YOSEMITE – Yosemite National Park anticipates a very busy Fourth of July weekend and visitors are urged to arrive at the park very early to avoid potential traffic congestion and difficulties with parking.
Visitors should plan to arrive at the park entrances by 9 a.m. each day. Parking in Yosemite Valley is expected to be especially challenging and visitors should plan accordingly.
Based on past holiday weekends, visitors arriving during peak hours have been delayed for up to two hours in east Yosemite Valley. The park has added approximately 300 new parking spaces west of Yosemite Lodge, however delays are still expected during the peak times.
Park visitors are encouraged to utilize the free shuttle bus in Yosemite Valley. The shuttle bus route has recently been expanded and takes visitors to places such as El Capitan Meadow and Bridalveil Fall.
Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) is a great way to get to the park. YARTS brings in visitors from Highways 120 West, 120 East, and the Highway 41 and 140 corridors. Once in Yosemite Valley, visitors have a seamless transition to the park shuttle buses. For a schedule of routes and times, please consult their website at www.yarts.com
Visitors are also urged to explore other areas within the Yosemite region. There are many areas of natural beauty and cultural significance surrounding the park. A variety of attractions in and around gateway communities such as Mariposa, Oakhurst, Sonora, the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, and Mammoth Lakes offer great hiking and sightseeing opportunities.
Fireworks are strictly prohibited in the park. Additionally, with the ongoing drought, conditions are extremely dry and visitors are asked to avoid campfires unless absolutely necessary.
Visitors should also be mindful of the expected warm temperatures this weekend. They should drink plenty of fluids, avoid strenuous activity in the middle of the day, and be careful of overexertion. Watch for signs of heat stress and do not leave pets or children unattended in vehicles.
On Monday, July 6, work will ramp up on the Restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Project, which has necessitated a temporary closure of the Mariposa Grove. The area will be closed for up to 24 months, depending on the progress of the work. The landmark restoration project, which started last summer, will restore giant sequoia habitat and hydrology in the park’s largest grove of giant sequoias.
The project will also improve restroom facilities, parking, and add accessible trails. When completed, there will be shuttle service between the South Entrance of the park and the Mariposa Grove.
Please note that the Mariposa Grove Road will be closed to all public access, including bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Hiking trails within the Mariposa Grove will also be closed.
Also starting Monday, July 6, a free shuttle service will run from Badger Pass to Glacier Point. Visitors will be directed to the Badger Pass parking area between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The 30-minute shuttle ride will include stops at Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trailhead and Washburn Point with additional stops upon request at McGurk Meadow, Ostrander Lake, and Mono Meadow Trailheads.
The last shuttle will depart Glacier Point at 5:30 p.m. Visitors with accessible placards, valid wilderness permits for trailheads along Glacier Point Road, or camping at Bridalveil Creek Campground will be allowed to continue to their destinations.
The Badger Pass Ski Lodge remains closed for the season.