Yosemite National Park EV Travel Guide

While not the busiest national park, and not even in the top 5, it still gets enough traffic on its limited access roads/gates to be a very crowded park (timed entry reservation is the norm). But, if you don’t mind the crowds, it’s a nice place to visit. Beautiful canyons, waterfalls that can occasionally look like fire, towering sequoias, meadows, abundant hiking, and much more all reward those who make the trek.

Scenic drives are abundant, but the size of the park can mean long drives on roads with low speed limits. So, allow plenty of time for driving around the park. Shuttles are available in Yosemite Valley, and using the shuttle is a good idea to avoid parking hassles.

You’ll want to book in advance as much as possible, especially if you want to stay at one of the park’s lodges. Booking opens up a year in advance of your desired reservation date. The same is true for campgrounds (RV or tent), but they only come up five months in advance of the trip date.

The park is not fully open in the winter, as it’s a very cold place in the winter. You can still visit in the winter, but activities are more limited. Some roads are closed in the winter, but the remaining roads generally are open to some fun activities. Spring flooding is a real possibility on years with record snows. Waterfalls peak in May to June, and often dry up by August, but peak waterfall season is also peak visitor season.

Getting There In An EV

Quick Tips and Facts:

  • Getting to the park is pretty easy for most EVs. This is California, after all! All routes going into the park have at least some DC fast charging, with options for both Tesla Superchargers and other providers. Coming from the west, non-Tesla EVs will likely have the easiest time coming in on Highway 120, but EVs with more range can easily come in from any direction. Be sure to use trip planning software to double check a given route.
  • It’s a big park that can take a long time to drive around, so using trip planning software on each day’s drive is recommended to avoid being stranded on the back roads. There are no DC fast chargers in the park, but there are abundant Level 2 charging options at lodges and some parking lots.
  • A number of RV parks outside of the park boundaries allow EV charging, but be sure to call ahead and verify before you go. RV parks inside the park do not have electrical hookups.
  • It may be best to break the trip up into several nights staying either at a lodge in the park or at a hotel or RV park just outside of it, provided that they offer or allow EV charging. Starting every day with a full battery helps keep the whole park in reach.
  • Charging on US-395 means that it’s possible to easily combine Yosemite into a trip to Death Valley, offering you two extremes in the summer.

E-bikes are another great way to enjoy Yosemite. The park has miles of paths open to e-bikes, and it also allows e-bikes on park roads as long as you follow traffic laws.

Links For Further Park and Nearby Information

Here are a couple of videos that give good information about the park:

Featured image by the National Park Service (Public Domain).