Can You Fly A Drone at Yosemite National Park? (Answered)


In this blog post, we’ll explore the question, “Is drone flying allowed at Yosemite National Park?”.

So, let’s jump in and discover everything you need to know — regulations, penalties (if any) and safety tips to keep in mind!

Can You Fly A Drone at Yosemite National Park

Can You Fly a Drone at Yosemite National Park?

No, flying a drone at Yosemite National Park is not allowed without proper authorization. There are strict regulations regarding drone flights to ensure public safety and protect privacy. According to the regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), individuals must obtain specific permits and licenses to fly drones in certain areas or for commercial purposes. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal consequences. It is crucial to thoroughly understand and adhere to drone laws before attempting to fly a drone.

Overview of Drone Regulations

Let’s take a look at some of the key points for drone regulations:

Maximum Altitude Limits

The regulations strictly prohibit the use of drones, regardless of their height, to protect wildlife and visitor experiences. This rule applies even at low altitudes, ensuring the tranquility and natural scenery remains undisturbed.

Distance Restrictions

The regulation prohibits drone usage entirely within the boundaries due to potential disturbances to wildlife, visitors, and the overall serene atmosphere. This zero-distance rule applies irrespective of the drone’s launch or control location.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

Drones are strictly forbidden due to their potential to disturb wildlife, disrupt visitor enjoyment, and interfere with emergency operations. Complying with this ban helps preserve the natural and cultural resources of the park.

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

Drones are categorically banned in the park to safeguard visitor privacy, protect the integrity of natural wildlife and ecosystems, and prevent potential data collection from unauthorized aerial photography or video recording.

Commercial Operations

Under commercial operations, drone flight is unequivocally prohibited. This mandate ensures preservation of natural soundscape, prevents wildlife disturbance, and upholds visitor safety. Adherence to this rule is mandatory without exceptions for commercial purposes.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

Violating drone regulations in national parks like Yosemite can result in serious penalties. These include hefty fines that can amount up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations. This is not a small amount and could certainly be a significant deterrent for anyone thinking of illegally flying a drone in these protected areas.

In addition to these fines, individuals may face criminal charges that could result in up to six months of imprisonment. The severity of penalties highlights the importance the National Park Service places on preserving these natural landscapes and the tranquility of the wildlife that resides within them. It’s not just about the disruption caused by the presence of drones, but also about ensuring safety and maintaining the natural serenity of these parks.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night at Yosemite National Park?

No, you cannot fly your drone at night at Yosemite National Park. The National Park Service prohibits all drone use within its jurisdictions, regardless of the time of day, to preserve natural environments and prevent disturbances.

Can You Bring a Drone to Yosemite National Park?

No, you cannot bring a drone to Yosemite National Park. The park prohibits the use of drones within its boundaries due to noise and safety concerns, possible wildlife disturbances, and to maintain the natural environment’s tranquility.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Fly a Drone at Yosemite National Park?

Yes, you need a permit to fly a drone at Yosemite National Park. However, drone use is generally prohibited in Yosemite and many other U.S. National Parks, regardless of whether you possess a license or permit.


Before you launch your drone into the Yosemite National Park skies, it’s crucial to understand the area’s drone laws and regulations.

This applies not only to Yosemite National Park but also to other destinations around the world. For example, if you’re heading to Pompeii, it’s important to know the specific rules and guidelines for drone flying there. Similarly, if you have dreams of capturing breathtaking footage of Washington, D.C. or exploring drone opportunities around Ohio State Parks, it’s essential to be aware of the local drone regulations in those locations as well.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

So, whether you’re planning a leisurely flight or engaging in commercial drone operations, make sure to fly responsibly, and stay informed.

Resources and Further Information:

Photo of author
Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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