As much as I want to be independent from the trips that I’ve had, usually it would cost me to limit my itineraries due to the fact of being moronic in driving.
This was a problem for me while I was planning our trip to San Francisco. The boyfriend knows how to burn up the road but he told me that he has a limitation of not more than 3-hour drive (I think he really got mortified when he drove close to 8 hours when we went to Havasupai) and would not totally drive if the road is very icy.
Given that we were planning our vacation during winter time, my hopes of traveling to Yosemite was effortlessly murdered.
But then with the help of my good friend, Google, I was able to decode the best way to go to Yosemite sans private car.
Ahhhh! Thanks to Amtrak!
Here’s how we did it:
Daly City to Emeryville
Our rented house was in Daly City. The closest Amtrak station that we could find was in Emeryville. We used uber from our house to Emeryville which cost us roughly around $20 for the whole trip.
If you guys are coming from the Bay area I suggest to look for the closest Amtrak station.
Emeryville to Merced
Here, you will board the San Joaquins for an almost 3-hour ride. You can purchase your tickets in advance in the Amtrak’s website that cost $25 each. Once you get to Merced, you’ll see the Yarts bus which will take you directly to Yosemite.
One tip- please get the first train trip so you’ll get to Yosemite not too late because the bus is another 2-hour trip.
Yarts Bus to Yosemite
Yarts is the only public transportation that will take you to Yosemite. Also, they have different stopovers to some of the lodges that is close to the park. This bus ride costs $13 per person each way which I thought a very reasonable price. They usually have a 30-minute allowance before leaving after Amtrak train arrives at the station. For example, If you take 7:45am train you’ll get to Merced at 10:37 am, the Yarts bus will leave Merced at 11:10am. And finally, Yosemite will welcome you after 2 hours.
Going around to different trails in Yosemite is not even a headache because they provide a free shuttle that runs every 20 minutes.
So there, I already spilled the beans of going to Yosemite without the headache of driving especially during winter time when the road is very icy and slippery. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.
Photos by| Ronnel Suliguin