Travel from San Francisco to Yosemite By Transit

Our legal team has insisted that we produce some sort of original content so as to avoid looking like hacks who only steal quotes from reputable, paid sources.  “But what about the rat post?  Or the bus ad!” we cried.  “No,” they said, “technically the rat was responsible for the bagel post and the bus ad was clearly created by someone else.”  We couldn’t argue with that.

So we thought it might be useful to produce some sort of guide for taking public transit to various National Parks.  This is something we’ve done and though we didn’t drive the bus or train and literally anyone could do these same trips– look, just take what you can get sometimes (like with the Central Indiana post).  So how to get from San Francisco to Yosemite by transit…

This is an easy one – you just take Amtrak.  Boom.  Done.  The end.  It’s not so simple though as there are a few links along the way.  The cost is reasonable, as is the early morning travel time and ease, and the park rewards you with free admission as you won’t be further clogging their overwhelmed roadways with yet another vehicle.

You begin by finding one of the many Amtrak connector bus stations, assuming you’re coming from San Francisco itself (no bus necessary if staying in certain spots in the East Bay).  This will make the short trip over the Oakland Bay Bridge to Emeryville where you will ride the San Joaquin train for some three hours to Merced.  Now here comes the extra link where you’re likely ready to be in the park – you take one last bus to the park – yes, a two hour ride – before being let off at one of many stops very near where you may be staying in the Valley.

We admit it’s not as easy as we’d like but the rides themselves are relaxing as you sit back and coast along into one of the great National Parks of the West.  They do truly appreciate your transit commute into the park as traffic during peak season reaches shameful, though understandable, levels.  Within the park you can travel with ease using the free Valley Shuttle System as well as free shuttle service to Tuolumne Meadows along with many other transit services of the Yosemite.  Such travel by transit may be particularly useful if you’re hiking along, say, the John Muir Trail and don’t intend on returning to the Valley for your car.  Otherwise it’s still a clean and relatively simple way to get to the park.

OK, we linked to a lot of things in this article but we didn’t quote any sources (which may be good or bad).  What can you do?  Here’s a picture from Yosemite to try to encourage you to visit no matter how you get there:


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