Yosemite National Park without a car

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1. Posted by jane160972 (Budding Member 3 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi - Im hoping to go to Yosemite National Park this august. As all the campsite reseverations have been taken up, I was hoping to camp in one of the first come first served campsites, namely Tamarack Flat. Does anyone know if its possible to get this campsite without a car (or is that a stupid question?). Ill be getting the bus to Yosemite which will drop me off at the Visitors centre at 11.45am. Will I be able to walk to Tamarack flat from the visitors centre, (or catch a shuttle if there is one - I can't tell from their website).

Any advice most welcome.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 6033 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

As you can see on the map here, Tamarack Flat is off Tioga Road, quite a ways outside the Valley. You could undoubtedly hike there (looks like you'd go up Yosemite Falls track, and then west for many miles), but this'd be a hike of several hours, with no guarantee that there'd actually be space at this campsite. I don't think there's any shuttle services to Tioga Road either (though I'm not really certain of this).

I'd recommend considering shelling out for a hotel in Yosemite for the first night, and then waking up bright and early each morning to catch one of the places at Camp 4. Or rent a car. It sucks, but in the USA, you're really much better off having a car. :/

3. Posted by rbyslipahs (Respected Member 349 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Sorry to say that a car is really the best way to go. Doesn't mean you hike less -- if anything, you can hike more because you can get more mileage out of your day by spending less time getting to hiking points.

Pretty much anytime you're talking anywhere in the US outside of a large city, the answer is most always get a car. :(

On the plus side: you'll be able to see some more remote sites. And when in Yellowstone, don't leave food in your car. Bears can still get to it and have been known to pop open some windows like an aluminum soda can.

4. Posted by Kimee129 (Full Member 37 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

We were in Yosemite in August this time last year. I do not recommend Tamarack Flats camground. Hiking in is a pain and the sites are not the best in the park. I would recommend either Toloumne Meadows or Bridalveil Creek first come first served. There is an awesome shuttle that goes around to all the various sites that is free of charge. That time of year is going to be very busy. The waterfalls are going to be very minimal if not dried up by the end of August. Bridalveil falls though should still be going strong. Getting a hotel room inside the park is going to be impossible. Those rooms were taken months ago. You could however try one of the parks outside the front gate and utilize their shuttles into the park. http://jrabold.net/yosemite/campn.shtml Here is a useful website I found because we booked too late to get a reservation inside the campground. Pack warm clothes...there was still snow on the ground in August when I went! Gorgeous, but cold!! Happy Travels!

5. Posted by jane160972 (Budding Member 3 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

hi again

Kimee129 - thankyou for your really helpful response. I will be booking something via the link you sent me. I'm very surprised to hear that there may be snow on the ground!! But I will pack a jumper just in case!

many thanks


6. Posted by StaceyD (Inactive 20 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi there!I can feel that you are an adventurous person who wants to have a good time while visiting each and every places that you want to go. I strongly recommend you to rent a small RV (that is if you're the only one going or you're with 1-2 people) to fully enjoy Yosemite plus you won't have any problems thinking on where to ride going to some places in the park. You can also have a little rest and park in some areas, eat and cook something on your RV kitchen and drive whenever you want to visit. I've been used in renting RVs ever since I started going out of town and it's the best option in driving to national parks. -snip- Don't forget to snap some photos during your Yosemite vacation.

Cheers and Good Luck!

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

7. Posted by smashleigh (Budding Member 12 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


I'm not too sure about the places you have mentioned, but if you're totally stuck, you could go to san fran and book a hostel and then do a days coach tour to the national park and back? not sure of prices or the best tour companies sorry, just something i've seen whilst planning my trip.

Good luck and have fun!

8. Posted by smashleigh (Budding Member 12 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

ps..i've just realised you were planning on going in Agust, lol so my advice is a little out of date! hope you managed to figure it out!