Yosemite National Park has awe-inspiring landscapes, magnificent waterfalls, and some of the tallest trees around. However, because most people have to fly in to reach the park, it raises an important question: what is the closest airport to Yosemite National Park?
The Closest AirPort to Yosemite National Park is Mammoth Yosemite Airport. Located 42 miles from the Eastern Entrance and just 6 miles from Mammoth Lakes, Mammoth is a small airport with only six domestic flights. It has an average of 23 daily flights and a single runway.
According to Luxury Aircraft Solutions, Mammoth is so small that many people prefer to charter planes to the airport. This is as opposed to using commercial flights. As you will soon learn, Mammoth isn’t the sort of place you can fly to from any location in the country. It is also just one airport among many that you can find near Yosemite National Park.
Flying to Mammoth Yosemite Airport
As the video below explains, Mammoth has undergone expansion in the past.
There is every reason to believe that it will expand in the future. That being said, it is still relatively small, so it doesn’t offer international flights. Mammoth only receives domestic flights. Two airlines fly to the airport, namely: United Airlines and Advanced Air.
With United Airlines, you can fly from:
- Los Angeles on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday
- San Francisco on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday
- Denver on Monday, Friday, and Sunday
With Advanced Air, you can fly from:
- Burbank on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday
- Hawthorne on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday
- Carlsbad, San Diego on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday
While Visit Mammoth is confident about this schedule’s accuracy, you should check with the airlines in question before you make your plans to ensure that unforeseen circumstances haven’t caused their flights to change.
According to Flight Connections, people that don’t want to go through Mammoth Yosemite Airport to reach Yosemite can also access this region via Fresno and Merced. Most flights to Mammoth Lakes take less than 3 hours.
Getting to Yosemite From Mammoth Yosemite Airport
Yosemite National Park is roughly 68km from Mammoth Lakes Airport. By road, the distance is 165km. How do people get from the airport to the National Park? While you are free to walk, it isn’t exactly the most convenient option. You have two primary avenues to choose from:
The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation system is one of the most popular means of getting to and from the national park. YARTS has a fixed route. It operates all year round. You should visit the YARTS website to learn their schedule before you make any plans.
Not only are their buses comfortable (air-conditioned), but they are safe. By using YARTS, you can avoid traffic. These buses will take you through the most scenic areas.
By paying your YARTS fare, you will also pay the park’s entrance fee, essentially “killing two birds with one stone.” Even if you have a car, you can park it at your hotel and use the bus. It is the cheapest and most convenient option.
That being said, the bus cannot pick you up from the airport. Such services are available to passengers transitioning through Fresno and Merced Airports, but not Mammoth. From the YARTS platform, you can see that they have several bus stops and pick-up points in Mammoth Lakes.
This is why you are encouraged to visit the company’s website. It will show you where in Mammoth Lakes you can find one of their buses. Their schedule will vary depending on the month in which you have chosen to travel.
The journey to Mammoth Lakes shouldn’t concern you. Mammoth Lakes is just 6 miles from Mammoth Yosemite Airport. It is a ten-minute journey and you can easily take an uber or a taxi from the airport to Mammoth Lakes. Depending on your preference, you can also walk that distance.
If buses are not your cup of tea, you can rent a car and drive to the national park. This option is preferable for some people because it offers more freedom. You don’t have to stick to a particular schedule. You can also make as many stops as you want along the way.
The Fastest and Cheapest Way to Get to Yosemite From Mammoth
Between buses and cars, cars are the superior option. First of all, they only take 2Hours 35Minutes to get to the park. Secondly, it costs from $15. According to Rome2Rio, a bus takes 4Hours 43Minutes, and it can cost as much as $50.
What Other Airports Are Close to Yosemite National Park?
Mammoth isn’t the only airport in the vicinity of Yosemite. Some other airports that you can use to reach the national park include:
Merced is a small airport that travelers can reach from places like Oakland, Las Vegas McCarran, and Los Angeles International Airport. The home of Boutique Air, Skyscanner, assures travelers that it only takes two hours to drive from Merced to Yosemite Valley (Highway 140).
Fresno Yosemite International Airport
This airport is 64 miles from the national park. It serves passengers from states like Arizona, LA, Denver, and Dallas, to mention a few. It takes 2.5 hours to drive from Fresno to Yosemite Valley. Passengers using this airport can take advantage of the numerous transportation services on offer, including Amtrak, YARTS, and Greyhound.
Sacramento International Airport
It takes 3.5 hours to travel from Sacramento to Yosemite. But the drive is relaxing because it is straightforward and you don’t have to worry about traffic. Affordable rental cars are available, and gas isn’t that difficult to find when you need to refuel.
If you’re looking for the closest airport to Yosemite National Park, you can’t do better than Mammoth Yosemite Airport, which is 42 miles away from the park’s eastern entrance. Mammoth is a little tricky because using the east entrance means going through Tioga Pass.
Snow makes Tioga Pass impassable in the winter. In other words, Mammoth is only the closest airport between June and October. In the winter, Tioga Pass is closed, and you have to drive for several hours to reach the park.
What does this mean? If you want a smooth and uninterrupted journey from Mammoth Yosemite Airport to Yosemite National Park, don’t visit in the winter.
Related: A Complete US National Park List