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Yosemite is Open! ... but limited ...

One of our most popular destinations, Yosemite National Park is finally open again - you can get back out there and enjoy the stunning scenery. However ... the is a big 'BUT' ... the Park is opening with limitations.



Before we get into those limitations, you can certainly stay in some of the remote and primitive camp sites outside of the park, so don't let the lack of accommodation prevent you from taking a trip!


Here is what you need to know:


To increase park access while providing the public a reasonable opportunity to comply with health guidelines, Yosemite National Park will implement a temporary day-use reservation system. In the initial opening phase, the system will offer 1,700 vehicle passes each day. Passes are to be validated at the park entrance gate on the reservation date and can be used for 7 days of entry. These day use-vehicle reservations will go on sale through Recreation.gov beginning at 7 am Pacific time on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The day-use vehicle reservation system will no longer be used when the park resumes regular operations.


Visitors with a camping or concession-operated lodging reservation, wilderness or Half Dome permit, vacation rental inside the park, and visitors entering via the local public transit system (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS buses) or with a tour from one of the local businesses that have commercial use authorizations (CUAs) will not require a day-use reservation for park entry and will also have access to the park beginning on June 11. In this initial phase, the park’s target is to allow approximately 50 percent of the average June vehicle entry rate (which equates to 3,600 vehicle entries each day). The park will monitor conditions daily and will make adjustments as needed to maintain safe conditions for visitors.



Are any areas of the park closed?

Beginning Thursday, June 11, most areas of the park will be open with some modifications. Due to public health and safety concerns, some locations and facilities are closed.


Open with modifications:

  • The Mist Trail from the top of Vernal Fall to the John Muir Trail junction near the Vernal Fall footbridge is closed to downhill hiking from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. Hikers may return to the trailhead using the Clark Point cutoff trail and John Muir Trail

  • Backpackers campgrounds are not open to people arriving in the park by bus (wilderness permit holders arriving by bus can stay in backpackers campgrounds)

  • Hetch Hetchy Road will only be open from 8 am to 5 pm.


Closed:

  • Lower Yosemite Fall boulders (the area between the footbridge/viewing area and the waterfall)

  • Bridalveil Fall area (this area is closed due to scheduled maintenance work)

  • Crane Flat Helibase

  • Chowchilla Mountain Road

  • Tioga Road will open on Monday, June 15.


Will I need a reservation to visit Yosemite?

Yes. All vehicles entering Yosemite National Park will be required to pay the park entrance fee and have one of the following:


  • Day-use reservation (valid for 7 consecutive days for unlimited entries)

  • Upper Pines Campground or Wawona Horse Camp reservation

  • Yosemite Valley Lodge, Curry Village, or The Ahwahnee reservation

  • Private lodging or vacation rental reservation in Wawona, Yosemite West, or Foresta

  • Yosemite wilderness permit

  • Yosemite Half Dome permit

  • Commercial use authorization

  • Upon showing proof of your reservation and a matching photo ID at the entrance station, you will receive a vehicle permit to enter the park. This permit is valid for seven consecutive day for unlimited entries.


Visitors who enter the park via YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) buses, bicycle, on foot, or on horseback will not be required to have a day-use reservation to enter the park. Park entrance fees still apply.


Credit cards are the only form of payment accepted for entrance fees.


How and when do I get a day-use reservation to visit Yosemite?

Day-use reservations are only available via recreation.gov. Reservations will go quickly; be sure to be logged in and ready to get a reservation promptly at 7 am Pacific time.


Eighty percent of reservations for June and July will become available on Tuesday, June 9 at 7 am Pacific time.


Beginning at 7 am Pacific time on the first of each month, 80% of day-use reservations will be available for the following month at https://www.recreation.gov/ticket/facility/300015. For example, on July 1 at 7 am, day-use reservations for all dates in August will be available.


Beginning at 7 am Pacific time two days ahead of the day-use reservation date, the remaining 20% of day-use reservations will be available. For example, on July 1 at 7 am, day-use reservations for July 3 will be available.


Cancelled reservations become available immediately on recreation.gov.


Each user can make one reservation per day. Reservations are valid for seven consecutive days.


How much does a day-use reservation cost?

This cost is included in the park entrance fee. If you are an existing passholder (i.e., you) have a Yosemite Annual Pass, America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass, Every Kid Outdoors Annual Pass, Annual Pass for US Military, Access Pass, or Senior Pass), the non-refundable reservation fee is $2.


If you cancel a day-use reservation ($35), you will receive a $33 refund ($2 of the fee is non-refundable).


