Published on December 8, 2021

Wondering what’s new in Yosemite? From the addition of new culturally diverse historical sites to the triumphant return of popular national park visitor services including new discoveries, Yosemite Mariposa County checks in with the top Yosemite news for ’22.

Temporary Vehicle Day-Use Reservations Required for Peak Hours

Yosemite National Park entrance sign
This summer the National Park Service will implement a reservation system to control traffic during peak hours. Be sure to find out whether this affects you, how to get a reservation if you need one, and what to do if you don’t have one.

Due to construction projects in Yosemite, the National Park Service has announced that it will be requiring temporary vehicle reservations for private vehicles between 6 am and 4 pm. This temporary reservation system will be in effect from May 20 thru September 30, 2022, and will apply to people who want to enter in their personal vehicle during peak hours and do not already have in-park lodging or other reservations or permits that come with peak-hour entry. Find out if you will need these reservations and how to get them.

New Historic Rediscovery

rangers viewing the interpretive display at the chinese laundry
A new display highlighting the contributions of Chinese people in Yosemite opened in 2021 at the Yosemite History Center in Wawona.

Just opened in October 2021: Wawona is one of Yosemite National Park’s hubs for history – perhaps now more than ever with the discovery that Chinese workers at the iconic Wawona Hotel originally utilized a century-old building there as a laundry. The building is part of a cluster of historic buildings at the renamed Yosemite History Center, with a fresh focus on telling a more nuanced, multi-ethnic history of Yosemite National Park.

The narrative of immigrant Chinese workers and their contributions to Yosemite Mariposa County is often overlooked. They served as cooks, landscapers, laundry workers, and were integral to numerous construction projects. Chinese immigrants also helped build Tioga Road and Wawona Road. Many first came to California during the Gold Rush, seeking fortune but also fleeing severe drought and famine in southeast China. They brought training, skills, and expertise in the disciplines of construction, engineering, agriculture, medicine, and textiles.

Yosemite Climbing Museum Gets Foothold

climbing displays at the yosemite climbing museum
The Yosemite Climbing Museum celebrated its grand opening in Spring 2022 with images, and an incredible collection of historic climbing gear, all highlighting the amazing climbing stories centered in Yosemite.

Visitors to Yosemite Mariposa County can reach a new peak of local rock climbing lore and legacy at the Yosemite Climbing Association Museum & Gallery. The center features more than 10,000 pieces, a priceless collection of historical climbing artifacts (including stove leg pitons used on early Nose route ascents of El Capitan), and dozens of archival photographs.

The Yosemite Climbing Museum & Gallery opened in 2022. Discover this much-anticipated attraction in the town of Mariposa on Highway 140.

Badger Pass Lifts Up

snowboarder catching air at badger pass ski area
Badger Pass, Get ready to ski/ride the slopes at Yosemite’s Badger Pass Ski Area. Yosemite’s historic ski area is opening again for the 2021-22 season.

Yosemite National Park downhill skiing is back! Badger Pass Ski Area is celebrating a long-awaited reopening for the 2021-22 ski season. Established in 1935 as California’s first ski resort, this could be the Sierra’s best-kept secret. With a base elevation of 7,200’ and 10 runs, Badger Pass is inviting for beginners and intermediates, as well as terrific for black diamond skiers with the Wildcat, Red Fox and signature Badger runs. Cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails and rentals, and snow tubing are also back in full operation.

The Badger Pass Yosemite 2021-22 season opens in January and typically runs through March. For current conditions, weather, and ski area info call the Snow Phone at (209) 372-1000. The Badger Pass Webcam is a great way to share the fun from anywhere. Wax anticipation for your next ski trip by checking out the Yosemite Nature Notes episode on Ski Yosemite, produced by the Yosemite Conservancy.

Glacier Point Road Closed for Construction

a car taking the u-bend in glacier point road with half dome in the background
Glacier Point Road is getting some long-awaited care in 2022.

The National Park Service will close Glacier Point Road to all traffic in 2022 to rehabilitate and improve the popular high-country highway. Critical road safety work will be complemented by upgrades to the Glacier Point parking lot, scenic overlooks, and overflow parking areas at the popular Sentinel Dome and McGurk Meadow trailheads during this construction process.

The existing roadway was completed in 1936, replacing the original wagon road built in 1882. This area annually attracts a high volume of traffic as it provides access to Glacier Point, the Badger Pass Ski Area, and favorite valley rim trailheads, as well as Bridalveil Creek Campground which is located along the creek that eventually becomes Bridalveil Fall.

Important related note: Glacier Point Road closure does not impact access to Badger Pass Ski Area, which is just below the point of closure.

Access to the renowned Glacier Point overlook in 2022 will be limited to hikers only via the strenuous Four Mile (9.6 miles round-trip), Panorama (17 miles round-trip), and Pohono (13.2 miles round-trip) trails that start in Yosemite Valley, more than 3,000 feet below Glacier Point. Glacier Point Road will reopen, with construction delays, in 2023. Yosemite National Park’s FAQ Page has additional details.

Fortunately, there’s more Yosemite to explore during Glacier Point’s much-needed reset. The Wawona area of Southern Yosemite is a hub for history and natural attractions like Chilnualna Falls, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, and the Yosemite History Center (see “Historic Rediscovery” below).

Northern Yosemite’s high country, accessed via seasonally open Tioga Road, offers Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake, Olmstead Point, and numerous wilderness area trailheads, many leading to Yosemite Valley’s northern rim and other elevated Park points of interest.

Under-the-radar but powerful in person, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir anchors the northwest corner of the Park where the easy Wapama Fall hike is one of Yosemite’s biggest bang-for-the-boots payoffs. The Tuolumne Grove and Merced Grove of giant sequoias rise majestically adjacent to Highway 120 along the western edge of Yosemite National Park.

Find more inspiration on what to explore while the Glacier Point Road is closed in 2022.

Yosemite Shuttle Back in Business

valley visitor shuttle bus
Yosemite Valley’s free shuttle is returning in 2022!

Following a year interrupted by pandemic-related issues, the popular Yosemite Valley Shuttle System returns in 2022 with free and convenient service to 20 stops within the Valley via eco-friendly buses.

The Yosemite Valley shuttle will operate from 7 am to 10 pm. Shuttles stop in proximity to Valley lodging, stores, and major vista points, and connect with the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) at four Yosemite Valley stops for easy transfers to the wider YARTS service area. The system map is available online, detailing all service including seasonal lines to Badger Pass Ski Area, Wawona Hotel, Mariposa Grove, and Tuolumne Meadows.

2022 Yosemite Travel Outlook: Start Planning Now

Yosemite’s grandeur is timeless and powerful. With travel’s outlook for 2022 looking more promising than it has in years, now is the best time to begin planning your next Yosemite vacation. See our Yosemite Vacation Planner and Region-by-Region Guide for itinerary ideas and inspiration.

To explore lodging options, things to do, and places to eat, visit, the #1 trip planning site for vacations to Yosemite National Park and historic Mariposa County. To stay up to date, follow @YosemiteNation on social media and subscribe to our newsletter, “The Wanderer”. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for great videos on the people and places of Yosemite Mariposa County.

Categories: General Travel Tips