YOSEMITE – In honor of National Public Lands Day, the entrance fee to Yosemite National Park is being waived, and transportation to the park is free that day, as well.
Saturday, Sept. 22 is a fee-free day at Yosemite National Park, as are three other days this year, through the National Park Service. The entrance fee waiver for fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and general health. This year’s event, on September 22, 2018, will focus on restoration and resilience of our public lands.
National Public Lands Day is organized annually by the National Environmental Education Foundation, in cooperation with Department of the Interior, Department of the Army, and Department of Agriculture. The National Park Service is one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. Other participating federal agencies include the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service, and US Army Corps of Engineers.
Free days at Yosemite National Park for 2018 included Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 15, and the first day of National Park week on Apr. 21. The final fee-free park day for the year is Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
To get visitors to Yosemite at no cost, Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) provides free transit service to Yosemite National Park on all free National Park Service (NPS) gate days.
Reservations will not be accepted and boarding will be done on a first-come, first-served basis as available. Operating through a program which began last year, YARTS receives funding through the Federal Lands Access Program to operate free buses to Yosemite on all free NPS gate days.
YARTS schedules can be found online at www.yarts.com.
YARTS is scheduled to operate free buses on all National Park Service fee-free days through September, 2020. YARTS operates year-round from Highway 140, through Merced and Mariposa counties, and seasonally on Highway 120 from Sonora, Highway 395/120 from Mammoth Lakes, and Highway 41 from Fresno. Service from Highway 41 ended this season on Sept. 14.
The only public transit to Yosemite National Park, YARTS began service in May 2000, and now provides an alternative to driving to over 120,000 riders per year.