How to Spend One Epic Day in Yosemite National Park [2024 Updated]

iconic view of Yosemite Valley from the Tunnel View in summer

Can you actually do Yosemite in a day? The answer is absolutely yes – but if you only have a one day to spend in Yosemite, you’re going to need an expertly planned Yosemite 1 Day Itinerary!

Over the past 30something years I’ve been lucky enough to visit Yosemite at least 20 times. I’ve learned the ins-and-outs of this incredible National Park, and put together the ultimate list of must-see stops, perfect for day trips to Yosemite.

This Yosemite one day itinerary will take you to iconic sights like Yosemite Falls, hike the challenging but rewarding Mist Trail, and drive Glacier Point road for an epic sunset.

This one day Yosemite itinerary is perfect for your first trip to Yosemite. You’ll want to use this guide if you’re visiting between late-spring and late-fall, when Glacier Point Road is open.

You’ll also find helpful information below on where to stay, getting around, and important must-know details about the new 2024 reservation system.

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission from any purchase – at no extra cost to you. This commission helps keep Brooke In Boots up and running. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

What to Do in Yosemite in One Day

If you only have one day to spend in Yosemite National Park, here are my favorite must-do activities I recommend:

  1. Bridalveil Falls
  2. Hike the Mist Trail to Vernal & Nevada Falls
  3. Lunch Yosemite Village
  4. Yosemite Falls
  5. Tunnel View
  6. Glacier Point Road
  7. Taft Point & Sentinel Dome
  8. Sunset at Glacier Point

This guide covers all of these stops in tons of detail, below, plus some more suggestions for how to spend an absolutely epic one day in Yosemite National Park. This itinerary assumes that you’ll be visiting when Glacier Point and Tioga roads are open, usually late spring to late fall.

I’ve also included important things to to know about planning your trip to Yosemite , below, including where to stay, how to get there, and important tips for traveling around Yosemite.

Update for 2024: Yosemite National Park will require day-use and peak-hours reservations to enter Yosemite for dates in February & April – October 2024. Learn more about these new changes, here.

Brooke enjoys the view of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View
Taking in the Views of Yosemite Valley

Can You Do Yosemite in A Day?

Yosemite National Park is huge. At over 1,160 square miles, Yosemite National Park is basically the same size as the entire state of Rhode Island, and most of it is wilderness. You won’t be able to see all of Yosemite in 1 day, and frankly you wouldn’t want to!

Over the past 33 years I’ve been lucky enough to visit Yosemite at least 20 times, including some very epic day trips from San Francisco.

If you only have one day in Yosemite, I recommend picking one or two areas of the Park and exploring those areas. In this 1 day Yosemite itinerary, I suggest sticking to Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point road areas of the Park.

Have more time? Check out these 2 Day and 3 Day itineraries and spend a little more time exploring this favorite National Park.

a glimpse of Yosemite Falls in the distance  from the narrow granite canyon of the Mist Trail
Yosemite Falls peaks behind a granite dome on the Mist Trail

Important Things to Know About Yosemite National Park

Before planning your 3 day Yosemite itinerary, there are a few important things you need to know.

Where is Yosemite National Park?

Yosemite National Park is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in east-central California.

An important thing to remember is Yosemite is huge – about 748,000 acres, or about the size of the state of Rhode Island! There are also multiple entrances to the Park, some of which close Winter to late-Spring.

How to Get to Yosemite National Park

The closest major airports near Yosemite are San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento International Airports.

The cities of San Francisco and San Jose, California are approximately 4 hours drive from Yosemite Valley, depending on which Yosemite entrance you use. Los Angeles is about 7 hours from Yosemite.

Whatever airport you fly into, I recommend renting a car for your visit to Yosemite. Driving a car means you’ll have way more flexibility and won’t waste precious time waiting for a shuttle bus. You don’t need a 4×4 or high-clearance vehicle in Yosemite, any sedan can manage the roads fine during the summer months.

