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Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.

3 posts
Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.

Greetings travelers!

Me and my peers have scheduled a trip to Yosemite this upcoming month and since none of us meet the prerequisites of renting a car, we came to the conclusion that utilizing the public transport system is unfortunately (I’m ready to give the US pts the benefit of the doubt) our sole option. We are starting our journey in SF and to be particular at the Balbao Park Station (which is fairly close to our accommodation). We have got ourselves a general idea on how to get to Yosemite after reading up on relevant travel routes and itinerary’s online However, we’ve yet to find a convenient way of purchasing the entire trip through one single company and/or website. Is there such a service in the US? Or are we required to visit the various particular operators and separately book the necessary tickets?

In addition; if anyone would be so kind and also share their eventual knowledge about potential and optimal travel routes from SF Balbao Park to Yosemite I’d be very grateful.

Thanks for reading and any help is appreciated!

/Lost Swedish guy

8 replies to this topic
San Francisco...
Level Contributor
1,303 posts
1 review
1. Re: Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.

What you want is Amtrak the national passenger rail service. Amtrak runs one train a day from S.F to Yosemite Valley. It is actually a combination of buses and a train but it is all one ticket. Use the

Transbay Temporary Terminal for your starting point. https://tickets.amtrak.com

Now, how to get to Transbay Temporary Terminal from where you are staying. You can take Bart (the subway) from Balboa Park to the Embarcadero Station and then walk 3 blocks to the Amtrak pick up spot. But the Amtrak train leaves at 5:00 A.M so I think it is too early for Bart. I would take an Uber or a LIft. Sounds like you have a group so the cost will be minimal.

Edited: 12 May 2018, 18:39
San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
22,301 posts
79 reviews
2. Re: Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.

When you say you've 'scheduled' a trip, are you talking about a day trip or overnight? If overnight, have you already booked accommodations? If so, where?

All of that information will be relevant to our answers. If you're taking a day trip, you'll have to see how much time the Amtrak schedule allows in the park. If an overnight trip, Amtrak/YARTS might not be convenient depending on where you're staying.

You might look at Incredible Adventures or Green Tortoise, as those companies run tours where you can book transportation and lodging together.

3 posts
3. Re: Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.

I do apologize for providing vague information. Our accommodation is booked and payed for. We are staying at the “Yosemite view lodge” for two nights. Leaving S.F on June 18 and then heading straight to Los angles from Yosemite on June 20.

I’ve taken a look at the Amtrak website and the “Yosemite view lodge” (geographically the closest bus stop to our hotel) is not displayed or given as an example of a valid location when using their travel planner, any suggestions?

I guess what I’m looking for is some sort of joint website where all the different steps of a certain trip are shown (the equivalent would be the service that google-maps provides with routes and directions to and from various locations, except you can’t actually purchase anything through google).

Ideally the entire ticket pre-booked on a printed piece of paper that’s easy to follow. But such service seem to be absent for my particular needs and I would instead have to separate the booking into different segments and manually piece it together?

To summarize what I need help with: The fastest way to get from Balbao Park in S.F to Yosemite view lodge on June 18. Additionally I would also like some assistance and advice on how to get from Yosemite view lodge to Los Angles bus stations on the 20th of June. And most importantly, through what website do I proceed with the booking?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
72,815 posts
133 reviews
4. Re: Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.


Just Amtrak

It will be a combination of Amtrak buses, Amtrak trains, and YARTS bus. The trip to L.A. will be long and arduous.

Here is the YARTS schedule: yarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Hwy-140… Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal is on the YARTS bus route.

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
22,301 posts
79 reviews
5. Re: Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.

Yes, given those specifics, Amtrak is your only option. To be more detailed, in order to book, on the Amtrak website book all the way from SF (Temporary Transbay Terminal - station code SFF) to El Portal (station code EPL), then from EPL to whatever station is closest to your destination in LA (see https://maps.amtrak.com/amtrak/maps_application.html?view=SearchResults&Address=Los+Angeles%2C+CA for station lists)

On the day of travel:

1. Lyft/taxi/Uber from your rental to the Temporary Transbay Terminal so you arrive at least 30 minutes before the bus departure time.

2. You'll take this bus to an Amtrack station in the East Bay from where your train will leave. The connections are timed, so the train will hold even if the bus is late (at least, that's my understanding). You will have to transfer your own luggage.

3. The Amtrak train will take you to Merced, where you'll transfer to another bus, but this one is run by YARTS. You'll get off at El Portal, right by your hotel.

All of this is on one ticket if you booked it correctly.

When you leave for LA, you'll basically do the same: YARTS bus to Merced (maybe a different connecting city), Amtrak train to LA and possibly Amtrak bus to a stop closer to your destination (this will depend on your destination -- you will be on your own to get from the Amtrak station/stop to your hotel).

Edited: 12 May 2018, 23:48
6. Re: Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.

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Removed on: 12 May 2018, 23:53
3 posts
7. Re: Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.

Alright, so I'm finally able to wrap my head around this entire situation. Thank you very much for the specific and detailed information that you have shared with me!

On a final note; any suggestions on how to make the trip between Yosemite and LA as convenient and short as possible? Would partly flying heavily affect the total travel time as opposed to going by train/bus the entire way? Does anyone hold experience from this particular route and therefore could suggest how to make it less tedious than it seemingly is?

Long Beach...
Level Contributor
7,977 posts
8. Re: Book my trip to yosemite through a single sale channel.

Yosemite to LA-

You can take Amtrak from Yosemite to LA Union Station (though you may wan to depart from Yosemite Valley or somewhere on Hwy 41.)

You can take YARTS Bus to Merced Airport and fly on Boutique Air to LA. (Probably easiest/fastest for you)

You can take YARTS Bus to Fresno Airport and fly to LA

Edited: 13 May 2018, 00:58
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