YOSEMITE – As the federal government shutdown drags on into the new year, Yosemite National Park remains open, however reports have been flooding in of people using the roadsides as bathrooms, discarding trash everywhere and endangering natural resources.
Park officials announced today that there will now be limited access to the park along the Highway 41 corridor from the South Entrance to the Badger Pass Road during the hours of highest visitation due to continuing issues with human waste and resource damage.
Park rangers will staff a check point at the South Entrance to Yosemite National Park from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anyone arriving at the checkpoint with a reservation for lodging or camping inside the park will be allowed to proceed. All other visitors will be asked to enter Yosemite using the Highway 140 entrance and enter the park via the El Portal Road.
Local residents and guests staying in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite West and Wawona will be permitted access to drive along Highway 41 (Wawona Road).
Visitors planning to visit the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area will be asked to enter the park via Highway 140.
Visitor services are limited due to the lapse in federal appropriations. During the government shutdown, national parks are working to remain as open and accessible to the American people as possible, say park officials.
Unfortunately, Park officials have announced that the following facilities and areas inside Yosemite National Park are closed “due to impacts from human waste and public safety concerns” – Wawona Campground, Hodgdon Meadow Campground, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Crane Flat Snow Play Area, and Goat Meadow Snow Play Area, located just outside the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park. All park visitor centers remain closed.
All normal park rules and regulations still apply and violators will be cited. Dogs are not permitted on park trails. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and are permitted in developed areas, on sidewalks, and on bicycle paths. For more information on pet regulations, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/pets.htm.
Restroom facilities are reported to be very limited throughout the park, especially along Wawona Road (Highway 41), El Portal Road (Highway 140), and Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West). Visitors are encouraged to stop and use restroom facilities in the gateway communities before entering the park. Visitors are also encouraged to practice leave no trace principles and please pack in and pack out all trash. Custodial services are very limited at this time, say officials.
All roads within the park are subject to chain control or temporary closures due to hazardous winter driving conditions. All motorists are required to carry tire chains, even if their car is equipped with four-wheel drive, while driving in the park during the winter months.
Additional facilities and areas may close within Yosemite National Park at any time for the health and safety of park visitors.