People often travel from San Francisco to Yosemite for the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the National Park, lakes, and waterfalls.
Yosemite National Park is known for its stunning views of waterfalls, granite cliffs, and giant sequoia trees, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, photographers, and nature lovers.
People may also travel to Yosemite for camping, backpacking, or rock climbing.
San Francisco To Yosemite Distance
SF to Yosemite distance is almost 170 miles (275 kilometers) by car drive. The travel time is almost 3 to 4 hours.
The distance from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park varies depending on the route taken, as there are several ways to get there. The distance also depends on which entrance to the park you use, as Yosemite is quite large and has multiple entrances.
The most common route is to take Highway 120 from the west, which takes you through the Big Oak Flat entrance to Yosemite National Park. This route is approximately 169 miles (275 kilometers) long, and takes approximately 3-4 hours to drive, depending on traffic and road conditions.
Another popular route is to take Highway 580 East/Highway 140 from the west, which takes you through the Arch Rock entrance to Yosemite National Park. This route is approximately 197 miles (317 kilometers) long and takes approximately 3-4 hours to drive.
San Francisco to Yosemite Drive Time
The drive time from SF to Yosemite National Park is around 3.5 to 4 hours, depending on the route taken and the entrance used to access the park. The two main routes are via Highway 120 or Highway 140.
San Francisco To Yosemite National Park
There are a few ways to get from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, depending on your preferences and travel style:
San Francisco To Yosemite Driving:
The most popular way to get to Yosemite is by driving. The journey takes approximately 3.5 to 4 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
Take Highway 580 East to Highway 205 East to Highway 120 East, which will take you straight into the park.
SF To Yosemite Bus:
If you prefer not to drive, there are several bus companies that offer daily service from San Francisco to Yosemite.
The trip takes around 4-5 hours and the buses usually depart from downtown San Francisco. Some of the bus companies that operate this route include YARTS and Greyhound.
SF to Yosemite by Train:
Another option is to take Amtrak from San Francisco to Merced, and then transfer to the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) bus which goes directly into the park.
This option takes a bit longer than driving or taking the bus but can be a more comfortable and scenic way to travel.
SF to Yosemite by Private tours:
There are several tour companies that offer private tours from San Francisco to Yosemite, which can be a great option if you prefer a guided experience with a knowledgeable local guide.
These tours typically include transportation, park entrance fees, and sometimes even meals and accommodations.
Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to plan ahead and check road and weather conditions before you travel, especially during winter months when snow and ice may impact travel times and routes.
San Francisco and Yosemite itinerary (5 days)
Here’s a possible 5-day itinerary for a trip from SF to Yosemite National Park:
Day 1: Start in San Francisco and drive to Yosemite National Park. Spend the day exploring the western region of the park, including Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Glacier Point.
Day 2: Hike or take a guided tour in Yosemite Valley. Options include hiking to Yosemite Falls, exploring the Ansel Adams Gallery, or taking a tour of the valley on an open-air tram.
Day 3: Drive to the eastern region of the park and spend the day exploring Tuolumne Meadows. Options include hiking the John Muir Trail, visiting Soda Springs, or taking a guided walk with a park ranger.
Day 4: Take a scenic drive along Tioga Road and stop at scenic viewpoints along the way. Visit the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, and take a picnic lunch at Olmsted Point.
Day 5: Drive back to SF, stopping at attractions along the way such as historic towns, wineries, and state parks. In the evening, take in the sights and sounds of San Francisco, such as the Golden Gate Bridge or Fisherman’s Wharf.
Of course, this itinerary can be adjusted based on your interests and available time. It’s important to note that road conditions and park closures can occur, especially during winter months, so it’s recommended to check conditions and plan accordingly.
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How far is San Francisco to Yosemite?
The distance from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park is approximately 170 miles (275 kilometers) via Highway 120, and approximately 197 miles (317 kilometers) via Highway 580 East.
How to get to Yosemite from San Francisco?
The most common ways to get to Yosemite National Park from SF are by car or by bus. You can drive to Yosemite by taking either Highway 120 or Highway 140, which takes around 3.5 to 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus tour from San Francisco that includes transportation to Yosemite National Park.
How to get to Yosemite from San Francisco without a car?
One way to get to Yosemite National Park from San Francisco without a car is to take a bus tour that includes transportation to Yosemite. Another option is to take public transportation to Merced or Fresno, and then take a Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) bus to the park. It’s also possible to take a train from SF to Merced, and then take a YARTS bus to Yosemite.
What to do on the drive from SF to Yosemite?
The drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park is scenic and passes through some beautiful areas of California. Some of the things to do on the drive include enjoying the scenery, stopping at historic towns such as Sonora or Jamestown, visiting wineries in the Sierra Foothills, hiking or swimming at Don Pedro Reservoir, and exploring the historic gold mining town of Mariposa. Additionally, you can take a detour to visit attractions such as the Giant Sequoias in Calaveras Big Trees State Park or the historic town of Columbia.
What region of Yosemite is closer to SF?
The western region of Yosemite National Park is closer to San Francisco, as it is located near the Highway 120 entrance and the Big Oak Flat entrance. This region includes popular attractions such as Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Glacier Point. The eastern region of the park, which includes Tuolumne Meadows, is farther from SF and can be accessed through the Tioga Pass entrance.