National Parks Tips

What airport do you fly into for Yosemite National Park?

Half Dome Peak in Yosemite National park The closest major airports to Yosemite National Park are :

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – 169 Miles
  • San Jose International Airport (SJC) – 157 Miles
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF) – 152 miles
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK) – 150 Miles
  • Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) – 64 miles

These five airports SFO, SMF, SJC, OAK, and FAT are the closest commercial airports to Yosemite. There are definitely smaller airports closer to Yosemite, however it will be significantly more expensive. Although Fresno Yosemite International Airport is significantly closer to Yosemite National Park, it is also much more expensive to fly into than all of the other airports. The price of a ticket can sometimes be double or triple the cost of the other airports and may not be worth flying into due to the steep costs.

What are airlines should I consider when flying into one of these airports?

Airplane landing on an airstrip
The most common airlines to consider flying with are American Airlines, Delta, and Southwest. Depending on where you are flying from within the USA, each has its own pros and cons. Most likely the most inexpensive option will be Southwest Airlines.

How long is the drive from the closest airport to Yosemite National Park?

Since most of the airports are relatively close to Yosemite National Park, I will list out the driving times for all of the airports so you can make the best choice for your budget as the prices will vary from from airport to airport:

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – 3 Hours 6 Minutes
  • San Jose International Airport (SJC) – 3 Hours 4 minutes
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF) – 2 Hours 52 Minutes
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK) – 2 Hours 49 Minutes
  • Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) – 1 Hour 23 Minutes

As you can see the time it takes to drive to Yosemite from the top four airports are very similar, so if you are budgeting the best bet is to choose the most inexpensive flight into the top four airports as there is less than 20 minutes difference for all of those airports.

Are the roads paved on the way to Yosemite National Park?

Windy Roads with yellow hills
Once you have your flight booked and have your rental car picked out, you might be wondering about the roads into Yosemite. The roads into Yosemite National Park are all well maintained and paved. The last leg of the drive into the national park can be a bit windy as you are driving up into the mountains, however they are all paved. The roads in the national park are also paved with a few gravel roads, but nothing to be concerned about even for a normal compact car.

Do I need a 4 by 4 or Off-road vehicle for Yosemite National Park?

For Yosemite National Park you will not need a 4 by 4 or off-road vehicle to drive around the national park. Mostly all of the roads are paved and well maintained. There is also a shuttle system that takes visitors from trailhead to trailhead for the main trails in the lower part of the park. I was able to drive around in a compact car with no issues and reach my trailheads and viewpoints without worry.

Are there gas stations in Yosemite National Park?

Once you have made the drive into Yosemite National Park, you may be low on fuel due to driving 150 miles into the park. If you want to refuel there are three Chevrons available to pump gas. There is one by the Highway 120 in the north, the Highway 140 in the west, and Highway 41 in the south. For those of you with a Tesla, there is a Tesla charging station in the main part of the National Park by the visitor center.

Is there cell reception in Yosemite National Park?

Yosemite is a vast outdoor landscape with massive peaks and expansive forests that stretch on for miles and cell reception can be spotty at some points. If you are visiting lower Yosemite Valley near the Visitor Center and mostly staying in the main area of the park then you will likely cell reception. Once you venture out and hike the trails further away from the main area of the park, that is when you will likely experience issues and drop offs of your cell reception.


Yosemite National Park features majestic granite peaks, stunning waterfalls, beautiful rivers, expansive views of one of the most beautiful landscapes you will ever see, and an abundance of wild life. You can’t go wrong with flying into any of the top five airports listed above and there are well established roads and park facilities during your visit to Yosemite National Park.