Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park: Your ULTIMATE Guide on How to Get There and Where to Stay Near Yosemite Valley

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Planning a trip to one of America’s most popular National Parks can be a daunting task.

Did you get the right price? Is there a hotel close to the park? What are your options for staying in hotels vs camping?

That’s why I created this quick guide on how to get to Yosemite National Park and where to stay while you’re there! (If you’re unsure about visiting, read my post on why you NEED to visit Yosemite!)

I only included hotels, lodges, & campsites that are within 30 minutes of Yosemite Valley.

This is an extremely popular National Park, so arriving early in the day is essential. No one wants to wake up at 4:00 am and drive an hour so they can get there for sunrise.

So… if you’re ready to plan your trip, read on!

And when you’re done, check out how to make the most of two days in Yosemite National Park!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through a link, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read full disclosure here.

text reading yosemite valley places to stay

How to Get to Yosemite National Park

Where is Yosemite National Park located?

Yosemite National Park is located about halfway up the eastern side of California.

map of california with sites of the National Park Service denoted in green font: Redwood NP, Whiskeytown NRA, Yosemite NP, Golden Gate NRA, Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP, Death Valley NP, Mojave N Pres, Joshua Tree NP
Map from nps.gov

What is the closest major city to Yosemite Valley?

  • Fresno, CA is the closest city and is about 96 miles (2.5 hours) from Yosemite Valley.
  • Sacramento, CA is the next closest, at about 176 miles (3.5 hours) from the Valley.
  • San Francisco, CA is around 193 miles away (4 hours).
  • San Jose, CA is about 199 miles (4 hours).
  • Flying into Reno/Tahoe, Nevada will have you driving around 250 miles (5.5 hours) to get to Yosemite Valley.
looking out of plane, can see the wing of the plane, overlooking the grand canyon

What airport is closest to Yosemite?

The closest airport is Fresno Yosemite International Airport in Fresno, CA. Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, and United all fly into this hub.

If you fly Southwest, the closest would be Sacramento (SMF), Oakland (OAK), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), then Reno/Tahoe (RNO), respectively.

Where to Stay INSIDE Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park Map

Map of Yosemite Valley. Brown solid line denotes roads. Symbols show locations of bathrooms, gas, dining, campgrounds, etc
Brochure map of Yosemite Valley from nps.gov

Related: How to Spend Two Days in Yosemite National Park

Where to Stay in Yosemite Valley

While places to stay inside the park are more expensive, they are very convenient if you don’t want to drive into the park every single day.

There are a lot of options on HOW you stay inside the park. There are hotels, campsites, cabins, canvas tents, and something similar to a camp/tent hybrid that you will read about in a sec!

Here are the places I’ve found to stay inside Yosemite:

stone & log hotel in front of a large rock mountain face
The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, formerly called the Ahwahnee Hotel. Photo from Pixabay by David Mark.

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel/ The Ahwahnee Hotel

  • Previously called the Ahwahnee Hotel. Standard rooms starting at $341/night and classic cottage rooms starting at $386/night; this is the most high-end place to stay within the park and offers a gift shop, pool, and bar (4.5 stars)

Yosemite Valley Lodge

  • Standard rooms starting at $208/night; indoor and outdoor pools; free wifi for guests; they also have a post-office & ATM (4.3 stars)

Housekeeping Camp

  • Starting at $108/night, this is the camping/tent hybrid I mentioned earlier; each comes with a double bed, bunk beds, electrical outlet, a mirror, table & chairs; bathrooms are community & linens (but not sleeping bags) can be rented
three canva tents with green front doors in a row
Canvas tents in Curry Village (formerly Half Dome Village) that you can rent!

Half Dome Village/ Curry Village

Formerly Half Dome Village, Curry Village offers the most options for lodging in Yosemite Valley with choices of cabins, motel rooms, & canvas tents. (4.0 stars)

Curry Village is extremely popular and it’s not uncommon for it to book up several months in advance!

