Empty winding Big Oak Flat Road, with tunnel ahead carved into hillside, with forests and valleys surrounding
Felix Lipov/Shutterstock.com
Place

Big Oak Flat Entrance, Yosemite National Park

By Pat Dorri | Updated on 11 October 2023

Big Flat Oak Entrance provides access to Yosemite National Park from the west. This entrance is ideal if you're traveling year-round from San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Northern California locations.

A quick overview of Big Oak Flat Entrance to Yosemite National Park
Street Address📍6107 Big Oak Road, Groveland, CA 95321 (Located on CA-120)
Facilities in the Area

🕒 Park opening hours (All Day, Every Day)

🎟ī¸ Ticket office

ℹī¸ Information station (May to October)

đŸšģ Public restrooms

đŸŊī¸ Picnic area

â›Ŋ 7.8 miles to nearest gas station inside (Located in Crane Flat)

â›Ŋ 13.4 miles to nearest gas station outside (Located in Groveland)
Attractions Nearby

⭐ī¸ Merced Grove Trailhead (4.1 miles away)

⭐ī¸ Tuolumne Grove (8.5 miles away)

⭐ī¸ Crane Flat Lookout (8.6 miles away)

Important Information

🔴 Big Oak Flat Road features a series of twists and turns, so ensure you are attentive when driving and adjust speed accordingly.

🟡 The road experiences a change in elevation as you travel into the park, which can affect vehicle performance, so be aware if towing trailers or carrying heavy loads.

đŸŸĸ Typically this entrance is accessible throughout the year, however consider carrying snow chains during icy, winter weather.

Where can I find the Big Oak Flat Entrance to Yosemite National Park?

Big Oak Flat Entrance is found towards the west edge of Yosemite National Park.

Around 13 miles from Big Oak Entrance is Groveland, a small town ideal for a refuel and supplies, or alternatively Crane Flat Gas Station is only 8 miles into the Park. Travel just 4 miles from Big Oak Entrance and you'll arrive at Merced Grove Trailhead, where you can enjoy a secluded hike through giant sequoias before continuing on your way.

  • Enter Yosemite through Big Flat Oak Entrance and you can enjoy numerous hiking trails including Merced Grove Trailhead and Tuolumne Grove. You are also close to popular attractions including Dead Giant Tunnel Tree and Crane Flat Lookout.
  • Groveland, a great base for heading to Big Oak Flat Entrance, can be found 24 miles away, just a short 30 minute drive. Here you will find shops and gas stations, as well as the Iron Door Saloon, the oldest continually operating saloon in California. Make sure to pay a visit.
  • Sonora is a historic town located in Tuolumne County in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California. This popular stopover has sites including Railtown 1897 State Historic Park and Tuolumne County Museum to enjoy, plus you can stock up on provisions and gas before arriving at Yosemite another 50 miles away.

To learn more about the entrances available to use when entering Yosemite National Park, check out our detailed Yosemite entrance guide.

Driving to Big Oak Flat Entrance from nearby cities

Distance between major towns and cities and Yosemite's Big Oak Flat Entrance
Origin CityDistanceDriving Time
Groveland24 miles30 minutes
Sonora50 miles1 hour 5 minutes
Sacramento140 miles2 hour 40 minutes
San Francisco168 miles3 hour 20 minutes

Visiting Yosemite National Park from San Francisco and still figuring out your itinerary? Take a look at our dedicated guide detailing an epic road trip from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park for inspiration.

How will I know when I arrive at Big Oak Flat Entrance and Yosemite National Park?

It's helpful to have some landmarks to look out for as you make your way to Big Oak Flat Entrance for the first time. By listing out these places that you will pass on you way, it should help you know that you are heading in the right direction.

10 miles away from Big Oak Flat Entrance

  • Buck Meadows - A gateway town to Yosemite National Park, it offers a peaceful retreat and place to stock up, ahead of Yosemite.
  • Rainbow Pool - A popular swimming and picnicking spot on the South Fork Tuolumne River, known for its waterfalls and rainbows that form in the mist.
Sun setting behind the mountains on a road trip, taken from Buck Meadows California.
Expect stunning panoramic views from Buck Meadows as you journey towards Yosemite.
Quinten and Emma Akkerman/Shutterstock.com

2 miles away from Big Oak Flat Entrance

  • Rush Creek Trailhead - An access point to Yosemite's high country, it offers the opportunity to explore the breathtaking landscapes of the Ansel Adams Wilderness and beyond.
  • Rush Creek Lodge and Spa - A tranquil retreat near Yosemite's Big Oak Flat entrance.