You can also take public transportation to Yosemite via the YARTS bus system. Buses run seasonally making stops from Fresno, Merced, Sonora, and Mammoth Lakes. You can fly or take the train to one of these towns and hop on the YARTS to Yosemite. It’s a long process, and not one that I’d recommend for time, but it is possible!

Always check the Yosemite NPS website before traveling to the Park for updated road, traffic, and reservation information.

Getting Around Yosemite

If you are staying outside the Valley, you can, park in one of the designated day-use parking lots:

Parking Lots fill to capacity early during late Spring to early Fall, especially on weekends and holidays. Plan to arrive before 9AM for day-use parking lots.

Once you’ve parked in Yosemite Valley, use the massively convenient Yosemite Valley Shuttle system.

map of the Yosemite Valley Shuttle Bus system
Yosemite Valley Shuttle – Current as of 2022

Two shuttle lines run in Yosemite Valley: the East Valley Shuttle; and the Valleywide Shuttle. Shuttles are free to use, run between 7am and 10pm, and arrive every 8 to 22 minutes.

Most major sights and trailheads within Yosemite Valley are serviced directly by a shuttle stop, and the rest are just a short 10 or 15 minute walk away.

There is no free shuttle between Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point or Tuolumne Meadows on Tioga Road. For shuttle service within the Tuolumne Meadows area you can use the Tuolumne Meadows shuttle. Parking is available at all trailheads along Tioga Road. If you get there early, you usually won’t have a problem finding a spot.

The Tuolumne Meadow Hiker shuttle picks up at the Yosemite Valley Lodge and Curry Village, with scheduled stops at popular trailheads in the Tuolumne Area. Reservations can be made online, here.

Is Yosemite Dog Friendly?

Surprisingly, Yosemite is one of the more dog friendly National Parks in California, although you’ll still be very limited where you can bring a dog here.

Dogs are permitted on fully paved roads, sidewalks, and bicycle paths, in campgrounds, and on Wawona Meadow Loop trail. Some lodging allows pets, and a seasonal kennel is available for day-use in Yosemite Village. Check out these easy hikes in Yosemite for ideas on where to bring your pooch during your visit!

An adventurous traveler sits on top of a Jeep in Yosemite Valley
Sometimes you just gotta stop and take in the views at Yosemite

Entrance Fees & Reservations in Yosemite (Updated 2024)

There is an entrance fee of $35 per vehicle (or $20 per person if entering by foot bike or horse) for all visitors to Yosemite National Park.

Do I need a reservation for a day trip to Yosemite? Starting in spring of 2024 everyone entering Yosemite National Park will require a park entry or lodging reservation .

Update for 2024: Yosemite National Park will require day-use and peak-hours reservations to enter Yosemite for dates in February & April – October 2024. Learn more about these new changes, here.

These new Yosemite reservations apply even if you are just driving through Yosemite or only visiting for a day.

The good news is that you don’t need an additional reservation if you have a hotel or campground reservation. Learn more about these new reservation requirements and dates, here.

Traveling to more than 2 National Parks or National Forests this year? Purchase an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass for $80, which covers entrance fees at all National Parks and NPS managed sites.

Yosemite National Park is Indigenous Land

Yosemite Valley is the ancestral home to the Ahwahneeche. From the 1800’s through the 1960’s, indigenous residents of the Valley were killed and driven from the area by disease, settlers, militia forces, and even the National Park Service. The Miwok and Paiute continue to live in and around the central Sierra Nevada.

Today, many Yosemite landmarks pay tribute to the original indigenous owners of this land, including Tenaya Lake and the grand Ahwahnee Hotel.

Want to learn more about planning an epic National Parks trip? Grab my free Ultimate National Parks Planning Guide, including 70+ pages of National Park packing checklists, planning tips, and everything you need to know to start planning a trip to all 63 National Parks!

