Exploring the Many Entrances to Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is an incredible place for travelers and adventurers alike. With its towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and iconic granite domes, it’s easy to see why this beloved park attracts millions of visitors each year. What many people aren’t aware of is that there are five different entrances to the park. Let’s take a look at them!

The South Entrance
The most popular entrance to Yosemite National Park is the South Entrance. This entrance is conveniently located off Highway 41, making it easily accessible from Fresno or Oakhurst. Once inside the South Entrance, you can explore the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, take a dip in Wawona Swimming Pool, or enjoy some fishing in Tenaya Lake.

The Big Oak Flat Entrance
The Big Oak Flat Entrance lies just north of the South Entrance and provides access to several popular attractions such as Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and Tuolumne Meadows. It also offers access to some of Yosemite’s most spectacular hiking trails like Clouds Rest Loop and Panorama Trail. This entrance is usually less crowded than the South Entrance, so if you’re looking for a quieter experience, this might be your best bet.

The Tioga Pass/East Entrance
The Tioga Pass/East Entrance is probably the least trafficked of all five entrances. This entrance lies near Lee Vining and provides access to Yosemite Valley via Tioga Pass Road (Highway 120). From here you can reach popular destinations like Tuolumne Meadows and Olmsted Point—a great spot for star-gazing during summer nights!

The Arch Rock/West Entrance

The Arch Rock/West Entrance is located just west of El Portal on Highway 140 near Mariposa Grove Road and serves as an alternate route into Yosemite Valley from Merced or San Francisco. This entrance offers access to some beautiful areas like El Portal Overlook and Bridalveil Fall—a stunning 620-foot waterfall that’s perfect for photography.

The Hetch Hetchy/Northwest Entrance

Last but not least we have the Hetch Hetchy/Northwest entrance which is located near Groveland off Highway 120 West (Big Oak Flat Road). As its name implies, this entrance provides direct access to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir—an area known for its excellent fishing opportunities as well as amazing views of Half Dome and other nearby peaks.

Whether you’re looking for peaceful solitude or breathtaking views, Yosemite National Park has something for everyone! And with five different entrances to choose from, you are sure to find just what you’re looking for when exploring this beautiful national park! So grab your gear and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!