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Yosemite National Park reopening plan includes fewer visitors, required reservations

Carmen George, The Fresno Bee on

Published in Travel News

FRESNO, Calif. -- Reservations will be required to visit Yosemite National Park when the popular California park reopens, possibly in early June, according to a draft reopening plan released this week.

Visitor capacity will be reduced by about 50% to promote social distancing in busy Yosemite Valley, Yosemite officials said while presenting their plan to Yosemite Gateway Partners affiliates.

People with overnight reservations in Yosemite won't need a permit to enter the park -- or those driving through it to the Eastern Sierra -- but those wishing to visit for the day will need to apply for a day-use permit through recreation.gov, if the park's plan is approved by the federal government.

Day-use permits will likely be given out at least 48 hours in advance of a visit.

"On any given day, I think the ability to wake up in the morning and decide to go to the park is not really an option this year," one Yosemite official said during a Monday video call with about 150 people invited by Yosemite Gateway Partners, a partnership of groups and businesses in communities near the park.

Officials said about 3,600 vehicles a day will be allowed in Yosemite -- approximately half of daily vehicles in the park last June.

 

Park officials estimate about 1,200 of those will go to Yosemite Valley (half of approximately 2,000 Yosemite Valley parking spaces and 400 spots along roads) and another 500 will go elsewhere in the park.

That's in addition to about 1,900 overnight vehicle spots that will be allowed.

WHEN WILL YOSEMITE REOPEN?

Yosemite has been closed to visitors since late March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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