The Best Time for a Day Trip to Yosemite

Park conditions change dramatically by season here, so deciding when to visit is super important, especially if you only have 1 day in Yosemite.

If this is your first visit to Yosemite, I suggest planning your trip from late-May through late-November. During that time most of the Park’s trails, roads, and sights are open.

Summer (June – September): Summer is by far the most popular time to visit Yosemite National Park. If you are able to reserve a coveted hotel, campground, or reservation to enter the park, expect hot days in the valley and lots of crowds. All major roads in the park are usually open by mid-June. In early summer, waterfalls are flowing, but nearly dry up by late summer.

Fall (September – November): Cooler temps with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Most high sierra areas like Glacier Point and Tioga Road remain open until the first major snowfall, usually mid-November, but sometimes much later.

Winter (December – March): Glacier Point Road, Tioga Road, Mariposa Shuttle road close for the season, and dining and lodging options are limited. In exchange, you get to experience a winter wonderland, and snow play options, including Badger Pass Ski Area.

Spring (April – May): As snow melts, Yosemite’s waterfalls become roaring cascades. Tioga Road and Glacier Point usually open mid-May to early-June. Temps range from the 50’s to 70’s during the day, while night’s stay cold in the 30s or 40s.

Seasonal Road Closures in Yosemite

Check out the historic road and trail opening dates to get an idea of when roads typically close and open for the winter season. While these dates give a good approximation, it is impossible to know when exactly the high Sierra roads in Yosemite will open and close every year. Late spring snow storms are extremely common in this area.

The following is a rough approximation of winter road closures in Yosemite:

Tioga Road: closes by mid-November and reopens by early June.

Glacier Point Road: closes by mid-November and reopens by mid-May.

Mariposa Grove: closes by late November and reopens in May.

Snowy Half Dome from Cook's Meadow in Yosemite Valley in Winter.
Yosemite in Winter / 1 Day in Yosemite National Park

Take this itinerary to go! The printable Yosemite Itinerary Guide has your perfect 1, 2, or 3 day Yosemite trip completely planned for you! With over 20 pages of detailed hiking guides, printable daily itineraries, lodging and dining suggestions and more, you can spend less time planning and more time making epic memories! Check it out, here.

Yosemite 1 Day Itinerary

Spending 1 day in Yosemite means making the most of your short time. This itinerary is intended as an action-packed full day, meaning sunrise to sunset.

This itinerary assumes that you’ll be visiting when Glacier Point road is open, usually late spring to late fall.

If you’re entering or leaving the Park through Tioga Road (East Entrance), you’ll want to add in a couple of hours extra driving time. If you’re traveling through Tioga Road, I highly recommend skipping Glacier Point and exploring a few stops or short hikes near Tuolumne Meadows. Read a full Tioga Road / Tuolumne Meadows itinerary on my 3 Day Yosemite Itinerary, here.

If you only have a few hours, consider picking a few activities that don’t involve too much driving – for example spending a few hours inside Yosemite Valley, or on the Glacier Point corridor.

You’ll save a whole bunch of time if you stay inside Yosemite Valley the night before or after your 1 day in Yosemite (or both). I’ve included some suggestions for my favorite places to stay in Yosemite at the end of this post.

Yosemite 1 Day Itinerary Map

This map shows the must-see stops on your one day in Yosemite itinerary.

How to Use This Map: Click the Icons on the map to see more information about each location. Click the star at the top of the map to add the map to your Google Maps account.

iconic Yosemite Valley tunnel view in Winter
Yosemite Valley from the Wawona Tunnel View

Arriving in Yosemite Valley

If you are’t staying in Yosemite the night before, you’ll want to drive into the Park as early as possible!

Update for 2024: Yosemite National Park will require day-use and peak-hours reservations to enter Yosemite for dates in February & April – October 2024. Learn more about these new changes, here.

I suggest arriving at the Park entrance by 7am, or even earlier in the summer.