You need one reservation per vehicle and the reservation is valid for everyone inside the vehicle.


How long is the day-use reservation valid? Do I have to arrive on the first day?

Day-use reservations are valid for seven consecutive days from the start date indicated on the reservation. You must arrive on the start date indicated on your reservation. If you arrive after the first day indicated on the reservation, your reservation may be invalid. Day-use reservations are valid from 5 am to 11 pm each day. Day-use reservation holders may not be in the park between 11 pm and 5 am (overnight).


What if my group is arriving in more than one vehicle?

A day-use reservation is required for each vehicle that enters the park. The person whose name is on the reservation must be in the vehicle and a valid photo ID is required.


Groups with lodging or camping reservations, wilderness permits, and Half Dome permits may arrive in more than one vehicle. An occupant in each vehicle will need to provide a copy or photo of the driver license belonging to the person who made the reservation to be permitted to enter.


Do I need a reservation to enter the park if I have a reservation for a campground or lodging accommodation located outside of Yosemite National Park?

Yes. You must have a day-use reservation to drive a personal vehicle into the park.


Do I need a reservation to enter the park if I have an annual pass, Senior Pass, Access Pass, Military Pass, Volunteer Pass, or 4th Grade Pass?

Yes. You must have an in-park reservation or permit, or a day-use reservation, to drive a personal vehicle into the park.


Are same-day reservations available? Can I wait at the entrance station and enter the park if people with reservations don’t show up?

No. Reservations are not available at entrance stations. You can check recreation.gov before you arrive to the park to see if any cancellations have become available.


I am just driving through the park and not planning to recreate. Do I need a day-use reservation? How can you limit access to a state highway?

Yes, you still need a day-use reservation. Tioga Road, which connects with Highway 120 at the park boundaries near Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass, is not and has never been a state highway. Originally a private mining road, private citizens purchased the road and donated it to the National Park Service, which has improved and maintained the road ever since. The National Park Service is solely responsible for providing road maintenance, as well as law enforcement and emergency services, along all roads within Yosemite National Park.


Can I enter the park overnight?

It depends on the type of permit you have. A day-use permit allows you to be in the park between 5 am and 11 pm. If you have a lodging or camping reservation inside the park or a wilderness permit, you may enter the park 24 hours per day while your permit is valid.


If the entrance station is not staffed when you enter, you must complete a self-certification card at the entrance station and display it in your windshield. You must also be in possession of a valid in-park reservation or permit.


Entering the park without a permit or valid self-certification card is a violation of federal regulations, with maximum penalties of a $5,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail. Rangers are on patrol when entrance stations are unstaffed.


Why is the National Park Service limiting vehicle access to Yosemite?

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. This helps reduce overcrowding at the park’s most popular destinations. The park is aiming to increase public access while providing visitors with a reasonable opportunity to comply with health guidelines. The day-use reservation system is a temporary system that has been created to address public health concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The day-use reservations only limits the number of vehicles; it does not limit the number of people.


How much is the park limiting vehicle access to Yosemite under the day-use reservation system?

Initially, the park is limiting vehicles to 3,600 per day, which is about a 50% reduction compared to June 2019. The limit is based on the number of parking spaces available in the park. The number of vehicles permitted to enter the park may change as conditions change. The day-use reservation system has been designed to be flexible and adaptive to conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


How long will the day-use reservation system be in place?

This system is a temporary system to address public health concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The park is currently planning to operate this system through October 2020 and will re-evaluate the need for the system based on public health guidance. The day-use vehicle reservation system will no longer be used when the park resumes regular operations.


This day-use reservation and permit system is not part of an implementation of the Merced River Plan or Tuolumne River Plan.


Can I give or sell my reservation or permit to someone else?

No. Entrance passes and day-use reservations are non-transferable. Day-use reservations are only valid for the person who made the reservation and that person’s vehicle.



Campgrounds


Which campgrounds are open?

At this stage, only Upper Pines Campground (50% capacity) and Wawona Horse Camp are open. Reservations are required. We do not know if or when additional campgrounds will open this season.


Are any first-come, first-served campgrounds open?

No. Do not come to Yosemite without an overnight reservation if you are intending to stay overnight. Same-day reservations are also not available.


Why are some campgrounds closed?

Camp 4 is closed due to the shared nature of the campsites, which doesn’t allow for adequate social distancing.


All other campgrounds are closed due to lack of staffing. Housing for seasonal employees in Yosemite is significantly lower than usual this year in order to keep employees safe. Employees are necessary in each campground to ensure compliance with campground regulations, clean restrooms in accordance with new CDC guidelines, and remove trash and recycling for human and wildlife protection.


