Yosemite National Park will limit visitors this summer due to COVID-19


Yosemite National Park is bringing back visitor reservations this summer.

On Thursday, park officials announced that Yosemite will be limiting the number of visitors by implementing a day-use reservation system.

“The temporary day-use reservation system will allow the park to manage visitation levels to reduce risks associated with exposure to COVID-19,” the announcement said.

Yosemite implemented a similar day-use reservation system last summer, the Associated Press reported. 

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Starting on May 21, people who want to visit Yosemite will have to make a reservation for the day. The day-use reservations are valid for three days and apply to one car and its occupants, according to the announcement. 

The day-use reservation system — which applies to all visitors, including annual pass holders and lifetime pass holders — will be in place until Sept. 30, 2021, the announcement said. 

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Visitors will be able to start making reservations online at www.recreation.gov starting on April 21 at 8 a.m. PT.

El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park are pictured. Yosemite will be implementing a day-use reservation system this summer to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (iStock)

El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park are pictured. Yosemite will be implementing a day-use reservation system this summer to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (iStock)

According to the announcement, day-use passes will be included for visitors who are staying overnight in Yosemite at hotels and NPS-managed campgrounds. Reservations will also be included for visitors with wilderness and Half Dome permits and visitors entering Yosemite on permitted commercial tours and Yosemite’s public transit buses, the announcement said.

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Yosemite is implementing day-use reservations as the park has seen high numbers of visitors in recent weeks, despite the continued spread of the coronavirus in California and other nearby states, the Associated Press reported.

“The basic plan is to protect human health and safety and provide as much access as we can,” Yosemite Superintendent Cicely Muldoon said Thursday, per AP.

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According to the news agency, Yosemite will change the number of visitors allowed into the park depending on what levels of the coronavirus are found in Mariposa County, California. 

Based on the county’s current numbers, 5,760 vehicles will be allowed into Yosemite per day, which is 70% of its typical summer visitation, AP reported.



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