Don’t forget, remember that it takes 30 to 45 minutes to reach Yosemite Valley once you’ve entered the Park.

If you’re entering via the South/Wawona/Highway 41 Entrance, you’ll pass over Wawona Pass after entering the Park and descend via a windy road down to the Valley. Don’t miss stopping at the Wawona Tunnel Viewpoint, immediately after passing through the long Wawona Tunnel.

It’s impossible not to be totally awestruck by the view of Yosemite Valley below you from this spot. Park in the lot and grab a photo before continuing your drive.

For visitors entering from all other entrances – don’t worry, you’ll come back for this view later!

Bridelveil Falls thunders into Yosemite Valley below as seen from the Tunnel View
Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite

A Quick Stop at Bridalveil Falls

Bridalveil Falls cascades 620 feet into Yosemite Valley, and is often the first waterfall visitors encounter when entering the Park. Stop and park and walk the short 1/4 mile trail to the viewing platform. Enjoy the view – but don’t stay too long – you’ve got lots more to see!

The Bridalveil trail and parking area is closed until 2024 for construction of a new boardwalk, parking area, and trailhead facilities. If you are visiting during construction, skip this stop.

Park Your Car & Grab Breakfast

The best parking is in the large day-use parking area, conveniently located near Yosemite Village, Yosemite Falls, the Shuttle, and the Visitor Center.

If you skipped breakfast this morning, head into Yosemite Village, the commercial and social hub of the Park, and grab a breakfast sandwich at Degnan’s Deli.

Brooke stands at the Mist Trail Trailhead Sign Yosemite
Mist Trail Trailhead Sign in Happy Isles – Your first big stop in Yosemite!

Take the Shuttle to Happy Isles

From Yosemite Village, walk to Shuttle Stops #1 (located on the east side of the day-use Parking Lot) or Shuttle Stop #2 (in front of the Village Store in Yosemite Village). Board the East Valley Shuttle to stop #16, Happy Isles.

If you are grabbing breakfast at Degnan’s or visiting the Visitor Center, you can also board the Valleywide Shuttle at Stops #4 (Degnan’s) or #5 (Visitor Center), which will take you to Happy Isles, but will take a little longer.

thundering Vernal Falls from the rocky Mist Trail. The spraying mist creates a rainbow effect seen here.
Vernal Falls from the Mist Trail

Hike the Mist Trail to Vernal or Nevada Falls

If there is one hike I absolutely insist you must do while visiting Yosemite, it is the “Mist Trail” to Vernal and Nevada Falls.

This trail is one of my favorite day hikes of all time, and while it is strenuous, the reward is worth the effort! In fact, I love this trail SO much, I wrote a whole other post about it – check it out here – covering absolutely everything you need to know about this signature bucket-list hike.

Depending on your fitness level, and how much time you have, this trail has an option for everyone. Expect breathtaking views, a butt-blasting climb, giant waterfalls, and soaring granite cliffs.

From the trailhead, a steep but mostly paved trail climbs just under 1 mile to a wooden footbridge with views of Vernal Falls. From here you can snap photos and take a look at just how far you have to climb to the top.

a steep and winding trail of stone steps ascends on the Mist Trail towards Nevada Falls.
The 600 Granite Steps of the Mist Trail

Families with young kids and anyone who doesn’t want to commit to the longer hike can turn around here, but if you can, I absolutely suggest you keep going!

From the footbridge, the trail splits into the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail. Follow the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls.

Along the way, you’ll climb more than 600 stone steps carved into the side of a spectacular waterfall. When water levels are high, you’ll definitely want a rain jacket! The “mist” trail gets its name from the constant spray off Vernal Falls soaking you on the trail.

Once you reach the top of Vernal Falls, take a snack break and catch your breath. Here you have the option of returning the way you came, or taking a worthy detour to Clark Point for spectacular views of distant Nevada Falls and the granite dome of Liberty Cap.

