Yosemite National Park officials anticipate a busy Fourth of July weekend and urge visitors to arrive at the park early to avoid potential traffic congestion and parking difficulties.
Visitors should plan on arriving at the park entrances by 9 a.m. each day. Based on past holiday weekends, visitors arriving during peak hours have been delayed for up to two hours in east Yosemite Valley. While about 300 parking spaces have been added west of Yosemite Lodge, delays are still expected.
One way to reduce pressure on the roadways is to use Yosemite Valley’s free shuttle bus, which now takes visitors to places such as El Capitan Meadow and Bridalveil Fall. The buses are able to utilize a HOV transit lane in order to efficiently shuttle visitors to popular park destinations.
Another option is Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System, which brings in visitors from State Routes 120 West, 120 East, 41, and 140 corridors. Once in Yosemite Valley, visitors transition to the park shuttle buses.
Fireworks are strictly prohibited in the park and visitors are asked to avoid campfires unless absolutely necessary due to dry drought conditions.
Warm park temperatures have been forecast so visitors should drink plenty of fluids, avoid strenuous activity in the middle of the day, and be careful of overexertion, according to park officials. Watch for signs of heat stress and do not leave pets or children unattended in vehicles.
All campgrounds within Yosemite National Park on the reservation system are sold out through the Fourth of July weekend. There are a very limited number of first-come, first-served campsites within the park and those are expected to fill early.
Yosemite National Park is celebrating its Centennial Anniversary with the National Park Service. The park welcomes over four million visitors from all over the world each year and generates $535 million for the local region, supporting 6,261 jobs. The park is home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and iconic rock formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan. The park also features about 90 different species of mammals and over 1,500 species of plants.
For 24 hour road and weather information, call 209-372-0200. For a schedule of YARTS routes and times, visit www.yarts.com.