Please take note: this information is based on reports from the National Park Service (NPS), and is subject to change as health officials are continuously evaluating safety concerns and needs.
As the country begins to recover from the initial lockdown due to Covid-19, plans are in affect in Yosemite National Park (YNP) to ensure the safety of both visitors and personnel while reopening.
Starting on June 11, Yosemite will open each of its primary attractions to varying extents, and visitors will be welcome to come into the park multiple ways (Tioga Road is scheduled to open Monday, June 15th). Popular destinations reopening include “Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Meadows, and Hetch Hetchy,” according to the NPS, as well as 800 miles of hiking trails.
As the park reopens, visitors are required to make reservations in order to enter Yosemite. The cost of a reservation is included in the park entrance fee. If you already have an entrance pass (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. Otherwise, a day-use reservation is $35, with a $33 refund in case of cancellation.
During the park’s initial opening phase, there will be 1,700 vehicle passes available for purchase each day, to be validated at the entrance gate on the date of the reservation, and each pass will be valid for a week’s worth of visiting. Vehicle passes went on sale at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9th, and can be purchased in advance online. The limited-entry system is planned to be used until the park resumes “normal” operations.
According to NPS officials, a vehicle pass will be needed for entry unless a visitor has a “camping or concession-operated lodging reservation, wilderness or Half Dome permit, or vacation rental inside the park.” A pass is also not needed if you are entering the park via Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) buses, or with a tour that has commercial use authorizations (CUAs).
In the initial opening 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).
A more detailed breakdown of some of the attractions reopening June 11th:
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 (however, wilderness permit holders arriving by bus can stay in backpackers’ campgrounds)
- Hetch Hetchy Road will only be open from 8 am to 5 pm daily
- 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
For more information and updates as Yosemite reopens, visit the YNP website or facebook page.