If you have the stamina, I suggest going all the way to Nevada Falls for unrivaled views and the feeling of being a total bad-a$% for climbing 2 massive waterfalls in one day! Return to the trailhead via the longer but more gentle John Muir Trail.

Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls ( 1-5 Hours)

Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous

Depending on your fitness level, and how much time you have, there are several routes along the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls:

Vernal Footbridge: 1.6 Miles round trip / 1 Hour / Moderate / Elevation gain 400’

Vernal Falls Via Mist Trail: 2.4 Miles round trip / 3 Hours / Hard / Elevation gain 1,000’

Vernal Falls via Mist Trail and Clark Point via John Muir Trail: 4.2 Miles round trip / 4 Hours / Hard / Elevation gain 1550’

Vernal and Nevada Falls Via Mist Trail and Clark Point via John Muir Trail: 6.7 Miles round trip / 5-6 Hours / Strenuous / Elevation gain 1900′

Trail directions on All Trails. Check current conditions on NPS website, here.

Beginner hikers and families with younger kids may want to consider hiking only to Vernal Falls or the Footbridge.

Hiking the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls is a serious adventure. Make sure you are prepared with the proper day hiking essentials, including sturdy waterproof hiking shoes, and rain gear.

panoramic view of Vernal Falls, Liberty Cap and Yosemite's granite cliffs from Clark's Point on the John Muir Trail.
Nevada Falls and Liberty Cap from Clark Point on the John Muir Trail

Lunch at Yosemite Village

Your legs are probably shaking thanks to the many, many stone stairs you just conquered. Enjoy sitting on the shuttle ride back to Yosemite Village.

Since you’ve probably worked up an appetite, grab quick snack or lunch in Yosemite Village at Degnan’s Deli (sandwiches, pizza, and other to-go options), The Loft at Degnan’s (pizza, BBQ and other casual lunch and dinner), or the Village Grill (summers only).

Brooke walks towards upper and lower Yosemite Falls on the paved Lower Falls trail.
Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

Once you are refreshed, it’s time for an easy walk to Yosemite Falls. At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America, and an iconic sight you can’t miss if you only have 1 day in Yosemite.

The falls are actually 3 separate cascades, Upper Yosemite Falls (1,430 feet), the hidden middle cascades (625 feet), and Lower Yosemite Falls (320 feet).

The falls flow year-round, although they are little more than a trickle during late summer. During the peak spring snowmelt (May – June) an astounding 2,400 gallons PER SECOND flow over the top.

Walk west of the Yosemite Valley Visitor’s Center and follow signs for Yosemite Falls and the Lower Yosemite Falls trailhead. A fully paved and wheelchair-accessible path winds to the base of the falls.

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail

Difficulty: Easy / Wheelchair Accessible

1.2 Miles / Loop / 50 Feet Gain / 1 Hour

Trail directions on All Trails. NPS website information.

Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, thunders into the valley below.
Visiting Yosemite Falls is a must, even if you only have a day in Yosemite

Drive to Glacier Point

It’s time to leave Yosemite Valley, but don’t worry, the views only get better from here! After visiting Yosemite Falls, return to your car and head west, out of the Valley on Northside Drive to Glacier Point Road.

On the way, stop at El Capitan Meadow. Here, you can admire “El Cap.” the 3,000′ tall granite monolith that dominates the West-end of the Valley. If you look carefully, you may be able to spot climbers high up on the wall.

Follow Northside Drive until the junction with Southside Drive and El Portal Road. Follow signs for Wawona / Fresno / Highway 41 and continue onto Wawona Road.

If you skipped the Tunnel View on the way into the Valley this morning, don’t forget to stop here now and enjoy the view made famous by photographers like Ansel Adams.

After approximately 16 miles, turn left, following signs for Glacier Point Road. Follow Glacier Point road as it winds and ascends into the high sierras.

