YOSEMITE — Yosemite National Park anticipates an extremely busy Memorial Day Weekend. Visitors in personal vehicles arriving late morning through mid-day should expect extensive delays getting into and moving about the park, particularly in Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point.
Visitors are urged to enter the park before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. in order to avoid traffic congestion and difficulty finding parking. The park also asks visitors to consider using alternative transportation, such as the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) buses, which serve the park from several gateway communities.
“The park has made improvements to parking, revamped entrance stations, added internal shuttle service, and additional YARTS bus service to alleviate congestion over the last few years,” says Don Neubacher, Park Superintendent. “However, we’ve been experiencing very high visitation and we wanted to ensure that visitors are informed and able to trip-plan accordingly during this very popular holiday weekend.”
So far this calendar year, visitation to the park has increased by over 20 percent. Last year, the park had severe traffic congestion, delays up to two hours, on major holidays and weekends like Memorial Day.
Yosemite National Park encourages visitors to enjoy our gateways communities and other Sierra public lands and sites during this holiday weekend. Adjacent areas such as Groveland, Eastern Sierra/Mammoth (Mono County), Oakhurst, Mariposa, and other public lands are major scenic areas adjacent to the park that are available for public recreation and sightseeing.
Tioga Road and Glacier Point Roads have both opened for the season. When the parking lot becomes full at Glacier Point, visitors will need to take a free shuttle bus from the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard area, formerly Badger Pass. The shuttle bus is expected to run during peak hours, 10 AM to 6 PM. The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias remains closed for restoration.
Traffic becomes congested when parking spaces fill in Yosemite Valley. To preserve emergency and shuttle bus access, the park designates a single lane on the southside drive for bus and emergency vehicle access only. This lane enables buses to shuttle park visitors to popular sites, and also allows for emergency response to incidents which are ongoing despite traffic congestion. The bus and emergency vehicle lane is expected to be in use during the busy parts of the Memorial Day Weekend.
All campgrounds within Yosemite National Park on the reservation system are sold out through the Memorial Day weekend. There are a very limited number of first-come, first-served campsites within the park and those are expected to fill early. For 24-hour road and weather information, call 209-372-0200. As of this posting, Tioga Pass and Glacier Point Road are still closed. Call before you go!