YOSEMITE — Yosemite National Park announces the second phase of a multi-year pilot program where visitors will be able to reserve a limited number of parking spaces.
Reserved parking spots will be at the Yosemite Falls Parking Area, located directly west of Yosemite Valley Lodge and south of Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley, for four weekends, including Saturdays and Sundays, in August 2017.
This pilot program allows visitors the opportunity to guarantee a parking space in Yosemite Valley on those four busy weekends. Visitors who book a parking reservation will have a space reserved until 4 p.m.
The Yosemite Falls Parking Area is one of two main parking lots in Yosemite Valley. The park encourages visitors to park their vehicles, then utilize the free shuttle system to get to the Valley Visitor Center and all major attractions in Yosemite Valley.
Reservations for 150 parking spaces can be made beginning today, June 21, at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. All remaining parking spaces in the Yosemite Falls Parking Area will remain available on a first come, first served basis.
Reservations are available for passenger vehicles up to 20 feet in length. At this time, reservations cannot be booked for RVs or trailers.
There is no charge for day use parking reservations, but a reservation fee of $1.50 will be required per transaction. All transactions are final; no refunds or cancellations will be accepted.
This pilot program is part of a larger effort to evaluate traffic and parking management tools to improve the overall visitor experience in Yosemite National Park, say park officials. The pilot will let park staff see if there is public interest or demand for day parking reservations.
Other traffic management tools the park has implemented include designated bus lanes, a new traffic roundabout, improved parking facilities, and improved signs and wayfinding tools.
“The pilot day parking reservation program is one of many tools Yosemite National Park is using to address traffic and congestion,” stated Acting Superintendent Chip Jenkins. “We are continuously working to improve so we can provide a quality experience for visitors to Yosemite National Park. After this summer season, park staff will evaluate the program and recommend changes based on public feedback.”
The park is expecting a very busy summer season, especially on weekends. Visitors arriving in personal vehicles should plan to expect traffic congestion and travel delays up to three hours before parking your vehicle.
Visitors are encouraged to stop at the visitor centers in the park’s Gateway Communities of Mariposa, Oakhurst, Groveland, and Lee Vining to purchase park passes and get information to help plan your trip to Yosemite National Park. Picking up a park pass in the Gateway Communities may help expedite traffic flow at the park’s entrance gate.
A great alternative to driving into Yosemite Valley is to consider parking at stops in the Gateway Communities and riding the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) buses into Yosemite Valley. Visit www.yarts.com for more information. In Yosemite Valley, once you have found a parking space, people are urged to ride the free shuttle, walk, or ride a bike around the Valley to minimize traffic congestion.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200 and press 1.
Yosemite National Park welcomes over 5 million people from all over the United States and the world and serves as a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. Visitors to Yosemite National Park generate a cumulative economic benefit to the local economy of $686,339,500 and directly support 7883 local jobs. The park is home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall is North America, iconic rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome, and is home for 90 species of mammals and over 1,500 plant species.