Yosemite NP Entry Pass Reservation system work around
Local residents may be just as confused about the National Park Service’s (NPS) temporary reservation system to enter Yosemite National Park (YNP) as tourists. The NPS enacted a temporary reservation system for visitors who wish to enter YNP to, “help manage congestion and provide a quality visitor experience while numerous key visitor attractions are closed for critical infrastructure repairs,” an excerpt from its website states.
Reservations became available March 23 for those wishing to visit Yosemite from May 20 through Sept. 30 of this year. Those wanting to visit Yosemite from now until May 20 do not need to go through the reservation system to do so.
However, when reservations do go into effect on May 20, there are a couple work arounds. Visitors can enter YNP any time before 6 a.m. and/or after 4 p.m. without a reservation. It is important to note that visitors must pass through the entrance gate before 6 a.m. and/or after 4 p.m. to take advantage of this work around. Anyone stuck in line and happens to arrive after these specified times, will be required to have a pass.
Another option for YNP visitors is to take the Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS) bus. Passengers traveling to YNP on the YARTS bus do not need a day-use pass as the bus fare includes the entrance fee. Riders can reserve a ticket for YARTS and guarantee their seat, or take their chances using the first-come-first-served option that is also available. Passengers that choose the later option need to be reminded that seats are limited and there is no guarantee one will be available.
Visitors to YNP should also understand a little bit more about the “critical infrastructure repair” that is behind the temporary reservation system. Jonathan Farrington, Executive Director for Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau (YMCTB) stated, “Most media outlets failed to mention in their coverage that “construction projects” in the park will cause the congestion, ultimately impacting visitor experience. That this year’s system is not Covid-19 related either. YMCTB is working hard to educate the public about major park area construction closures such as Glacier Point Road, Tuolumne Meadows, key visitor parking lots, Bridalveil Fall and others. We want to be sure visitors can plan ahead for what they can see & do and better plan their visit.” Visitors can find more information to help them plan their visit by going to https://www.yosemite.com/. Due to the complexity of the reservation system, it is recommended that those planning to visit Yosemite between May 20 and Sep. 30 of this year visit the following website to learn more about the reservation system: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/reservations.htm