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Yosemite is Open and Reservations are No Longer Required

[Updated November 5, 2020]

Yosemite’s Day Use Reservation System ended October 31, 2020

You may have heard of a day-use reservation to enter Yosemite this summer. This program, along with other increased safety measures helped us all to reduce risk and keep the park open. However, the day-use program ended October 31, 2020, and there are no longer any day-use reservations required to enter Yosemite National Park. Starting November 1, you can simply pay the entrance fee at the gate or present a valid National Park Pass and drive through to begin your Yosemite adventure.

However, there are still a few changes that you should be aware of when visiting the park.

There isn’t any free shuttle service.

The shuttle buses and in-park tours will not be running this year, including the free shuttle buses in Yosemite Valley and the ones in Tuolumne Meadows.

The free shuttle bus for the Mariposa Grove is also not operating.  The Mariposa Grove is open, but you’ll need to do a little more hiking to get there. It is about a 2-mile (3.2 km) hike along the Washburn Trail to reach the Mariposa Grove Arrival Area in the lower grove.

Badger Pass Ski and Snowboard Area will not open for the ’20-’21 Ski Season.

NPS is committed to trying to keep the road to Badger Pass open for cross country skiing or snowshoeing even though the services at Badger Pass will be closed for the winter due to COVID-19-related concerns. Please be respectful of this wilderness area so that we do not lose this privilege.

 

Many winter services in Yosemite remain open.

Click here for a list of services including hours of operation

While things are beginning to close for the season, most services that would normally be operating for the winter season are operating at some capacity.

Yosemite Valley stores like the Village Store is open, as well as The Ansel Adams Gallery. Limited sales will be available outside of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center as well. The Wawona Store and El Portal Market are also open. The privately-owned Pine Tree Market in Wawona is open.

Food services will also be open in Yosemite Valley.

  • At Yosemite Valley Lodge, Base Camp Café and the Mountain Room Bar are both open.
  • In Yosemite Village, Degnan’s Kitchen is open.
  • At The Ahwahnee, the dining room is open for takeout. The dining room is open, but there is no tableside service. The Ahwahnee Bar is also open.

Visitor centers, the Yosemite Museum, Happy Isles Art and Nature Center, and Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center are closed. Stop by the Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza, Valley Visitor Center, and Big Oak Flat Information Station to get information from rangers and park volunteers.

Curry Village, Housekeeping Camp, and the services in those areas are closed for the winter.

Are there any changes to the trails or roads?

Most areas of the park are open with some modifications. Visit nps.gov/yose for the most up-to-date trail and wilderness conditions.

Open with modifications:

  • The Mist Trail from the top of Vernal Fall to the John Muir Trail junction near the Vernal Fall footbridge is closed Monday – Friday for trail work (and may occasionally be closed overnight).
  • The Wawona Road is undergoing construction.
    • Between the area South of Wawona Tunnel to Chilnualna Falls Road (in Wawona)

      Drainage repair, shoulder stabilization, and slide stabilization work. Work will occur Monday through Friday from November 19 – December 31, 2020.

      Through December 31:
      Daytime: 30-minute delays, 8 am to 8 pm (Monday – Friday)
      Nighttime: 1-hour delays, 10 pm to 6 am (Sunday – Thursday)

  • You may also encounter other minor delays along other roads in Yosemite where various repair and rehabilitation projects are ongoing.

Closed:

  • Bridalveil Fall area is closed due to the Bridalveil Rehabilitation Project
  • Several trails are closed due to the Blue Jay Fire, including Lukens Lake trailhead to Yosemite Creek, Yosemite Creek Trail, Ten Lakes Trail, and the Middle Fork Tuolumne River trail between Ten Lakes and Lukens Lake trails.
  • The Half Dome cables are down for the season.
  • The Snow Creek Trail is open to day-hiking but closed to overnight camping and unattended food (even if stored properly) due to bear activity.

YARTS provides winter transportation into Yosemite Valley via Highway 140.

Yosemite Area Regional Transportation (YARTS) provides access to Yosemite Valley on a fixed schedule along several convenient routes.

During the winter months, this is limited to stops along Highway 140 including stops in Merced, Catheys Valley, Mariposa, Midpines, El Portal and Yosemite Valley.

Seasonal routes along Highway 41 and Highway 120 (both east and west-bound) will resume in the summer of 2021.

YARTS connects with other intercity transportation providers including Amtrak, Greyhound, Boutique Airlines which flies into the Merced and Fresno Airports, and “The Crest” bus that runs between Reno, NV and Lancaster, CA.

Bikes are also allowed in the storage area under the bus for transportation around Yosemite Valley once you’re there – or you can rent bikes at Curry Village or Yosemite Valley Lodge.

YARTS has implemented several safety procedures to reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission. For example, masks will be required for riding YARTS, capacity is limited to allow space between passengers, and hand sanitizer will be available. You can read more about the other safety measures being taken by YARTS on their website.

Explore Mariposa County outside of Yosemite

Regardless of the changes within the park, Mariposa County is an easy, low-stress getaway, featuring wide-open spaces and plenty of fresh air. You could strike it rich discovering some of the nearby gold panning sites and history. Camp down by the water at Lake McClure and Lake McSwain. Or simply take advantage of the peace and quiet to gaze at the stars and dream. There is plenty to do – just take a look at this list of 100 Things to Do in Mariposa County.

More Resources

Tourism Bureau Information: The Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau is here to help. For questions, please email info@yosemite.com  or visit our Facebook page, @YosemiteNation. Send us a message and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

Mariposa County Visitors Center Information: The Mariposa Visitors Center is currently closed, but anyone with questions during normal business hours can speak directly to a Visitor Center staff member by calling (888) 425-3366 or (209) 966-7081 if calling locally.

Yosemite National Park Service: The National Park Service also has created an incredibly in-depth FAQ about how COVID-19 will affect your visit to Yosemite. Find the information you need to contact that Park Service directly.

 

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