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!
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- How to Get to Yosemite National Park
- Where to Stay INSIDE Yosemite National Park
- Yosemite National Park Map
- Where to Stay in Yosemite Valley
- Where to Stay Inside the Park, 30 Minutes from the Valley
- Where to Camp in Yosemite Valley
- Where to Stay OUTSIDE the Park
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.
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.
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
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:
- 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)
- Standard rooms starting at $208/night; indoor and outdoor pools; free wifi for guests; they also have a post-office & ATM (4.3 stars)
- 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
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
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.
- $280-$360/night, bed & breakfast
- rooms starting at $125/night, this lodge consistently gets 5 star reviews
Where to Camp in Yosemite Valley
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
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:
- 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
- With rooms starting at $189/night, this lodge offers a sports bar, restaurant, and several indoor & outdoor pools and hot tubs; paid wifi
- 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!
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!