Yosemite Is Partially Reopening This Week With New Reservation System (Video)
Yosemite National Park will partially reopen this week, but visitors will need to make a reservation to enjoy the waterfalls and towering sequoia trees.
The park will reopen to visitors on June 11 and will include a day-use reservation system to implement visitor limits and prevent overcrowding, according to the National Park Service. Initially, 1,700 vehicle passes will be issued each day for $35, which are validated at the park entrance gate and can be used for seven consecutive days.
“Based on local, state, and federal public health guidelines, the number of vehicles entering Yosemite must be reduced from normal visitation levels for public safety,” the NPS said in a statement. “This helps reduce overcrowding at the park’s most popular destinations.”
While most of the park will be open (including the Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point), certain areas will remain closed to the public, like the Lower Yosemite Fall boulders. Parts of the Mist Trail will also be closed to downhill hiking from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
The park’s day passes will be required through October 31, according to the NPS, and are valid from 5 a.m. PT to 11 p.m. PT. Reservations can be made starting Tuesday for June 11 through July 31. After that, reservations can be made one month in advance of visiting. Starting June 13, some reservations will also be available two days in advance, but same-day reservations are not available.
Anyone with overnight reservations for a campground or lodging, however, will not need a day-use pass, the NPS noted. As of now, two campgrounds will be open: the Upper Pines Campground, which will operate at 50 percent capacity, and the Wawona Horse Camp.
The NPS’ goal is to be at about 50 percent of the average vehicle entry rate for June, or about 3,600 vehicles each day.
“When hiking, keep your distance,” the NPS warned. “Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail or in a parking lot. If staying at least six feet from others is not possible, wear a cloth face covering as recommended by the CDC.”