Yosemite is a favorite summer destination for many families but this summer, driving into and through Yosemite during peak hours will require a reservation which is good for three days. While 70% of the reservations have been released, the remaining will be available seven calendar days (at 8 a.m. PST) before your desired arrival date so you still have a chance to snag a reservation. Given that summer weekends tend to be popular, we found all the ways for you to still go to Yosemite if your heart is set on it sans reservation so pack the kids and get ready for a road trip!
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• This might seem obvious but your best bet is to enter the park during off-peak hours before 6 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Yes, that might make for a super long day but hey, you’ll also beat the crowds for parking and pictures!
• Lodging and camping reservations within the park or any wilderness permits (for overnight camping and hiking Half Dome) also exempts the need for a park entrance reservation.
• Book a guided tour. With day trips from San Francisco, charters , group tours and guided family hikes, the need for a reservation is also waived.
• Take YARTS into the park. Operating between Tuolumne County and Yosemite, this public transportation service is another easy option to get into the park without a reservation especially if you’re staying in Groveland.
• Enter through the Hetch Hetchy entrance and you will not only avoid needing a park entrance reservation but also the crowds and long lines. Take the flat and gorgeous 5 mile round trip hike to Wapoma Falls for spectacular scenery and breathe in the fresh, sweet air that only Yosemite has!
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