Yosemite, CA – The cooler temperatures in the higher elevations has Yosemite National Park officials anticipating a busy Fourth of July Weekend.
In past years, visitors who have arrived during peak hours have faced two-hour delays waiting in lines at the entrance, coupled with trying to find a parking space. To beat those possible traffic nightmares, park officials are offering this tip — get to the park before 9 a.m.
Yosemite spokesperson Scott Gediman estimates, “During a busy holiday weekend we figure there are three people per car and we can get anywhere from 5,000 up to 6,000 throughout the day, which translates into 15,000 to 18,000 people. So, we generally know that Friday is the busiest day — and Saturday — it slows down a little bit Sunday, but it’s not uncommon on a busy holiday weekend, like this, to have up to 20,000 people in the park on any given day.”
The park has added about 300 new parking spaces, west of Yosemite Lodge, according to Gediman, but he advises your best bet is to use the free shuttle service inside the park, which recently expanded to include El Capitan Meadow and Bridalveil Fall.
Additionally, Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) buses are also available, so no driving is necessary. A bus leaves from Sonora; for YARTS schedules, click here.