Drive carefully and obey all traffic signs – this road is winding with very steep drop offs and few railings. The total drive to Glacier Point takes 1.5 Hours from Yosemite Valley.

hikers stand on the edge of Taft Point, looking down over 2000 feet to Yosemite valley below.
Taft Point in Yosemite – Watch Your Step! / 1 Day in Yosemite National Park

Taft Point

If you have time, consider hiking the short trail to Taft Point.

Taft Point is a large granite promontory with simply stunning views of Yosemite Valley and vertigo-inducing drops to the Valley Floor. “The Fissures” along the way are giant cracks in the granite that drop all the way down to the Valley Floor, nearly 2,000′ feet below.

Park in the small lot for Taft Point on the left hand side of the road. This area can get pretty crowded, especially around sunset, so you may need to park along the side of the road, where permitted.

Hike the short trail to Taft Point – just watch your step! 👀

Taft Point Trail

Difficulty: Easy

2.3 Miles / 360′ Elevation Gain / 1 Hour

Trail Directions on All Trails. NPS Website Information

Take care when hiking in this area, obey all signs, stay inside the railings, and closely watch children near exposed cliffs and fissures.

Sunset at Glacier Point

Past Taft Point, Glacier Point Road continues to wind higher and higher. Don’t miss pulling off for a few of these awesome viewpoints, like Washburn Point, where Glacier Point road makes a hairpin turn with views of Half Dome.

At the end of the road, you’ll arrive at the newly renovated Glacier Point parking area.

With breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding Sierra high country, its no wonder that Glacier Point is one of the most photographed spots in the entire Park.

While sunset here is crowded, there’s simply nothing better than watching the light glow off the granite cliffs and peaks. What a way to end a truly epic 1 day itinerary in Yosemite National Park!

majestic view of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley from Glaicer Point.
Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point

Restrooms, and a small gift shop are available at Glacier Point. If you are staying in the Park tonight, return to your hotel or campground and grab some dinner (and a well-earned dessert).

Dinner is available at The Loft at Degnan’s, the cafeteria-style Basecamp Eatery at the Yosemite Lodge, the Mountain Room at the Yosemite Lodge, and the Curry Village Pavilion and Pizza Deck at Curry Village.

If you are able to splurge, consider making reservations for the grand Ahwahnee Dining Room (dress code) – one of the best dining experiences in any National Park! Learn more about dining options in Yosemite, here.

Planning a trip to Yosemite National Park? The Yosemite Itinerary Guide has your perfect 1, 2, or 3 day Yosemite trip completely planned for you! With over 20 pages of detailed hiking guides, printable daily itineraries, lodging and dining suggestions and more, you can spend less time planning and more time making epic memories! Check it out, here.

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite has dozens of in-Park lodges, hotels, and 13 popular campgrounds, many open all year. If you plan on spending the night in Yosemite, either before or after your 1 day in Yosemite itinerary, I strongly recommend staying inside Yosemite Valley.

For real guys, this part is so important I’m going to say it again – stay in Yosemite Valley if you only have 1 night in Yosemite.

Why? Yosemite is huge. But most places you’ll be visiting – Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, the Mist Trail, El Capitan, Cooks Meadow – are within a small area called Yosemite Valley. With traffic, it can take hours, literally, to drive from lodging outside the Park to the Valley.

Can’t get a reservation inside the Park? Check out these nearby lodging options, and set your alarm nice and early to avoid long lines at the entrance stations during peak visitor hours!

When you stay in the Valley, you can park your car, hop on the shuttle and, most importantly, visitors who stay inside the park don’t need a separate peak-hours reservation to enter the park!

Update for 2024: Yosemite National Park will require day-use and peak-hours reservations to enter Yosemite for dates in February & April – October 2024. Learn more about these new changes, here.

the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley.
The grand Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite

Hotels and Lodges Inside Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Lodge: Family-friendly, plenty of food and drink options, swimming pool, recreation rentals, and centrally located to Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Village, and Shuttle Stops. My go-to, and it never lets me down.

