Yosemite National Park has four roadway entrances. You must go to Recreation.gov to get an entrance permit this year so book this first since permits are limited to 20% of normal daily entry. Remember 80% of the permits are available starting on the 1st of each month for the NEXT month and 20% of the permits are available 48 hours before arrival. So we want to help you make it easier talking about Amtrak which bypasses the normal Yosemite Reservation permit limitations. You can also avoid the Yosemite Reservation Permit book directly with YARTS for a seat to go into Yosemite Valley with a return.
YOUR BEST BET to skirt the Yosemite Reservation Permit is by contacting Incredible Adventure Tours for a BEST OF YOSEMITE or a HIGH COUNTRY TOUR or less service and less expensive drop off ORIENTATION tour by calling 1-800-777-8464 and tell them you are staying at the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort! These guides know what they are doing.
Tracks to the Trails or Bus to the Trails
Take the tracks to the trails for the ultimate relaxation and it gets you into Yosemite without the new restrictive Yosemite Reservation Permit. Book it from wherever you are to Yosemite and ask to stop at the Bug the last leg of the train to bus journey. Book your ride into Yosemite National Park via Amtrak San Joaquins to help reduce your carbon footprint and reduce the emissions in the park. Remember any guest arriving through Amtrak has always received 15% for their accommodations, June Bug Cafe, the Spa or the shop!
You can also bypass the new Yosemite Reservations Permit by booking a seat on the YARTS bus shuttle to and from Yosemite Valley from the Bug!
Booking at AMTRAK.COM from wherever to Yosemite Valley allows you to skirt the now required Yosemite Reservation Permit. Completely worth the extra time it takes to get here. An hour extra from San Francisco for example. It is seamless even if it goes bus to train to bus. There are few delays. Go on their website and book your ticket to Midpines, or Yosemite if you are going in first. If you need to stash a backpack in the valley look for a bear proof food box that abound. Once the driver drops you at the Bug it is a 1/4 mile walk up our driveway, yes, but like all public transit or bicycles, we offer a 15% discount off of anything you buy here. Yay!
To bypass the Yosemite Entrance Permit currently required BOOK HERE WITH YARTS for a seat. This bus system is the shuttle from the Bug to Yosemite Valley round trip inclusive of the park fee for only $12. We use it when we want to avoid traffic in summer, avoid putting on chains in winter, or want to listen to the driver’s Yosemite commentary. They will drop you off at four places in Yosemite Valley where you can pick up the Valley Shuttle Bus to trailheads. Look at their great map online. Once you arrive off of Amtrak in Midpines or Greyhound in Merced this is what you use daily. Double check their schedules online for seasonal differences and MOSTLY their summer routes you can come or leave on from the other three entrances. Yay!
Yosemite Valley Shuttle
*At this time the in valley YOSEMITE SHUTTLE IS NOT OPERATING. If you drive a car just find parking and use this system. These electric and hybrid busses stop everywhere at the eastern two thirds of the valley. Look at it’s map beforehand on their website or with our seasonal itinerary on our NEWS web page so you know where you want to get off.
Yosemite will need a Yosemite Reservation Permit for a bicycle too for now. So going cross country on a bike is for the truly adventurous, but they will still charge a fee to get in. The scenic Highway 140 roadway going into Yosemite Valley has bicycle awareness signs, but also suffers from narrow shoulders and driver who cut over lines. You can throw your bike under the YARTS bus in the compartments, but sometimes they don’t have space or want you to take a wheel off. You can leave the bike for the day at the Bug and take YARTS without your steed. Either way we give you 15% off everything for being so cool.
CARS AND VANS
To get the limited Covid-19 related Yosemite National Park Entrance Permits for the very limited 1700 new vehicle entry restrictions daily go to RECREATION.GOV to book now.
Really you need to see Yosemite National Park in the off season or see some backcountry off the roads outside of Yosemite Valley. We do make regular seasonal recommendations in the Bug Facebook feed about finding spectacular in offbeat places. Otherwise in Yosemite Valley it’s best to finding a parking spot and using the Yosemite Valley bus.
GPS and Google Maps
Sometimes our guests find themselves stuck on a back dirt road across the river or driving back and forth on Highway 140 on the other side of Mariposa. We always recommend you take a wee look at Google Maps beforehand to eyeball the route and find the City of Merced as the axis to reach us through. It’s the key except from the east in summer. Google Maps knows us well. GPS though will take you into the dirt road hell if you don’t eyeball the route first. On GPS look for us at 6979 CA State Highway 140, Midpines, CA 95345
From San Francisco
Leaving between 10am and 2pm, take the Bay Bridge to 580 East, 205 East, 5 North for a few miles to 120 East. You must take 99 South to Merced rather than continue on 120 into the Park. Then take 140 East towards Yosemite, we are ten miles past Mariposa. 140 is a nice scenic route.
Easy 3 hours. Take 99 South to Merced, then 140 to us. We are ten miles past Mariposa.
From Lake Tahoe
Take Highway 50 West to Sacramento and see above. Really it is about the same 5 hours to turn on 49 South at Placerville and look see the old and intact Gold Rush towns of Sutter Creek, San Andreas, Angel’s Camp and Columbia. When in the gold town of Mariposa head 10 miles towards Yosemite… In summer take the scenic east side of 50 East to 395 West and at Lee Vining take 120 West through the park to Yosemite Valley. We are 27 Miles from down 140 West from there.
From Los Angeles
Let’s start at Hollywood or Downtown for a five hour drive leaving between 10am and 2pm. Take 5 North to 99 North through Merced to 140 East. We are 10 miles past Mariposa.
From Las Vegas
Two ways depending on ‘weather’ the Highway 120 pass is closed through Yosemite in winter. Check in advance. So a fast seven hours is 15 South to 58 West to 99 North through Merced and 45 minutes up to the Bug. Or for good scenery, go through Death Valley then up 395 North to 120 West then 140 West from Yosemite Valley. That’s nine hours but you will stop and look about so give yourself twelve hours.