YARTS: Go Yosemite from Fresno

Want to relax on your ride into the national park? There's a new way.


GET INTO THE GUIDES: No eyebrows shall be raised at that stack of guidebooks sitting on your nightstand, the ones that cover everything from "best waterfall views" to "highest treks" to "most peaceful picnic places." But guidebook stacks have a way of staying a little too dormant ahead of one's vacation, if only because one is busy with last-minute work wrap-ups and last-minute reservation checking and making sure a neighbor will water the plants. Guidebooks are the greatest, and brimming with fab tips, but cracking them open once you reach your campground or motel is not optimal. What is, however, very nice is being able to spend a couple of hours poring over a few chapters, on your way into a national park, while someone else is in the driver's seat.

ENTER YARTS, the public transit into Yosemite National Park, which like other national park-focused lines -- hello, Big Trees Transit and Sequoia Shuttle and the other buses that wend into our popular summertime spaces -- gives riders a chance to bone up on their local info prior to entering the park. And YARTS, just ahead of that busy warm-days-ahead season, has a new route under its big belt: Highway 41, from Fresno. The announcement arrived just ahead of Memorial Day Weekend, which, as any national parker knows, is just when things get really revved up, and a ride in is a welcome thing.

"ONE OF FOUR STOPS": Those hopping onto YARTS on their way into the big valley can do so from a quartet of Fresno locations. And more exclamation points, straight from the Yosemite National Park Facebook page: "This now means Yosemite National Park visitors can enter the park via a YARTS bus from all four major park entrances!" There's a handy map to show just how that works, and the originating cities, as well as stops along the way. So you need to gaze upon Glacier Point? Without the stress of dealing with traffic? And the chance to finally read those guidebooks you've been accumulating? Consider, summer adventurers, going public transit, and finally digging into your nightstand stack.

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