OAKHURST – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the National Park Service to make adjustments to how park visitors access Yosemite this summer. But there’s a silver lining: Park visitors are reporting more intimate, leisurely –and safe — experiences.
Each day 1,700 day-use park passes are available via online reservation. While the situation is not ideal when passes sell out, local tourism officials are emphasizing that Yosemite and the communities that surround the park are prioritizing visitor comfort and health, providing creative solutions during temporary setbacks.
“Thankfully, when you book a tour it includes your park entry pass for the day. Now, taking an expertly guided tour into Yosemite is a better option than ever,” said Rhonda Salisbury, CEO of Visit Yosemite | Madera County. “When people need reservations, we’ve got them covered. Local tour businesses have been safely guiding travelers to Yosemite for decades, and now they are ready to step in and meet the demand.”
Madera County pledges to maintain standards of cleanliness and safety for all visitors and staff — and posters at each shop, restaurant and hotel are there to inform potential guests the safeguards being implemented and encouraged.
So far this summer, visitors speak of idyllic conditions in the park, with cascading waterfalls, an abundance of wildlife and glorious sunshine-filled days. Add in the reduced number of people and ample parking, and the table is set for a unique summer experience in this national treasure.
Curious to see what Yosemite looks like this week? Access and view footage provided by Yosesmite Hospitality, at YOSEMITE NOW. Download video of Yosemite’s Cooks and Ahwahnee meadows, plus waterfall views from the Yosemite Village. (Videos are permitted for personal and commercial use.)
On your visit to Yosemite via a guided tour, be assured, all operators are dedicated to all current state guidelines of safety and sanitation standards. On tour vehicles, touchpoints are repeatedly cleaned, and there is plenty of hand sanitizer for frequent hand washing.
These tour companies are currently able to provide access to Yosemite National Park:
- Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides
- Discover Yosemite Tours
- Crossroad Tours
- Photo Safari Yosemite
- Lasting Adventures, Inc.
- Yosemite Family Adventures
- Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System
- YExplore Yosemite Adventures
- Yosemite Trails Horseback Adventures
These tour companies do not enter the Yosemite National Park boundary — at least not on the ground — but may be the perfect alternative for the more adventurous.
- O.A.R.S. – Whitewater Rafting
- Yosemite Fly Fishing Guide
- Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions
- Sierra Nevada Motorsports
- Airborrn Aviation Services