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Public transportation to Yosemite

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Public transportation to Yosemite

Hi

am planning a trip to the west coast this Nov/dec. will be visiting Yosemite in mid December. intends to stay somewhere outside the park (cause we will be driving from LA to Yosemite) and visit the park the next morning. read that the nearby places will be oakhurst etc... also read that tire chains may be required depending on the weather conditions. in the event that tire chains r indeed required, will the information be readily available on the internet?

and if yes, we will have to abandon the plan to drive into the park. if that happens, is there any public transportation we can take to bring us into the park from say, Oakhurst?

thks

Washington State
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1. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

No, there is not public transportation from Oakhurst into Yosemite NP. There are some tours, but I'm not sure if they're running winter.

The public transportation YARTS bus runs up Hwy 140. You could stay in Mariposa (1.5 hr bus ride) or in El Portal (0.5 hr bus ride) and then take YARTS to the Valley. From there, you'd use the free shuttle to get around the Valley. I don't think any other transportation would be running in Yosemite.

>>in the event that tire chains r indeed required, will the information be readily available on the internet?<<

Yes, it might be on the NPS page. But the best option for up to date information is to call the road conditions phone number. All the info is included in the Winter Driving info in the upper right. Here is one article, "Tire Chains Basics" tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c129647 It includes the phone number 209-372-0200 x1 x1.

Read the Fall and Winter Trip Reports in the Top Questions for some ideas about what you might do during your visit to Yosemite.

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Make good plans about what to do and where to be over the busy Thanksgiving holiday. Perhaps posting a draft of your entire itinerary will help you to make better plans. For example, shopping is a popular activity for Singapore visitors so you'll want to know more about Black Friday shopping.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

As PNWF notes, for day trips from Oakhurst to Yosemite Valley, there's no direct shuttle,

There is a ski shuttle from Oakhurst to Badger Pass. …yosemitepark.com/yosemite/news/yosemite-nat… but it's only available on a limited basis during Badger Pass ski season. It's unclear whether this will continue in 2014 but I assume it will be on.

There are ranger activities at Badger Pass, including snowshoe hikes. Then you could take the shuttle from Badger Pass to the Valley yosemitepark.com/badger-shuttle-schedule.aspx but you won't be able to then get back from Yosemite Valley back to Oakhurst that same day.

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3. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

Don't count on ski season beginning as early as late November. It has happened in the past, but it's not a sure thing.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

I would not consider taking the shuttle from Oakhurst -- the best bet is to stay somewhere like El Portal or Mariposa and take YARTS in if chains are required.

Singapore
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5. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

HI and thanks to both for your advice!

yes, i will be posting my planned itinerary v soon to get feedback. most likely will post in the California forum since i will be covering SF, LA, Las Vegas, San Diego...

back to Yosemite... would like to confirm:

1) will tire chain be needed anywhere from LA to El portal ?

2) how does the Shuttle work? does it stop at designated bus stop in the park?

3) i have a day in the park and intends to visit the Yosemite Valley, Mariposa giant trees, and the Glacier point if possible. is my plan do able?

4) will the chain requirement change within the park? as in, we manage to enter wihout chains being required, but in the park itself, the chain requirement is imposed?

5) we have never driven with chains before, and neither do we know how to install, so the safest way is to stay at El portal and check the road conditions, then take the YARTS rather than purchase the chains to standby?

thks much

Washington State
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6. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

1) It is unlikely that chains will be required between Mariposa and El Portal, but it's possible. Check highway conditions.

2) The free shuttle in Yosemite Valley stops at the Shuttle Stops. Map: nps.gov/yose/…valleyshuttle.pdf Only the Valley Shuttle Route will be running in December.

3) No, this is not likely to be possible. If you want to see the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, maybe stay in Oakhurst on the first night. Drive from L.A. to Oakhurst, drop your stuff at your hotel, and drive another 30 minutes to Mariposa Grove. Visit. Then drive back out. The next day, drive 1.5 hrs to Yosemite Valley for your tourism. Stay in Yosemite Valley this night. Of course this route assumes that there are not chain restrictions on the route from Oakhurst to Mariposa Grove on Day 1 and from Oakhurst to Yosemite Valley on Day 2. If it's snowy, don't try this. Skip Mariposa Grove and drive to El Portal. Visit smaller Tuolumne Grove or skip Giant Sequoias entirely.

Glacier Point Road is probably closed in December. nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/seasonal.htm But it might be open. From Yosemite Valley, it takes an hour to drive up there.

4) The chain restrictions are based on current conditions. They can change every few hours. If you are in the Park and the forecast says a big storm is coming, get the car out of the Valley and leave it in drier/lower El Portal or maybe even Mariposa if needed. Ride YARTS back to the Valley to your lodging. At the end of your tourism, everyone rides YARTS out to the car in El Portal (or Mariposa.)

5) Yes, that sounds like a good choice for you. But staying in El Portal means you won't get to Mariposa Grove at the south end of the Park.

Singapore
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7. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

Hi pacificNwfamily

gosh, with the uncertainty of the weather , it sure is difficult to plan for this leg! and boy, i am not sure if i should actually book my accommodations in advance since it is hard to foresee what will happen then....

kind of disappointed that i may not get to see the giants since it seems like to go there, i may have to cater another day and my itinerary doesn't seem to allow for that...

sorry, i dun quite understand why we have to get the car out of the valley if there is a snow storm. if we are already staying in the valley, is it okay just to head back to our lodging in the valley itself rather than drive all the way out to el portal?

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8. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

Perhaps I misunderstood your question.

Let's say you are staying at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls on Tuesday & Wednesday nights. You drive to the Lodge on Tuesday, park your car, and use the Valley shuttle for your tourism. No need to drive.

Scenario A: great weather or just cloudy/rainy

You don't need to do anything special.

Scenario B: a small storm moves in on Wednesday.

You enjoy the snow, ride the free shuttle around the Valley, and have a great day. On Thursday when you're ready to leave, the road has cleared and chain restrictions are removed.

Scenario C: a multi-day storm begins on Wednesday

You don't do anything special, but on Thursday when you try to leave the road conditions require you to put on chains. You don't have chains. So you can't drive your car. Yosemite Lodge at the Falls is full, so you must check out. Now what? You can't leave (no chains) but you can't stay (no lodging.) Do you sleep in the lobby?

Or you plan ahead and move the car to a snow-free zone at a lower elevation. On Thursday your family takes the YARTS bus (with tire chains!) down to the car.

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I think the chance of getting a huge storm in early December is small. But it's a possibility.

Have you read all the winter driving information on the right?

Singapore
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9. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

thks for the clarifications and the 3 scenarios!!! totally understand the situation now...and the conclusion is, i should just stay at el portal and take YARTS even if the weather seems fine, since i dun have to worry about getting out of the valley if the weather turns into a snow storm suddenly to avoid being stuck without chains....

and what do u think if i go to Sequonia np to see the giants instead? i had wanted to do that initially but the drive there seems to be v long and cumbersome....

Washington State
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10. Re: Public transportation to Yosemite

I think Yosemite is a better choice when the possibility of poor weather exists.

You can check the past history on the wunderground website, but it seems like early December is more likely to be decent weather.