Published on December 15, 2022

In a destination as timeless as Yosemite Mariposa County, it may seem on the surface that there wouldn’t be too much new to expect for returning visitors in 2023. But just like the landscape, Yosemite is ever-changing and always provides something new to experience.

2023 will bring a new glamping location and an old meets new historic hotel that is being reinvented into something truly special to Mariposa County. Major Yosemite National Park infrastructure projects funded through the Great American Outdoors Act are set to be completed. There are also some big changes coming to how you’ll plan your trip to Yosemite this February and summer as well as a historic opportunity to provide input into how visitors will access Yosemite and how the park will potentially operate for decades to come.

Yosemite National Park entrance sign
Getting through the gates at Yosemite this summer will be much more streamlined without the need of a reservation.

Temporary Vehicle Reservations WILL NOT be Required this Summer to Enter Yosemite National Park

The biggest change coming to Yosemite Mariposa County in 2023 will make trip planning simple and more streamlined. The Yosemite National Park Service announced in November that it would not continue the Temporary Vehicle Reservation System that has been in place for summer visits since 2020.

Instead, the NPS will spend two months between January and February 2023 conducting public in-person and virtual meetings for input, as well as accepting online comments to create a new Visitor Access Management Plan. This short public comment period will help decide how Yosemite will move forward to create a great visitor experience while protecting the park’s natural resources. The public comment period is open through February 3, 2023. This is a historic opportunity to provide feedback on how one of America’s most beloved National Parks will operate for potentially decades to come. To submit your input, see the link here.

While reservations will not be required this summer, those planning to visit on select weekends in February to view the Natural Firefall at Horsetail Fall will need to make a reservation on Passes will be available on January 13, 2023.

New Lodging is Coming to Mariposa County

Mariposa County will welcome two lodging businesses in 2023, one is a brand-new glamping experience and Mariposa County’s first new property in three years and the other is rehabilitated old-west meets new-west icon of the “Friendliest Town in America”.

Wildhaven Yosemite will be the second location opened by glamping operator Wildhaven which opened its first property in June 2020 in Sonoma County. The glamping tents will open on the former site of Yosemite Ziplines and Adventure Ranch just outside of the historic gold-rush town of Mariposa. The new grounds will expand the glamping options in Yosemite Mariposa County by as many as 80 glamping tents once it is fully completed over the coming three years.

Late spring will see Yosemite Valley open a new Welcome Center. (Illustration credit to Yosemite Conservancy)

A New Welcome Center is Coming to Yosemite Valley

Set to be completed and open to the public in late spring of 2023, the Yosemite Valley Welcome Center is a $10.4 million project that will transform Yosemite Village’s old “sport shop” into a 3,000-square-foot state-of-the-art space to welcome visitors to Yosemite.

The project creates a welcoming space near the recently expanded Yosemite Village Parking Area, newly constructed restrooms and the popular Village Store. Inside, park visitors will be able to speak directly with NPS rangers and Yosemite Conservancy volunteers to learn about safety and stewardship while also gathering info to plan their stay. Outside, a 20,000-square-foot plaza will provide ample seating, restrooms, interpretive materials and maps that will be available 24 hours a day.

This project will replace the current Valley Visitor Center which opened in 1967 and is a half-mile walk from the nearest parking.

car on glacier point road
Soon, you’ll be able to drive the stunning Glacier Point Road again. It is set to reopen in late spring or early summer 2023.

Glacier Point Road Will Reopen

After a full year of being closed to vehicle traffic for road rehabilitation and improvements, the popular Glacier Point Road will reopen with some traffic controls and delays in summer of 2023 as work continues. The advancement of the project means that visitors will be able to reach popular viewpoints such as Glacier Point, Washburn Point and McGurk Meadow as well as popular trailheads such as Taft Point, Sentinel Dome and Panorama Trail from Glacier Point down to the Valley Floor.

Glacier Point Road’s open date is determined based on when snow is cleared from the road beyond Badger Pass Ski Area. This usually happens around May or June each year.

Note: Glacier Point Road will be open this winter to provide access to Badger Pass Ski Area, which is set to open this winter.

Bridalveil Fall
While Bridalveil Fall never closes, the new visitor experience around of of Yosemite iconic waterfalls will be set to launch in 2023.

The Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Will be Completed

The popular trail to Bridalveil Fall, its parking area and its significantly larger and handicap-accessible viewing area will reopen in June 2023 after a multi-year closure.

The Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation project’s completion will foster in a fully recreated arrival experience which will improve visitor services, protect natural and cultural resources and provide new facilities, such as flush sanitary bathrooms, for visitors.  Improved interpretation and wayfinding materials and improved accessibility for disabled visitors will also be features of the completed project.

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, Lodging, Things to See, Travel and Transportation