Do I need a horse to camp at Wawona Horse Camp?

Yes. Campers arriving at the horse camp without stock will have their reservation canceled. Reservations for Wawona Horse Camp are available by calling 209/375-9535.


Can I sleep in my vehicle in Yosemite?

Sleeping in a vehicle is only allowed in a campsite registered to you or another member of your group. Sleeping in a vehicle in a parking lot or along the side of a road is prohibited. Additionally, day-use reservations are not valid for overnight use.


Hiking and Backpacking

Are any trails closed or modified?

All trails are open, however there are some modifications in place. The Mist Trail from the top of Vernal Fall to the John Muir Trail junction near the Vernal Fall footbridge is closed to downhill hiking from 9 am to 4 pm daily. Hikers may return to the trailhead using a combination of the Clark Point cutoff trail and John Muir Trail.


When hiking, keep your distance. 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.


Is backpacking allowed?

Yes, with a wilderness permit. All wilderness regulations and quotas are still in effect. Existing wilderness permit reservations for trips originating in Yosemite, beginning June 5 or later are still valid. If you have a wilderness permit, you will receive information about how to get your wilderness permit via email.


Wilderness permits are not available in the park. Normally, 40% of wilderness permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis at park wilderness centers. Instead, wilderness permit reservations are available online using a two-week lottery. You can apply 15 days in advance of your desired start date, with the lottery running 14 days in advance. The last day to apply for a permit is nine days in advance of a trip.


Once a reservation is confirmed, you must follow directions in your reservation in order to receive your wilderness permit. You can find more information on our wilderness frequently asked questions.


You must have a bear canister for food storage. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own bear canister. A list of allowed canisters is available at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/containers.htm. If you are unable to get a canister prior to arrival, rangers are renting them at all four wilderness centers only from 9 am to 1 pm. The buildings are closed to the public and all education and interactions take place outside, with proper social distancing measures in place.


Is public transportation available?

Shuttle service is not available in Yosemite this season. This includes shuttles in Yosemite Valley, Mariposa Grove, and Tuolumne Meadows


Yosemite Hospitality is not operating any bus tours. This includes the Valley Floor Tour, Glacier Point Tour, Grand Tour, and Tuolumne Meadows Tour and Hikers Bus.


YARTS is operating its regional transit system with reduced capacity (30 people per bus, with 22 available by reservation—reservations are strongly recommended).. Visit https://www.yarts.com/ for more information.


Yosemite Destinations

These areas open on June 11, 2020 (except Tioga Road, which opens June 15)


How do I visit the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias without a shuttle?

Parking is available (until full) at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza. Access to Mariposa Grove is via a two-mile hike (each way) on the Washburn Trail or the Mariposa Grove Road (each have approximately 500 feet in elevation gain). Several miles of trails are available in the grove from that point.


You may also bicycle on the paved portion of Mariposa Grove Road to the Grizzly Giant parking area. Bicycles are not allowed on trails, unpaved roads, sidewalks, or boardwalks.


If you are, or are traveling in the same vehicle as a person with a disability and the vehicle has a disability placard or license plate, you may drive on the Mariposa Grove Road as far as the Grizzly Giant parking area.


What is different about visiting Wawona?

Wawona is open. However, Wawona Campground, Wawona Hotel, Wawona Stable, and Wawona Visitor Center (Hill’s Studio) are closed. A visitor information desk is available at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza. Wawona Horse Camp is open. The Pioneer Yosemite History Center is open (without staffing or stage rides).


What is different about visiting Glacier Point?

Nothing! Glacier Point Road and Glacier Point are open.


What is different about visiting Yosemite Valley?

Yosemite Valley is open. However, some lodging facilities and services are reduced. A visitor information desk and limited Yosemite Conservancy bookstore sales are available outside the Valley Visitor Center. The theater (including park films) and Yosemite Museum are closed, however, the Indian Cultural Village is open. Yosemite Valley Lodge, Curry Village (at 50% capacity), and The Ahwahnee are open.


Lower Pines Campground, North Pines Campground, Camp 4, Housekeeping Camp, the Mountain Room Restaurant (Yosemite Valley Lodge), Degnan’s Loft (Yosemite Village), Happy Isles Art & Nature Center are among facilities that are closed.


There is no shuttle service in Yosemite Valley. Please consider walking or cycling to reduce vehicle use when possible.


What is different about visiting the Crane Flat Area?