Just before you reach Big Oak Flat Entrance

  • You'll approach Big Oak Flat Information Station as soon as you arrive, where they can gather information, park maps, and pay the park entrance fee. It's also a starting point for exploring many of the park's features.
Wide view across Yosemite valley and dense forests and Merced river from Big Oak Flat Road
Take in the beautiful forests and views along Big Oak Flat Road towards the entrance to Yosemite.
Sergey Malomuzh/Shutterstock.com

What is there to see near Big Oak Flat Entrance?

Big Oak Flat Entrance is an ideal starting point for discovering some of Yosemite's best-loved attractions and scenic viewpoints.

  1. Big Oak Flat Information Station - A useful stop to gather information, maps, and guides about Yosemite.
  2. Carlon Falls - A picturesque waterfall hike offering visitors a peaceful setting away from some of the busier areas (1 mile from Big Oak Flat Entrance)
  3. Carlon Day Use Area - Positioned along the Tuolumne River, this is a lovely spot for picnics and enjoying the river. (2 miles from Big Oak Flat Entrance)
  4. Merced Grove - This lesser-visited grove of giant sequoias provides a more serene experience compared to the more popular groves. (5 miles from Big Oak Flat Entrance)
  5. Tuolumne Grove - Another relatively quiet grove of giant sequoias. The grove contains around 25 mature giant sequoias and is accessible by a downhill hike. (8 miles from Big Oak Flat Entrance)
  6. Crane Flat Lookout - Offers a panoramic view of the Yosemite area, including the high country and Yosemite Valley. (8 miles from Big Oak Flat Entrance)

If you fancy a drive right through the heart of some of these attractions, take a look at our specific guide detailing more interesting routes directly through Yosemite and other National Parks.

Green mountain meadow with flowers and natural stepping stones, near Crane Flat
The meadows and forests surrounding Crane Flat are a beautiful spot for exploring.
N8Allen/Shutterstock.com

What facilities can I find at Yosemite's Big Oak Flat Entrance?

Facilities available at Big Oak Flat Entrance, however it is best to ensure you have enough provisions for the day.
Entrance StationYesFor ticket checking and purchase
Visitor CenterYesFor information, maps and current conditions on roads and trails
RefreshmentsNoAvailable further into the Park
RestroomsYesAvailable at the Information Station
Gas and EV ChargingNoGas stations in Groveland and Crane Flat. EV Charging in Rush Creek Lodge, Groveland, and Yosemite Valley
Close up view of the Carlon falls trail to the waterfall, with water cascading down rocks and green forests surrounding
Take a hike along the Carlon Falls Trail and you are sure to be spoilt by this peaceful and beautiful setting.
Hulshof pictures/Shutterstock.com

Is Big Oak Flat Entrance open year-round?

Yosemite's Big Oak Flat Entrance is open throughout the year and the main access road, CA-120, is also open year-round.

The Big Oak Flat Entrance and surrounding area often experiences slightly less traffic than other Yosemite entrances, such as South Entrance, especially during peak times. If you plan your visit early morning or late afternoon, and during spring or fall, this will reduce traffic congestion further still.

Things to check before traveling to Yosemite's Big Oak Flat Entrance

  • Top up gas and supplies ahead of your visit, as Yosemite Valley, which has many amenities, is a 40 minute drive from the entrance.
  • Make sure to check at the entrance's Information Station for any road or trail closures before heading into the Park.
  • Big Oak Flat Road is winding with sharp curves. so make sure to drive cautiously, especially if you're not used to mountain driving.

How much does it cost to access Yosemite National Park at Big Oak Flat Entrance?

The entry fees to Yosemite National Park are the same whichever entrance you use. If you are arriving by car, then you will pay per vehicle, rather than per person.

Costs for entering Yosemite National Park.
Private vehicle$35
Motorcycle$30
Individual (walking, biking, public transport)$20