Yosemite is one of the most popular national parks, and as such, it can get pretty packed. This national park has put new systems in place to encourage visitors to practice social distancing. One side effect of these systems is a reduced number of visitors to the park at any given time, so instead of fighting crowds you’ll be able to kick back, relax and enjoy the scenery Yosemite has to offer.
Condé Nast Traveler ~ ” [Yosemite National Park] is having a magical moment with less crowding and more wildlife sightings, says longtime park ranger Scott Gediman. “We might never get the chance to see Yosemite this way again in our lifetimes,” he says. After a recent visit to the park, my third, I can confirm that Gediman is right. I found the park transformed. There were no traffic jams or clogged parking lots, and it felt like my kids and I had miles of popular trails all to ourselves.
As we go into the fall, there’s a good chance Yosemite’s current state of wilderness bliss will hit an even higher note when the usual decline in summer visitors and excellent hiking weather combine with the reservation system’s crowd control, making it a great time to visit.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Here’s most important thing to know ahead of time: The park releases 80 percent of its October reservations on September 1 and they sell out very quickly, particularly for weekend dates. All is not lost if your preferred date appears sold out on the website. The remaining 20 percent—340 tickets for each day—become available two days in advance of the reservation date at 7 a.m. PT. Those planning a November visit can snag the main batch of tickets on October 1.
While Yosemite Valley is accessible by car all year round, the park’s High Sierra region is only open through November. The Valley is spectacular in its own right with iconic cliff faces like Half Dome and El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls. But exploring the high country with its giant sequoia groves, breathtaking Tioga Road—which climbs to nearly 10,000 feet—and the subalpine Tuolumne Meadows are a dream. In fall, temperatures generally stay in the 50s and 60s, ideal for hiking. Make it a priority to get to Dog Lake and Lembert Dome for views over Tuolumne, to Pothole Dome for a playful boulder scramble, and to the Mist Trail for a challenging hike to the top of 9,931-foot Cloud’s Rest. On the way down, stop in Merced and Tuolumne Groves to see the sunset among ancient giant sequoias, some of which are close to 3,000 years old. ” ~ Condé Nast Traveler
For more insight on this special opportunity to experience reduced crowds in Yosemite, click the link below.
** Please note: Due to the impact of COVID 19 on travel, we encourage people to always plan trips in accordance with the guidance provided by government and health officials.