Paved road on top of O'Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir visible on the right
Sundry Photography/

Hetch Hetchy Entrance, Yosemite National Park

Updated by Pat Dorri on February 14 2024

Hetch Hetchy Entrance is found in the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park, and provides the best access for those visiting from northern or western California. It is one of the lesser visited entrances, with seasonal opening times dependant on daylight hours.

A quick overview of Hetch Hetchy Entrance to Yosemite National Park
Street Address📍Hetch Hetchy Road, Groveland, CA 95321, USA (Located on CA-120)
Facilities in the Area

🕒 Entrance opening hours vary (more details can be found below)

🎟️ Ticket office

ℹ️ Information station

🚻 Public restrooms

🍽️ Picnic area

⛽ 17.6 miles to nearest gas station (Located in Buck Meadows)

Attractions Nearby

⭐️ Poopenaut Valley (4.7 miles away)

⭐️ Smith Peak Trailhead (5.6 mile away)

⭐️ O'Shaughnessy Dam (7.8 miles away)

Important Information

🔴 One of the more remote entrances, there is less reliable cell service, so ensure you notify someone of your whereabouts before heading into the Park.

🟡 This entrance is further from amenities found at places such as Yosemite Valley, just over an hour away, so make sure you are stocked up with gas and suppliers on arrival.

🟢 The entrance has specific hours of operation, so make sure to check the hours in advance as they differ throughout the year.

Where can I find the Hetch Hetchy Entrance to Yosemite National Park?

Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Entrance can be found on the northwest edge of Yosemite National Park.

If you decide to visit Yosemite through Hetch Hetchy Entrance then the closest main town is Groveland, which is about 30 miles away. Here you can find gas stations, restaurants, and shops, and it's a popular stop for visitors to stock up before visiting more remote areas of the park.

  • Hetch Hetchy Entrance, with its differing opening hours and more remote location, is often less visited than the more popular areas of Yosemite, making for a peaceful and solitary experience. It is a stunning area for hiking and discovery, with sites including O'Shaughnessy Dam and Wapama Falls highlights to explore.
  • Buck Meadows is a small community about 22 miles and a 40 minute drive away from the Park. Whilst not a large town, it has a gas station and convenience store where you can find any last minute suppliers before heading into Yosemite.
  • Groveland, a larger town and popular stopover ahead of Yosemite, can be found 32 miles away, a 50 minute drive. Take a wander down the historic downtown area, where you'll find a collection of quaint shops and restaurants, with plenty of places for you and your car to refuel ahead of arriving at Hetch Hetchy.

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

Driving to Hetch Hetchy Entrance from nearby cities

Distance between major towns and cities and Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Entrance
Origin CityDistanceDriving Time
Buck Meadows22 miles40 minutes
Groveland32 miles50 minutes
Stockton105 miles2 hour 15 minutes
Sacramento150 miles2 hour 55 minutes

How will I know when I arrive at Hetch Hetchy Entrance and Yosemite National Park?

It's helpful to have some landmarks to look out for if you are planning to enter via the Hetch Hetchy Entrance for the first time. These attractions and scenic sites should help you more easily find the way and guide you in the right direction.

Around 10 miles away from Hetch Hetchy Entrance

  • Carlon Day Use Area - Located along the South Fork of the Tuolumne River, this area offers picnic spots with impressive views.
  • Carlon Falls Trail - A pathway that winds through lush forests and meadows, leading hikers to the picturesque Carlon Falls, a cascading waterfall in Yosemite's vicinity.
Beautiful cascading water in the forested section of Yosemite National Park on a cloudy day
The beautiful cascading waters of Carlon Falls can be admired as you take on this pretty trailhead.
Hulshof pictures/

2 miles away from Hetch Hetchy Entrance

  • Middle Fork Day Use Area - Offering access to the river, beautiful forested surroundings, and potential wildlife sightings, it's the ideal spot for picnicking and a stroll.
  • Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite - A popular resort just outside the park boundary, offering cabin accommodations, dining, a recreation center, and various outdoor activities including guided adventures.

