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Reservations Will Be Needed To Visit Yosemite This Summer

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Yosemite, CA – Come May 20th visitors to Yosemite National Park will need to have a reservation, not due to COVID but multiple construction projects.

Building on lessons learned during the summer reservation systems the last two years, Park Ranger Scott Gediman explained to Clarke Broadcasting how the temporary “Peak Hour Reservation System” will work.

“Park visitors will need a reservation to enter the park between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week. Visitors entering the park outside of the peak hours are not required to have a reservation,” instructed Gediman. Non-reservation hours are from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. but visitors will have to pay the park entrance fee.

The park has received over $100 million in federal funding from the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) and other infrastructure improvement projects in 2022 to repair roads, trails, campgrounds, visitor facilities, and utility systems.

Alerting the public to the fact that reservations may be required for a third summer, as earlier reported here, the park provided a schedule of the work requiring the closure of several areas like Glacier Point Road, Tuolumne Meadows Campground, and Crane Flat Campground through 2023. Calling it the best option to accommodate visitors safely and alleviate “chronic congestion” by spreading out visitations and limiting the number to 72% of average visitors daily, Gediman advised, “There will be 2,600 [reservations] available per day for Sunday through Wednesday and 1,900 for Thursday through Saturday, which is actually more than we had in the last couple of years.” He continued, “So, the idea is we go to that 72% number that is based upon a typical July visitation and then we make up the rest during the non-peak hours. We’re estimating it will still be about 98% of total visitation.”

The system will be monitored daily and visitor feedback is wanted. Gediman acknowledged the economic impact fewer visitors have on the gateway communities like Sonora and noted that before coming up with this latest reservation plan gateway community leaders and the Tuolumne County Visitor Bureau were consulted.

Yosemite National Park Superintendent Cicely Muldoon stressed, “We are grateful for the helping hand our community partners have extended to make this system work better for all.”

Each reservation is valid for three days and includes all occupants in one vehicle, No reservation is needed for those staying overnight in the park hotels or campgrounds, and those with wilderness and Half Dome permits, and visitors entering the park via YARTS buses and on permitted commercial tours, as the reservations are included. This new reservation system will run until September 30th, including annual and lifetime pass holders. Visitors can begin making reservations at 8 a.m. on March 23rd by,clicking here.

Gediman added, “We feel it [the peak reservation system] is the best of both worlds to provide access for the most amount of people, to provide for a good experience, to manage the traffic congestion and we really feel this strikes a good balance.”