:
For lodging visit: http://www.yosemitepark.com/lodging.aspx
For things to do visit: http://www.yosemitepark.com/Activities.aspx
For special events visit: http://www.yosemitepark.com/Yosemite-Events.aspx

Yosemite National Park has a video that talks about planning your trip to Yosemite and you can view it at: http://www.nps.gov/yose/photosmultimedia/ytp.htm.

Q: What will be going on while I’m in Yosemite?

A:  You’ll find a schedule of park programs plus a lot of other useful information in the Yosemite Guide, which can be downloaded at: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/guide.htm.

Q: What do I need to remove from my car while I’m staying in Yosemite?

A: To protect bears and your belongings, please remove anything with a scent from your vehicle while staying in Yosemite.  Remember, just because it’s not food to us, it may smell like food to a bear.  These items include:
  • All food and food related items
  • All toiletries (toothpaste, mouthwash, perfumes, deodorant, sunscreen, lip balm, etc.)
  • Ice chests (even if empty)
  • Trash & recycling
  • Air fresheners
  • Child care products

If you’re staying in a hotel room or a hard sided cabin, you may bring these items into your accommodation.  If you’re staying in a tent cabin or Housekeeping Camp unit, these items must be stored in your bear box.

Q: Are pets allowed in the park?

A: While pets are allowed in the park, there are several restrictions in place in order to protect our wildlife and your pet.  Find out more about pet rules in Yosemite.  Only service animals are allowed in lodging, restaurants and other building in the park.

 

Q: Are there any campground cancellations for tonight?

A: To find if any campsite reservations have been cancelled, you can stop in at any of the following offices:
  • Valley Campground Office in the Curry Village Day-Use Parking Area
  • Big Oak Flat Campground Office
  • Tuolumne Meadows Campground Office

You may also want to check the NPS reservations website, for last-minute availability.

Getting to Yosemite

Q: How do I get to Yosemite?

A: There are several ways to get into Yosemite National Park; visit http://www.yosemitepark.com/direction-travel-info.aspx to determine which way is best for you.

Q: Is there public transportation available to get to the park from the area airports?

A:  Yes. Here is a link to a file that gives specific directions to getting to Yosemite from various airports using public transportation: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/airportpublictransit.pdf.

Q: How long does the park stay open?

 

A: The park is open 365 days a year, 24 hours/day. Entrance stations are not staffed 24 hours/day.

Q: Where can I drive my car?

 

A: There are many scenic areas that can be reached by car. A number of these areas will have turn-outs and/or informational signs. Popular destinations such as Yosemite Valley, the Mariposa Grove and Tuolumne Meadows suffer from traffic congestion. Visitors are encouraged to use free shuttle bus transportation provided at these locations.

Areas restricted from vehicle traffic are:

  • Happy Isles Loop *
  • Mirror Lake Road *
  • Various sections of the shuttle bus route in
  • Yosemite Village *
  • Merced Grove
  • Tuolumne Grove
  • Mariposa Grove * (People with permanent disabilities who possess a handicapped placard may follow a scheduled tram in their personal vehicle.)

* Excluding persons with permanent disabilities. Free parking areas exist in proximity to these areas.

In the winter, the Tioga Road (Hwy 120 East), the Glacier Point Road from Badger Pass Ski Area to Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove Road are closed. Other park roads may close temporarily due to heavy snow, rockslides, etc. 24-hour road and weather conditions may be obtained by calling (209) 372-0200.

Visiting Yosemite in Winter

Do I need tire/snow chains when I drive to Yosemite in winter?

You should always be prepared for winter driving conditions when visiting Yosemite from November through April.  Visit the Winter Driving Information page for information on tire chain requirements, road conditions phone numbers, and winter driving tips.

Wildlife

Q: Why are bears breaking into cars?

 

A: Black bears are opportunistic feeders. Bears will break into cars to obtain food if it is more readily available than natural food sources. In 1998, Yosemite experienced over $630,000 in property damage caused by bears. An aggressive education campaign in 1999 and installation of food lockers at all campgrounds, trail heads and parking lots has brought this figure down by 67% as of May 1999. Once bears become conditioned to human food, they become more aggressive in their pursuit of human food, and lose their instinctive fear of humans. In 1998, three bears had to be killed in Yosemite for this reason. The only way to solve the problem is to keep ALL sources of unnatural food away from bears! Please spread the word at every opportunity about proper food storage! All food and odorous items must be stored in metal food storage boxes provided at all campgrounds, trailheads, and parking areas. DO NOT LEAVE FOOD IN CARS, CAR TRUNKS, OR TENT CABINS. To report trash problems, improper food storage, bear sightings and other bear-related problems, call the SAVE-A-BEAR HOTLINE at: (209)372-0200 (press 7, then 3).

Q: Are there rattlesnakes in Yosemite?

 

A: Yes. While it's important to be alert, you need not be overly fearful of them. They generally live between 2,000 to 7,000 feet, though rattlesnakes have been seen as high as 9,000 feet. Typically, visitors see rattlesnakes in the summer while hiking during the morning when snakes come out to warm themselves in sunny, boulder-strewn areas.

Q: Are there bighorn sheep in the park?

 

A: Twenty-seven bighorn sheep were reintroduced in the Lee Vining Canyon area just east of the park in March 1986. Since then, there has been another relocation to augment the herd, and there have been a number of births and deaths. The healthiest herd size numbered approximately 80-90 in the early 1990s. In the winter of 1994-95, a marked decline occurred with the newborn sheep and yearlings. The herd size was estimated at approximately 30-40 in 1995. In 1998, the herd size was estimated to be below 40.

Other

Q: How do I submit a request for a donation?

All donation requests must be submitted in written form via, fax, mail, or email.  Please do not call.

Send your request in writing to:
DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite
Donations Committee
PO Box 578
Yosemite, CA 95389

Include the name of your organization, the date of your event, what type of donation you are seeking and contact information in the event we are able to grant your request.

Things to understand regarding donation requests:
• We receive several thousand donations each quarter. 
• Our Donations Committee meets once per quarter and reviews a sampling of those received. 
• We are not able to respond or grant all requests. 
• Please do not submit your request multiple times. 
• Please do not call or email to see if we received your request. 
• We will not correspond with you unless your request has been granted.
• When we do grant requests they are in the form of goods or services.  Typically, we do not donate room nights or cash.