The Crane Flat area, including Merced and Tuolumne Groves of Giant Sequoias, as well as the Crane Flat Gas Station, is open. A visitor information desk is available outside the Big Oak Flat Information Station. Crane Flat Store is closed.


What is different about visiting Hetch Hetchy?

The Hetch Hetchy area is open with day-use reservations not required. However, access is limited when parking fills. Hetch Hetchy Road is only be open from 8 am to 5 pm. Day visitors must exit the area prior to 5 pm.


What is different about visiting Tioga Road and Tuolumne Meadows?

Tioga Road opens for the season on Monday, June 15. White Wolf and Tuolumne Meadows Lodges, as well as the High Sierra Camps, are closed. Tuolumne Meadows Grill and the Tuolumne Meadows store and post office are closed. The Tuolumne Meadows Shuttle and Tuolumne Meadows Tour and Hikers Bus are not operating.


YARTS is operating its regional transit system with reduced capacity (30 people per bus, with 22 available by reservation—reservations are strongly recommended).. Visit https://www.yarts.com/ for more information.


Services and Facilities

As conditions permit, the park may increase services with appropriate safety precautions in place.


Additional information about Yosemite Hospitality services is available on their website.


Are roads and gas stations open?

All major roads are open, except Tioga Road, which opens on Monday, June 15. Gas is available in Wawona, El Portal, and Crane Flat.


Are restrooms available?

Public restrooms are available throughout the park. Restrooms are being cleaned multiple times per day, which results in restrooms being closed at times.


Are trails and scenic vistas open?

All trails and viewing areas are open, conditions permitting. See modifications below.


Are emergency services available?

The Yosemite Medical Clinic is open. Ambulance, search and rescue, and law enforcement services are operating.


Are visitor centers and museums open?

Visitor centers, the Yosemite Museum, Happy Isles Art and Nature Center, and Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center are closed. Rangers and volunteers are staffing outdoor visitor information kiosks at the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza, Valley Visitor Center, Big Oak Flat Information Station, and Tuolumne Meadows.


Are ranger walks and other interpretive programs available?

A limited amount of interpretive programming may be available. Check local listings for dates, times, and locations.


What hotels and campgrounds are open?

Yosemite Valley Lodge, Curry Village (at 50% capacity), and The Ahwahnee open on June 13. Upper Pines Campground (at 50% capacity) and Wawona Horse Camp are open.


Vacation rentals on private land inside the park are available in Wawona and Foresta, and outside the park in Yosemite West.


Is public transportation available?

Shuttle service is not available in Yosemite this season. This includes shuttles in Yosemite Valley, Mariposa Grove, and Tuolumne Meadows.


Yosemite Hospitality is not operating any bus tours. This includes the Valley Floor Tour, Glacier Point Tour, Grand Tour, and Tuolumne Meadows Tour and Hikers Bus.


YARTS is operating its regional transit system with reduced capacity (30 people per bus, with 22 available by reservation—reservations are strongly recommended).. Visit https://www.yarts.com/ for more information.


Are markets and gift shops open?

Groceries and gifts are available in Yosemite Valley at the Village Store and the Mountain Shop (in Curry Village). The Ansel Adams Gallery is also open. Limited sales will also be available outside the Valley Visitor Center.


The Wawona Store, Glacier Point store (opens June 13), and El Portal Market are also open. The privately owned Pine Tree Market in Wawona is open.


What food service is available?

Food service is only available in Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point.


At Yosemite Valley Lodge, Base Camp Café and the Mountain Room Bar are both open.


In Yosemite Village, Degnan’s Kitchen opens on June 12 and the Village Grill opens on June 15.


In Curry Village, food trucks are available while construction is underway at the pavilion. The Meadow Grill is also open.


At The Ahwahnee, the dining room and bar are open to overnight guests of The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Valley Lodge, and Curry Village only.


At Glacier Point, the snack stand open on June 13.


Public Health Information

What should I do if I feel sick or think I am infected with or have been exposed to COVID-19?

First, if you feel sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to arriving at Yosemite, please stay home and call your medical provider. If you are traveling and not near home, stay where you are and call your medical provider.


If you are in the park and feel sick or are concerned you were exposed to COVID-19, you are welcome to call the Yosemite Medical Clinic at 209/372-4637. Please call before visiting the clinic as appointment availability and clinic hours can vary. Other sources of medical care are available in Mariposa, Oakhurst and other neighboring communities. If it is an emergency, please call 911.



https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/covid19.htm

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Phone: +1.858.888.3117

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