Yosemite To End Day-Use Reservations
Yosemite, CA – As promised Yosemite National Park is ending its day-use reservation system implemented due to COVID.
Initially put in place during the summer of 2020 with park officials asserting that it was needed so they could manage visitation levels and reduce coronavirus risks, as detailed here. It ended in the fall of that year but was reinstated in February of 2021, running until March 1st. Then again in May of this year as the Delta Variant drove infection numbers up, as reported here. A September 30th date was given to end the reservation system this year and the park is sticking to that date.
Park Ranger Scott Gediman states, “Although COVID is still with us, the mitigation measures that we’ve taken and the visitors acting responsible, we’re going to be able to safely manage the visitors without the reservation system. So, we’re very pleased to have the park open and welcome visitors.”
Acknowledging that there were impacts to visitors and the Gateway communities, Gediman says they really tried hard to balance public health, safety, and access. He shared that all were taken into consideration when implementing the reservation system.
“Was it perfect, no, of course not,” admitted Gediman. “As we end the system next week, we’ll be reaching out to the gateway communities to get feedback. We want to get the feedback from everybody.”
Park officials want to hear what worked well, what did not, and what can be improved, according to Gediman. All wanting to give feedback area asked to email Yose_superintendent@ nps.gov.
As COVID continues to be an issue it is unclear whether the reservation system will be enacted again. Gediman advised, “It’s certainly undetermined what we will do in the future, but I think it is important that we gather the information now. As we gather that information it will help us determine the future of visitation.”
Currently, masks are still required in all federal buildings. Additionally, the park is asking visitors to still social distance at popular places like Glacier Point and Tunnel View.