After the largely unnecessary closure of Yosemite National Park due to the nonsensical mediademic imposed by Gavin Newsom, Yosemite is now reopening.
It was FAR more worthwhile to visit it while it was closed. With the newly imposed limits to visitors, though, it could still be considered a great destination because of the much smaller and distanced crowds. It should seem more like a National Park with wide open spaces instead of Galaxy’s Edge at Star Wars during Labor Day Weekend.
According to the NPS website, the park will open many of the primary attractions “to some extent” with incremental openings continuing according to the silly guidelines for a weak virus that shouldn’t have been imposed in the first place.
Initially, visitors will have access to the park trails and crowd destinations of Yosemite Valley, Mariposa Grove, Tuolomne Meadows, and Glacier point. They won’t have access to Lower Yosemite Fall boulders, Bridalveil Fall, Crane Flat Helibase, or the Chowchilla Mountain and Tioga roads.
Hetch Hetchy Road is only open from 8:00am to 5:00pm, and the downhill section of Mist Trail is closed from 9:00am to 4:00pm (hikers will have to use the Clark Point cutoff and John Muir Trails). And you will not be able to stay in the backpacker’s campgrounds unless you’ve got a wilderness permit.
Automobile access is going to be a little different to get into the park; there’s a new “temporary day-use” reservation system on recreation.gov that is lottery based and can be used for 7 days of entry for each vehicle. Vehicle access will be limited to 1,700 units per day. You will NOT be able to get a pass at the gates, you’ll ONLY be able to use the recreation.gov website. Get in early, as these reservations will got FAST. Reservations are going online (and probably crashing repeatedly) on June 09, 2020 at 7:00am.
Once the park gets back up to full-crowd conditions, Yosemite promises that the day-use reservation system will not deprecated.
Now, if you’re not going in by car, you can use the legendary Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System – YARTS (one thing I can say about these wheezing old wheels with questionable reliability and virtually no A/C is: be patient. And it’s not the driver’s fault) – you do not need one of the day-use reservations. To get into the park, theoretically, you’ll need a reservation for camping, lodging, a wilderness or Half Dome permit, or a vacation rental (which, BTW, is a cool way to visit the park for an extended period!). If you don’t want to use YARTS, there are also tour busses available.
In either case, now is probably a great time to visit the park with enforced low attendance/automobile levels.
For more information you can visit the Yosemite NPS page HERE.
It schedule a reservation through recreation.gov, you can go HERE (this is a direct link, which will eventually become obsolete), or just to the main site HERE, and navigate to Yosemite National Park.
Good luck, and I’ll see you out on the trails!