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YARTS: A great way to explore Yosemite

August 7th, 2013 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Emma Oschrin, 2013 Mono Lake Intern.

Are you interested in seeing all the beauty that Yosemite National Park has to offer? Do you also want to avoid the crowds and traffic that can come as quite a surprise when escaping into relative wilderness? Then the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) is an option you should consider!

The comfortable, air-conditioned YARTS bus. Photo courtesy of YARTS.

Since May of 2000, YARTS has been offering a wonderful alternative to taking your own car through Yosemite. YARTS is an easy and inexpensive way to see Yosemite from the comfort of air-conditioned buses with plenty of storage space for all your belongings.

Prior to this summer, I had only been through Yosemite in my own car so I wanted to try YARTS out to see how the experience compared. As I planned my day trip into Tuolumne Meadows, I realized that I had a plethora of options for my departure. In Lee Vining alone, there were three separate locations where I could catch the bus and three different departure times throughout the day. And no prior reservations are needed—just show up ready for a pleasant ride!

I caught the YARTS bus outside of the Lake View Lodge at the south end of town and had an excellent view heading into the park. The bus dropped me off at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center where I was able to catch a free regional shuttle that took me right to my trailhead of choice for the day. After a hike in Lyell Canyon and a couple of hours at Tenaya Lake, I made my way back to the Tuolumne Meadow Visitor Center and caught the last YARTS bus out of the park.

YARTS offers many advantages depending on the type of trip you’re planning. They pick up travelers in Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, and Lee Vining; they sell one-way tickets, and round-trip tickets. Additionally, they offer excellent deals that allow you to purchase three trips for the price of only two, discounted rates for seniors and children, and convenient connections to regional shuttles within the park. For more information, stop by the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining or checkout the YARTS website.

Photo courtesy of YARTS.

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