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Visitors Can Expect Significant Improvements In Yosemite This Year

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Yosemite, CA — In 2024, Yosemite National Park will see significant improvements, including renovations to some of the park’s most visited spots.

“This year, park visitors will experience restored access to park landmarks and enhanced visitor facilities that spotlight cultural history, protect natural resources, and add enjoyment to any visit,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Cicely Muldoon. “A prime example is a dramatically improved experience at Bridalveil Fall after a multi-year renovation.”

The Yosemite Conservancy, a nonprofit organization, has announced $18 million more in support for the park, with 60 new projects aimed at restoring trails and ecosystems, advancing scientific and historical research, protecting wildlife, and enhancing visitor experiences. One area given a facelift is Bridalveil Fall, now open to visitors and offering a front-row view of the 620-foot roaring waterfall that millions see each year entering Yosemite Valley. The base at the fall now features safer, less crowded, and more defined viewing areas, modern flush toilets, wayfinding, and wider hiking trails. The ADA-compliant loop trail and viewing platform offer improved access, and new interpretive exhibits are scheduled for installation this summer. The new complex is conveniently located near the central parking lot, providing easy access and information for visitors.

The Yosemite Valley Welcome Center offers a one-stop shop for planning outings, while the renovated Yosemite Exploration Center, formerly the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, features new science and history exhibits.

Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean says the new Yosemite Valley Welcome Center, which opened in winter, is “a great gathering place where visitors can plan itineraries or regroup after a day in the park.”

The renovated Yosemite Exploration Center, hosted by the Conservancy staff, anchors the Yosemite Village area, which also houses the Yosemite Museum and the Yosemite Theater. The new science and history exhibit, “Yosemite Now,” tells conservation stories of towering trees, courageous creatures, wild waters, magnificent meadows, and the people of Yosemite through the ages. Visitors can examine a device scientists use to test water and determine what creature’s DNA is present, get a close-up look at the bones in a bear’s paw, and rotate wheels that show seasonal meadow, tree, creature, and waterflow patterns.

“This is the first time we have worked with the National Park Service to design a space that is meant to educate and engage, as well as showcase Conservancy merchandise, which helps raise money to continue funding park projects,” said Yosemite Conservancy Chief of Yosemite Operations Adonia Ripple. “We’re excited to greet visitors.”

This year, the Yosemite Conservancy’s support spans projects, programs, and services, including efforts to repair trails, restore wetlands and wilderness, study and protect wildlife, make Yosemite’s outreach more inclusive, and inspire the next generation of park champions. Among them is the continued restoration of Ackerson Meadow, the largest wetland restoration project in Yosemite’s history.

With over 850 Conservancy-funded projects completed, the Conservancy’s contributions now total over $200 million in the past decade. Notable past projects include the restoration and protection of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, renovated overlooks, restored meadows in Yosemite Valley and the high country, and protection of peregrine falcons, red-legged frogs, and Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.

The Conservancy also supports the park through various visitor programs and retail operations, offering naturalist-led outdoor adventures, art classes, donor events, volunteer programs, physical bookstores, an online store, and managing the online wilderness permit reservation process. Four webcams, which show El Capitan, Half Dome, the High Sierra, and Yosemite Falls, also help people connect with the park from afar.

  • Yosemite Valley Welcome Center inside