It boasts an outdoor swimming pool (seasonal, of course), an ice skating rink (in winter), an amphitheater, access to the shuttles, ranger programs, bike rentals, and more!

WiFi is not available in Curry Village. 

  • Cabins with/without private baths starting at $185/$120/night
  • Canvas tents: heated/unheated starting at $120/$90/night
  • Motel rooms starting at $248/night

Related: 5 Reasons You Need to Visit Yosemite National Park

Where to Stay Inside the Park, 30 Minutes from the Valley

There are several places to stay south of Yosemite Valley on Wawona Road. These are still in the National Park itself. Most are privately owned & rented out.

Yosemite West High Sierra

  • $280-$360/night, bed & breakfast

Yosemite Peregrine Lodge

  • rooms starting at $125/night, this lodge consistently gets 5 star reviews

Where to Camp in Yosemite Valley

couple looking out a tent onto a lake & mountains, can see their sock-covered feet in the photo

Upper Pines, Lower Pines, and North Pines are all near each other in the park. Each lot in the campgrounds has different requirements as to what is allowed. Some are wheelchair accessible, some can only accommodate smaller RVs/trailors, so check out the link above for more information!

Camp 4 works a bit differently. It has 35 tent-only lots, no showers nearby, is not wheelchair accessible, and is ran on self-registration. Click the link above for more details. If you are looking for bare-minimum and the cheapest when staying in Yosemite, this is your best option.

Below is a screenshot taken from nps.gov listing their current campsites & rates.

Yosemite Valley Campgrounds & daily fees
Photo from nps.gov

Where to Stay OUTSIDE the Park

While not technically inside Yosemite National Park, these hotels and lodges can offer lower prices and are within 15-20 minutes of Yosemite Valley.

The closest places to stay outside the park are in El Portal. Here are 3 of the top places to stay:

Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn (Bed & Breakfast)

  • Standard rooms starting at $220/night, this adult only (21+) bed & breakfast is only 12 miles from the Valley; 2 night minimum; free wifi; breakfast included

Yosemite Cedar Lodge

  • With rooms starting at $189/night, this lodge offers a sports bar, restaurant, and several indoor & outdoor pools and hot tubs; paid wifi

Yosemite View Lodge

  • Starting at $229/night, this lodge also has indoor & outdoor pools, a gift shop, and convenience store; paid wifi

Ready to book? Use my code from Booking.com and we both get $25 back!

How to Visit Yosemite National Park in TWO Days

Hopefully, this post will help you plan a future trip to Yosemite National Park! It has been my favorite National Park thus far and I cannot wait to go back. Let me know your favorite part of Yosemite or favorite hike in the comments!

the name melissa written in cursive

Read more about Yosemite National Park with these posts below:

How to Spend 2 Awesome Days in Yosemite

Hiking to Upper Yosemite Falls

5 Great Reasons to Visit Yosemite National Park

"don't forget to pin on pinterest!"

Best Places to Stay Near Yosemite Valley When Visiting Yosemite National Park!

places to stay in yosemite

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  1. Hello Cousin, Glad to see your love of hiking and the natural world. I’ve been to many of the National Parks etc out west you have been to. Also I lived for years in and near the Smokies so let me recommend a hike in our backyard so to speak. It’s the Gregory Bald Trail out of Cades Cove in the park. At about 5000 ft. elevation, in June it’s spectacular with Flame and all kinds of wild azaleas on the bald. Unique, fairyland looking. In August you can go back for the wild blueberries. Let me know if you have been there before or if you go in the future. I sure miss my mountains. Also, I’m so sorry about the bad luck Jane is going thru. A bad deal indeed. Take good care of her. Peace and Luv, william

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! Honestly, the only hike I’ve done in the Smokies is Chimney Tops (before the fire) so I will definitely add this one to my list. Hoping to be able to go back there soon and hike some more trails!

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