Yosemite National Park Reopens, With Limited Hours

Park staff is working on getting more open

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park in February, 2023.
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

What happens when an iconic national park encounters an absurd amount of winter storms? In the case of Yosemite National Park, the accumulated snowfall left the park temporarily closed. On Saturday, March 18, the park was reopened with what the National Park Service dubbed “minimal public access” — with the promise of more areas of the park being reopened in the coming days.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, this marked the first time the park would be open to the public in “almost a month.” For now, only two parts of the park are scheduled to open — Yosemite Valley and Hetch Hetchy Valley, both only during daylight hours.

That should change relatively quickly. The National Parks Service announced last week that, barring another severe storm, 24-hour access would be restored next week. “[C]onditions permitting, Yosemite Valley will open 24 hours per day starting Monday, March 20, with limited overnight lodging,” the agency wrote on Twitter. The National Parks Service went on to note that campgrounds remain inaccessible due to the accumulated snow.

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The agency went on to tally up some of the impact of the weather storms. This included the statistic that Tuolumne Meadows has received “over 15 feet of new snow” in the days and weeks since February 21. Rockslides and other similar events have also been widespread. It’s not hard to see why the recovery efforts have taken so long — but it’s encouraging to see the park staff making progress.


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