Just before you reach Hetch Hetchy Entrance

  • Just ahead of arriving you will pass Mather, a reference to the Mather Ranger Station in Stanislaus National Forest. This ranger station serves as an information hub for Stanislaus National Forest, and provides current conditions before heading onto Hetch Hetchy.
  • You'll then arrive at Hetch Hetchy Entrance and find a ranger kiosk where fees are collected. Park rangers may also be available to provide guidance and answer questions about the area and its trails.
The sign to the entrance of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on a sunny day
Once you pass the Mather signs towards Hetch Hetchy you are just a short distance from this amazing Park.
Tangent Imagez/

What is there to see near Hetch Hetchy Entrance?

Hetch Hetchy Entrance is a lesser visited entry point into Yosemite, with unique and interesting sites including staggering granite cliffs, expansive reservoirs and cascading waterfalls to enjoy exploring.

  1. Smith Peak Trailhead - A more strenuous hike in the area, and reaching the summit of Smith Peak offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. (5 miles from Hetch Hetchy Entrance)
  2. Hetch Hetchy Reservoir -A sight to behold, surrounded by towering granite cliffs and dotted with waterfalls, especially in the spring when snowmelt increases their flow. (7 miles from Hetch Hetchy Entrance)
  3. Kolana Rock -This granite dome rises dramatically from the north side of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and offers a stunning visual backdrop to the area. (7 miles from Hetch Hetchy Entrance)
  4. Wapama Falls - A moderate hike from the O'Shaughnessy Dam leads to Wapama Falls, a cascading waterfall that flows year-round. (7 miles from Hetch Hetchy Entrance)
  5. Rancheria Falls - For those looking for a slightly longer hike, the trail to Rancheria Falls offers more remote scenery and a series of cascading waterfalls at the end. (8 miles from Hetch Hetchy Entrance)
  6. O'Shaughnessy Dam - This impressive dam at the entrance of Hetch Hetchy Valley was the subject of much historical debate, and visitors can walk across it to get panoramic views of the reservoir. (8 miles from Hetch Hetchy Entrance)

If you love the waterfalls suggested here, there are also so many others to enjoy throughout Yosemite. Take a look at our guide to see where you can find these other epic falls.

Wapama Falls footbridge along the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park, with views over the cascading waterfalls
Make sure to take the footbridge lookout to get a closer look at the breath taking Wapama Falls.
Katelynn Manz/

What facilities can I find at Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Entrance?

Facilities available at Hetch Hetchy Entrance, however it is best to ensure you have enough provisions for the day.
Entrance StationYesFor ticket checking and purchase
Visitor CenterYesEssential information, maps and permits
RefreshmentsNoAvailable further into the Park
RestroomsYesAvailable at the Entrance Station
Gas and EV ChargingNoGas stations in Buck Meadows and Groveland. Closest EV Charging at Evergreen Lodge, 33160 Evergreen Rd, Groveland
Sunny day with white wispy clouds, looking across Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park
There are plenty of stunning viewpoints overlooking Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
Nickolay Stanev/

Is Hetch Hetchy Entrance open year-round?

Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Entrance is not open year-round, with the timings it is open reflected in daylight hours.

Opening times for Hetch Hetchy Entrance
Time of yearOpening hours
April 1 to April 30⏲️8am to 7pm
May 1 to Labor Day⏲️7am to 9pm
Day after Labor Day to October 31⏲️8am to 7pm
November 1 to March 31⏲️8am to 5pm

Hetch Hetchy tends to be less crowded than other parts of Yosemite, particularly Yosemite Valley, and offers a more peaceful experience, particularly when exploring areas such as Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which is the only place in Yosemite with a reservoir of this size.

Things to check before traveling to Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Entrance

  • As this entrance is further away from some of the more popular sites in Yosemite, such as within Yosemite Valley, it is important to have stocked up on gas and supplies ahead of your visit.
  • The opening hours for this entrance vary depending on daylight hour, so make sure to check details in advance of arriving.
  • The parking area near O'Shaughnessy Dam can fill up quickly, especially on weekends and during peak seasons, so make sure to arrive early as otherwise you may need to wait for a spot.

How much does it cost to access Yosemite National Park at Hetch Hetchy 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
Individual (walking, biking, public transport)$20