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First Trip to Yosemite - Parking Questions

Paso Robles...
Level Contributor
48 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
First Trip to Yosemite - Parking Questions

My husband and I are staying in Foresta for 3 nights next week. We plan on doing short hikes (Bridalveil falls, lower Yosemite falls, Mirror Lake and sections of the Mist Trail) I'm trying to figure out where to park for all these hikes, we will not be leaving Foresta for the valley until around noon, will that be a problem with parking? Thank you!

2 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
89,245 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
1. Re: First Trip to Yosemite - Parking Questions


I suggest driving up to Tunnel View on your way into the Valley.

Bridalveil Fall is completely closed. The contractors are busy upgrading the parking. restroom, trail, everything. You can see the waterfall from Southside Drive, but you cannot walk up to it.

Yes, I think you'll have trouble finding parking at noon. It's feasible, but it won't be easy. Any chance you can leave earlier? Arriving in the Valley around 12:30 every day?

For the Mist Trail, savvy folks are parking in the Hiker's Lot past Curry Village. Maybe there will be space. I'm not sure which sections of the Mist Trail you'd like to do, but be prepared for crowds. This Mist Trail from the junction with the John Muir Trail (just above the footbridge) and the top of Vernal Fall will be one way going up. I'm not sure when that will start.

"Beginning in late spring, descending the Mist Trail steps from the top of Vernal Fall is prohibited from 9 am to 4 pm. To return to the trailhead, continue hiking uphill to Clark Point (500 feet additional elevation gain), then down the John Muir Trail. The trail from the top of Vernal Fall to Clark Point is a steep uphill climb and has no shade. Shuttle service is not available." https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/vernalnevadatrail.htm

Mirror Lake could be part of that day, if you want to walk another mile to the beginning of that trail (old road) Or maybe park at Curry Village Visitor Parking and plan for a big walking day.

Lower Yosemite Falls is easily accessed from the Yosemite Falls Visitor Parking past the Yosemite Valley Lodge.

You'll get great views of Bridalveil Fall from the Valley View stop on Northside Drive.

The Top Questions on the right is loaded with information. Use the full TA website.

Current newspaper: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/yg21-3.pdf

Long Beach...
Level Contributor
10,788 posts
2. Re: First Trip to Yosemite - Parking Questions

Weekend or weekdays? Weekends I think it maybe challenging... I would really try to start earlier. Weekdays, I think you’ll be ok, but you’ll be dealing with traffic. Yosemite is busy!

You could park at one of the Visitor Center area parking lots and walk to lower Yosemite Falls and Mirror Lake. It is a nice walk, and you can stop at the Ahwahnee

This map is really handy. The NPS Yosemite App is also handy.


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