Yosemite National Park Expects Busy Memorial Day Weekend
Visitors to Yosemite National Park over the Memorial Day holiday weekend should expect the park to be busy. People planning trips into the park are strongly encouraged to arrive before 10:00 a.m. or after 2:00 p.m. to avoid long waits at the entrance stations. Visitors may also choose to ride the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (www.yarts.com), which picks up in multiple locations along Highway 140 from Merced and provides multiple drop-off locations throughout Yosemite Valley. Once visitors arrive in the park, they are urged to ride the free shuttle throughout Yosemite Valley, utilize the bike paths, or walk.
All campgrounds on the reservation system are full. There are a very limited number of first-come, first-served campsites available throughout the park. Visitors should arrive early to secure a campsite. All trails within Yosemite are open, however some may still have snow patches and ice present on the trail. Hikers should be aware that spring weather can be unpredictable and change without warming.
The Glacier Point Road will open for the season on Friday, May 28, at noon. Due to ice and avalanche conditions, the Tioga Road will not be open for Memorial Day weekend. There is no projected opening date for the Tioga Road. The Mariposa Grove Road is open. However, visitors should be aware that the parking lot fills quickly and there is a free shuttle bus service from Wawona to the Mariposa Grove.
The Half Dome cables will not be in place for the Memorial Day weekend. This is due to the amount of snow still remaining on Half Dome and the trail to the Half Dome cables. There is no projected time for the Half Dome cables to be in place.
Yosemite National Park has received above average precipitation this year, with the snowpack at 115% of average. The park’s waterfalls are spectacular and the peak flow is expected the first week of June.
Visitors within the park should be aware of high water level and fast moving water in the Merced River and other streams. With the increasingly warm weather, snow in the high-country continues to melt and fill the Merced River. Extreme caution is important when in proximity to any moving water.
Visitors are urged to drive slowly within the park. With the warmer weather, animals are more active and are prevalent along the roadways.
Did You Know?
Giant sequoias are a fire adapted species. Their bark is fire resistant and fire helps open the sequoia cone and scatter the tiny seeds. Fire also clears forest debris from the mineral soil and provides a nutrient rich seed bed as well as clearing competing species.