Giant Sequoia trees in Mariposa Grove, with empty road weaving through the forests
Felix Lipov/

South Entrance, Yosemite National Park

Updated by Pat Dorri on May 1 2024

The South Entrance provides access to Yosemite National Park from the, would you believe it, south! This entrance is ideal for those traveling from South California locations, such as San Diego or the Los Angeles area.

A quick overview of South Entrance to Yosemite National Park
Street Address📍Southern Yosemite Highway, Yosemite Valley, CA 93623 (Located on CA-41)
Facilities in the Area

🕒 Park opening hours (All Day, Every Day)

🎟️ Ticket office

ℹ️ Information station (Hours vary, check in advance)

🚻 Public restrooms

🍽️ Picnic area

⛽ 2.2 miles to nearest gas station (Located in Fish Camp)

Attractions Nearby

⭐️ Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad (4.4 miles away)

⭐️ Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (7.9 miles away)

⭐️ Yosemite History Center (10.5 miles away)

Important Information

🔴 One of the main attractions near the South Entrance is the Mariposa Grove. Travelling early or later in the day, and using the free shuttle service from other areas, can minimise parking issues.

🟡 This entrance is accessible year-round, however as a popular route road maintenance is often needed, so check ahead for any closures.

🟢 As with other entrances, during snow and icy conditions make sure your car is appropriately equipped. Carrying snow chains is beneficial.

Where can I find the South Entrance to Yosemite National Park?

Yosemite's South Entrance is found on the southern edge of Yosemite National Park.

Just before you head into South Entrance is Fish Camp, a small town with a gas station and general store for restocking before heading into Yosemite. The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is also on the doorstop for a historical logging train experience.

  • One of the most significant advantages of using the South Entrance is its closeness to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias which is only 8 miles from the Park entrance, and home to over 500 mature giant sequoias, including Grizzly Giant. Visitors entering from the South can quickly access this iconic grove without driving through the entire park.
  • Fish Camp, a small community you can visit before heading into Yosemite, can be found just 3 miles away. Here you will find a store and gas station with essentials, as well as scenic trails to enjoy before heading into Yosemite.
  • Oakhurst is slightly further away at 15 miles, taking around 26 minutes to drive. It is a popular gateway town to Yosemite, and has plenty of shops, restaurants and gas stations to give you everything you need ahead of entering Yosemite. Here you can also explore the Fresno Flats Historical Village or take in the scenic beauty of Bass Lake close by.

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

Driving to South Entrance from nearby cities

Distance between major towns and cities and Yosemite's South Entrance
Origin CityDistanceDriving Time
Fish Camp3 miles6 minutes
Oakhurst15 miles26 minutes
Fresno62 miles1 hour 15 minutes
Los Angeles168 miles4 hours 40 minutes

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

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

It's helpful to have some landmarks to look out for as you make your way to South Entrance for the first time. These attractions and scenic sites should help guide you as you head towards the South Entrance to start your epic Yosemite experience.

Around 10 miles away from South Entrance

  • Yosemite Forks - A quieter, but still convenient base for exploring the nearby attractions of Yosemite National Park, in this area you can enjoy drives through the Sierra Nevada foothills, before heading back to dine at a variety of local restaurants.
  • Lewis Creek Trail Middle Trailhead - A scenic trail highlighting cascading waterfalls and lush forested landscapes near Oakhurst.
Old train carriages along the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
Feel like you are stepping back in time with a visit to the historic Mountain Sugar Railroad attraction.

Around 5 miles away from South Entrance

  • Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad - Located near Fish Camp, this historic railroad offers steam train rides that also detail the logging history of the area - entertaining and informative for the whole family!
  • Tenaya at Yosemite - This lodge provides not only accommodation but also offers guided tours, horseback riding, and other recreational activities to enjoy. Head to Jackalope's Bar & Grill on-site for a tasty meal afterwards.

Just before you reach South Entrance

  • You'll approach South Entrance Information Station as soon as you arrive, where they can gather information, park maps, and pay the park entrance fee.
  • Close to here you can also catch the free shuttle that runs seasonally from Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza to Mariposa Grove. The Welcome Plaza is a short 2 minute drive from South Entrance.
The trunks of giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park.
Mariposa Grove is one of the stand out attractions as you head into Yosemite South Entrance.
Matt Gerlach/

What is there to see near South Entrance?

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

  1. Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza - Here, you'll find parking, restrooms, and informational displays about the grove and its sequoias, as well as seasonal shuttle bus.
  2. Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias - Featuring over 500 mature giant sequoias, including the renowned Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree. (2 miles from South Entrance)
  3. Wawona - A historic town within the park, Wawona is home to the Pioneer Yosemite History Center, a collection of historic buildings, and the Big Teres Lodge. (4 miles from South Entrance)
  4. Pioneer Yosemite History Center - Located in Wawona, this collection of historic buildings offers a glimpse into Yosemite's past. There's also a covered bridge nearby, which is one of the few remaining in California. (5 miles from South Entrance)
  5. Swinging Bridge - A bridge over the South Fork of the Merced River, offering picturesque views and a spot to relax by the water. (6 miles from South Entrance)
  6. Chilnualna Falls - Located near Wawona, this series of cascading waterfalls is accessible by a fairly strenuous hike, offering a more off-the-beaten-path waterfall experience. (7 miles from South Entrance)
Bright blue skies reflected in the Chilnualna Falls calm waters, surrounded by forest pines
The hike towards Chilnualna Falls is certainly worth it, with beautiful landscapes to discover along the way.
Adrian Rivera Photography/

What facilities can I find at Yosemite's South Entrance?

Facilities available at South 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 Fish Camp and Oakhurst. Closest EV Charging at Tenaya Lodge, 1122 Highway 41, Fish Camp
Giant Sequoia, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Tunnel tree.
Head into South Entrance and it won't be long before you amongst the jaw-dropping Giant Sequoia trees.
Lynn Yeh/

Is South Entrance open year-round?

Yosemite's South Entrance is open throughout the year and the main access road from the south, CA-41, is also open year-round.

The South Entrance and surrounding area is popular as it offers direct access to Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Grizzly Giant and Wawona Point. During peak times this can make the entrance particularly busy, so visit early morning or late afternoon or outside peak summer, and this will help reduce your waiting time to enter.

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 you can make during your trip.

Things to check before traveling to Yosemite's South Entrance

  • Make sure you have stocked up on gas and supplies ahead of your visit. Yosemite Valley is around an hour from this entrance.
  • Make sure to check at the entrance's Information Station for any road or trail closures before heading into the Park.
  • Certain areas, like Mariposa Grove, have restrictions on private vehicle access, particularly during busy times. There may be shuttle services or specific parking instructions, so be prepared to follow the recommended access guidelines.

How much does it cost to access Yosemite National Park at South 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