Yosemite National Park Reopening June 11 With Limited Camping

by Hunter Miller

Yosemite National Park is reopening on June 11. The park closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Yosemite may be opening this week, visitors should expect some access and amenities the park typically offers will not be available.

Overnight camping will be available. However, the parks is limiting reservations. “It’s going to be a different kind of summer, and we will continue to work hand in hand with our gateway communities to protect community health and restore access to Yosemite National Park,” said Acting Superintendent Cicely Muldoon in a statement.

The park is moving forward with a phased reopening. Phase One involves multiple changes to normal activity in order to comply with health guidelines. Yosemite is limiting large crowds. Vehicle traffic will be kept around 50% of the average June rate. The park will be distributing 1,700 vehicle passes per day, according to SFGate.

Park staff will validate passes at the gate on the reservation date. Passes are good for seven consecutive days. For day-use vehicle reservations, sales are available on Recreation.gov.

The park requires all visitors to obtain day-use reservations. For those who already have camping or concession-operated lodging reservations, you will not need a day-use reservation. Additionally, those who already have Half Dome or wilderness permits will not require a day-use reservation.

Here are the amenities that will be open starting June 11:

  • Nearly 800 miles of hiking trails. The park prohibits downhill hikers on the Mist Trail between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The trail is located near the Vernal Fall footbridge between the top of Vernal Fall to the John Muir Trail junction.
  • Upper Pines Campground and Wawona Horse Camp will be open, but only for those with reservations. Wawona Horse Camp requires a horse.
  • The Yosemite Valley Lodge, Curry Village, and the Ahwahnee will be open to visitors but require reservations.
  • Vacation rentals and private lodging in Yosemite West, Foresta, and Wawona will be open but require reservations.
  • Wilderness access, Half Dome access, and climbing for hikers will be open for backpackers with permits.

Here are the amenities that will NOT be open:

  • Shuttle buses will not be operating at Yosemite this year.
  • Besides Upper Pines and Wawona Horse Camp, other campgrounds will not be open. However, some campgrounds reopen later in the year.
  • Both Housekeeping Camp and High Sierra Camps are closed for the year.
  • Lower Yosemite Fall Boulders is closed.
  • Chowchilla Mountain Road is closed.
  • Crane Flat Helibase is closed.

[H/T SFGate]

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