Millions of people visit Yosemite National Park every year, but 75% of Yosemite’s visitors pack the park between the months of May and October. Even then, the majority of the visitors gather in Yosemite Valley. Given the huge number of people packing into a relatively small area, you can see how important it is that everyone from the visitors to the park officials prepare for COVID-19.
To help you understand just how Yosemite National Park is handling COVID-19, the team at ASO Mammoth has put together a quick guide to what to expect when you visit the park. Take a look at our guide below and use the resources listed to find out more information ahead of your visit.
Yosemite is Open but Reservations are Required
Until November 1 st , 2020, anyone without a camp or lodging reservation, wilderness permit, or half dome permit will need a day-use reservation and a photo ID that matches the reservation to enter the park. Simply put, the basic takeaway you need is that you cannot currently drive into or through Yosemite National park unless you have a reservation. Even visitors with an annual or lifetime pass will need a day-use reservation to enter the park.
Reservations can be found here, and although the current restrictions are in effect until November 1st please make sure you follow all COVID guidelines after then to ensure the park can stay open without reservations. Also, remember that only one car is allowed into the park per reservation, so if you’re taking a car into the park then someone in that car must have a reservation to their name.
All Trails are Currently Open
Even though some campgrounds are closed and first come, first serve camping has been closed completely, all hiking trails are currently open to hikers and backpackers with the proper permits. However, just because the trails in Yosemite are open doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about COVID while hiking. Please try to leave as much space as safe when passing other people on the trail. Also, consider wearing face coverings when coming into close contact with other people on the trail.
Public Transportation is Currently Unavailable in Yosemite National Park
There are no shuttles in Yosemite National Park this season, including shuttles in Yosemite Valley, Mariposa Grove, and Tuolumne Meadows. There are also no bus tours running through Yosemite National Park this season.
Car Camping in Yosemite National Park is Currently Limited to Reservation Holders Only
The only way you can stay in your car or vehicle overnight in Yosemite is by having a camping reservation. Day-use passes do not allow for any overnight camping, even if it’s in your car and by the side of the road. You also cannot leave your car overnight if you have a day-use reservation. Day-use reservations allow for admission to the park between 5 AM and 11 PM only. If you’re going to park your car in the park overnight, then you’ll need a camping reservation.
Yosemite’s COVID-19 Guidelines Will Be in Place Until November 1 st, 2020
No one wants Yosemite opened sooner than the park officials who put the current COVID-19 guidelines in place. For that reason, the park will be reevaluated at the end of October. However, it is possible that the reservation system stays in place past then if it means keeping visitors safe. If you’re visiting the park, visit the reservation system early and often to plan your trip!
Hiking in Yosemite during Covid-19 is a great way to Social Distance in the Outdoors!