The rock archway spanning El Portal Road outside Yosemite Valley is not much to look at next to Half Dome or El Capitan, but as one of five official entry points to Yosemite National Park, the granite welcome banner has become something of a landmark in its own right.
Four of the park’s entrances draw a line down its western edge while the lone Tioga Pass occupies the eastern side. Each offers a distinct first impression of the valley, as well as access to different amenities and attractions. Tioga Pass is closest to neighboring Nevada, passing the Mammoth Lakes on the drive. Hetch Hetchy is the farthest north on the west side and the most remote, while the South Entrance caters to those coming from Southern California. In between, the Big Oak Flat and Arch Rock entrances funnel traffic from the Bay Area.