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How is cellular coverage in Yosemite National Park?

It varies depending on where you are!

· 2 min read

Yosemite National Park, renowned for its breathtaking vistas and dramatic landscapes, attracts millions of visitors each year. If you are also planning a visit to the Yosemite National Park, perhaps you might be wondering how reliable cell coverage would be at the park. Let’s take a look.


Cellular Coverage in Yosemite National Park

As with most National Parks in US, cellular coverage varies largely depending on your exact location in the park.

Due to the absence of cell towers in the park, as well as blockages of signals due to the towering mountains, not all areas of the park will get the same coverage.

Generally, this is what you can expect:

  • Yosemite Valley: This is the most visited area in the park and consequently has the best cellular coverage. Major carriers in the United States—Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile —provide service here, though signal strength can fluctuate depending on the specific location within the valley. Connection is mostly more reliable in the eastern Yosemite Valley. You wouldn’t be able to get 5G services, but you 4G LTE service is mostly reliable, especially if you are near the visitor centers.
  • Wawona and Glacier Point: Wawona, another developed area within the park, offers decent cellular connectivity, mainly from Verizon and AT&T. Glacier Point, known for its panoramic views, has sporadic coverage, with some areas providing decent signals while others might be more challenging.
  • Foresta and Crane Flat: Verizon provides relatively reliable signals in Foresta and Crane Flat, while other providers do not offer coverage here.
  • Other areas: In other areas of Yosemite, you could possibly get connection on Verizon or AT&T, but cell service is not reliable and not always available. It is recommended that you plan as if you wouldn’t have cell service.

What about WiFi in Yosemite National Park?

If you are hoping to rely on WiFi instead of cellular coverage during your visit to Yosemite National Park, it is important to note also that WiFi may not always be available; and even if it was, it isn’t always reliable.

If you are camping and staying overnight, internet access is available to registered overnight guests at The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Valley Lodge, Curry Village, and Wawona Hotel. Computers with Internet access and Wi-Fi are also available to the public at the small Mariposa County library branches in Yosemite Valley and Wawona; and free Wi-Fi is also available at Degnan's Kitchen (Yosemite Village) and El Portal Market (El Portal)..

WiFi at Yosemite National Park is often subject to bandwidth issues, and if there are a lot of people using the connection at the same time, your connection would be slow and sometimes unusable. Of course, if you are using it early in the morning before everyone else does, then your connection should be rather stable.

Tips for Staying Connected in Yosemite

Given the patchy nature of cellular coverage in Yosemite, here are a few tips for ensuring you stay connected and safe:

  • Download Maps and Information Ahead of Time: Before entering the park, download offline maps and any necessary information. This ensures you have access to crucial navigation tools even without a signal.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Always carry a physical map and a compass. For those venturing into the backcountry, consider renting a satellite phone or carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB) for emergencies.
  • Check Coverage Maps: Before your trip, consult coverage maps from your cellular provider to get an idea of where you might expect service. These maps are not always perfectly accurate but can provide a general sense of connectivity areas.
  • Battery Management: Cellular coverage in remote areas can drain phone batteries quickly as devices continually search for a signal. Bring extra battery packs or solar chargers to ensure your phone remains usable when you do have service.

Get a Nomad eSIM for United States to help you stay connected on your next trip

Nomad offers multiple data plans for the United States , with prices from as low as $1.40/GB. Day plans are also available so you can decide for yourself how much high-speed data you need per day!

Nomad’s plans for United States works with the AT&T and T-mobile networks, so you can easily switch between the different networks. Nomad’s eSIM plans also support mobile hotspots and data tethering, making it a great choice in case you need to access the internet using your laptops or external devices.