Curry Village: “Glamping” style tent-cabins, if you want the camping experience, without having to bring the tent. Curry Village also offers several motel-style cabins that are an incredible value (and reasonably comfortable, I can vouch!). Multiple dining options, bike rentals, winter ski-rink, summer swimming pool, located walking distance to the Happy Isles / Mist Trail / John Muir Trailheads

Housekeeping Camp: Curry Village, with less amenities. More “camping” than “glamping” – but perfect for families and visitors ok with roughing it.

The Ahwahanee Hotel: The crown jewel of the National Parks hotels and lodges. Presidents have stayed here. The Queen has stayed here. Not a Rockefeller? 100% come for a dinner reservation at the historic dining room (check the dress code), or grab a post-hike drink at their casual bar (my favorite!).

Campgrounds Inside Yosemite Valley

The following campgrounds are located inside Yosemite Valley: Upper Pines (Open All Year); Lower Pines (April-October); North Pines (April-October); Camp 4 (Open All Year).

All campgrounds are reservation only while the “peak-hours” permit system is in effect in 2022. Book your campground reservations as soon as possible. Yosemite campground reservations often sell out within seconds (yes, you read that right) of going online. Reservations are all managed through Recreation.gov. Campground reservations become available 5 months in advance, on the 15th of each month at 7AM Pacific Time. Camp 4 offers one day in advance reservations by lottery, available on Recreation.Gov.

Planning a camping trip as part of your Yosemite itinerary? Don’t forget any of the essentials with the Ultimate Tent Camping Setup Guide with printable camping checklist!

Having trouble booking hotel or campground reservations? Check out my Tips for Planning an Epic National Parks Trip – including how to book reservations in popular parks, like Yosemite.

a victorian style Wawona Hotel covered in snow and Christmas Decorations in Yosemite National Park

Hotels, Lodges, and Campgrounds Outside Yosemite Valley (But Inside Yosemite National Park)

The following lodges, hotels, and rentals are located outside Yosemite Valley (but still inside Yosemite National Park): Wawona Hotel, High Sierra Camps, Redwoods in Yosemite, Yosemite West Rentals, White Wolf Lodge, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, and Glacier Point Ski Hut.

The following campgrounds are located outside Yosemite Valley (but still inside Yosemite National Park): Tamarack Flat Campground (Seasonal, Tioga Road Corridor); White Wolf Campground (Seasonal, Tioga Road Corridor); Yosemite Creek Campground (Seasonal, Tioga Road Corridor); Wawona Campground (Open All Year); Bridalveil Creek (Seasonal, closed 2022); Hodgdon Meadow (Open All Year, North Yosemite); Crane Flat (closed 2022, North Yosemite); Porcupine Flat (closed 2022); and Tuolumne Meadows (Seasonal, Closed Until 2024 -2025).

Learn more about Campgrounds and Campground reservations in Yosemite National Park, here.

Backcountry camping is also available to wilderness permit holders only. Learn more about these competitive wilderness permits, here.

Want to learn more about planning an epic National Parks trip? Grab my free Ultimate National Parks Planning Guide, including 70+ pages of National Park packing checklists, planning tips, and everything you need to know to start planning a trip to all 63 National Parks!

More Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

This 1 day itinerary barely scratches the surface of Yosemite National Park. If you have more time, you can explore areas like the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias or Tuolumne Meadows.

If you have more time to spend in Yosemite, check out my 3 day Yosemite Itinerary guide for more suggestions on how to plan an extended Yosemite itinerary.

More Yosemite Resources to Plan Your Next Trip

17 Amazing Easy & Short Hikes in Yosemite National Park

Book Lodging In Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Reservations and Permits 2024: Everything You Need to Know

Best Entrance to Yosemite National Park & Tips for Driving to Yosemite

Closest Airports to Yosemite

Hiking the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls in Yosemite