Closures

The superintendent's compendium for Yosemite National Park and superintendent's compendium for El Portal Administrative Site contain most closures and other local regulations. Closures not included in these compendiums are listed below (except for climbing closures).

By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and the under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, the following existing closures, public use limitation and general regulations are hereby modified:

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Visiting Hours, Public Use Limits, Closures, Area Designations for Specific Uses or Activities and Conditions

36 CFR § 1.5 (a)(2) – Designate areas for a specific use or activity or impose conditions or restrictions on a use or activity

May 21, 2021

In response to Executive Order no. 13991, the following conditions apply to all federal employees, contractors, volunteers, park partners and visitors:

Individuals over the age of two years who are not yet fully vaccinated must wear masks (fully vaccinated individuals are those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine and are 2 weeks or more past their final dose), except when actively eating or drinking, in the following locations:

  1. All common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, rented or leased by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.
  2. The following outdoor areas, when others are present, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:
    1. Parking Lots and Viewpoints: Within 100 feet of any parking area or pullout
    2. Trails: Lower Yosemite Fall Trail, Mist Trail, trails within Mariposa Grove below the Clothespin Tree, Tuolumne Grove, and Merced Grove, and within ½ mile of any trailhead
    3. Interpretive Facilities and Programs: Indian Cultural Village and Pioneer Yosemite History Center, and within 50 feet of any park employee speaking to a group, gathering, or people attending an interpretive program.
    4. Buildings: Within 25 feet of any public building, including (but not limited to) visitor centers, entrance stations, wilderness centers, campground offices, and ranger stations.
    5. Shuttle stops: Within 25 feet of shuttle stops (during seasons and hours when shuttles are operating)
    6. Gathering Places: Village mall (including the area from Yosemite Village parking to the Yosemite Cemetery); Glacier Point area, including all trails from the parking lot to the amphitheater, geology exhibit, and main viewpoint area.
    7. Eating Areas: Picnic areas and outdoor food service areas, when not eating or drinking.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within parks, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in transportation hubs.

Park staff should not ask visitors whether or not they have been vaccinated. Absent evidence to the contrary, park staff should operate as though non-masked visitors are fully vaccinated.

As stated in E.O. 13991, it is the policy of the Administration to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On January 24, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget issued M-21-15, COVID-19 Safe Federal Workplace: Agency Model Safety Principles to provide guidance to federal agencies on implementing E.O. 13991. M-21-15 contains model safety principles that apply CDC guidelines related to mask-wearing and physical distancing to the federal workplace and are designed to be used by federal agencies as a starting point for updating their COVID-19 workplace safety plans. The guidance for superintendents in this Memorandum draws upon these principles to help ensure that visitors to the National Park System do not threaten the health and safety of NPS employees, volunteers, partners and contractors, or other park visitors.

2/2/2021 On January 29, 2021, the Acting Secretary of the Interior issued a memorandum entitled Protecting Our Workforce by Requiring Mask-Wearing. This memorandum reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to an urgent, robust, and professional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Memorandum requires all onsite employees, contractors, and volunteers to wear a mask or face covering at all times while in Department buildings or on federal public lands when physical distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible. This memorandum was updated on May 14, 2021 to provide guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.

This designation will remain in place until rescinded or superseded.

 

Public Use Limitation (Public Health Emergency)

May 21, 2021

Coronavirus, the virus responsible for the disease COVID-19, has caused a public health emergency as declared by Mariposa County, the State of California, and the United States Government. In consultation with local, county, and state public health officials and guidance provided by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in order to maintain public health and safety, certain public use limits, restrictions, or closures are warranted to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19 at the individual and population level by limiting social interactions and preventing inadvertent exposures.

By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.5(a), Section (a)(1) and Section (a)(2):

Starting Friday, May 21, 2021 at 5:00 am, the following use limitations are in effect within Yosemite National Park:

  • Upon entry, each motor vehicle with valid proof of one of the following will be issued a Yosemite National Park vehicle permit: a day-use reservation; wilderness permit reservation; Half Dome permit; reservation for overnight accommodation within the park or in Wawona, Foresta, or Yosemite West; proof of participation in an authorized commercial use authorization activity; wedding permit issued prior to April 28, 2021; special use permit for First Amendment activities; or pass for authorized guests of park residents.
  • All vehicles (except those authorized on official business) within Yosemite National Park must display a valid vehicle permit in the windshield at all times. Vehicles without a valid vehicle permit displayed in the windshield are prohibited from entering the park. Vehicles in the Hetch Hetchy area are excluded from the vehicle permit requirement.
  • Day use limits will be applied to achieve a target visitation level based on current COVID-19 guidance and park conditions. The target number of visitor vehicles will be updated when necessary to reflect Mariposa County Tier changes and/or guidance updates (see links below for guidance documents): Level 4 (current purple) = 3600; Level 3 (current red) = 4320; Level 2 (current orange) = 5040; Level 1 (current yellow) = 5760.
  • Vehicles entering the park to pass through without stopping must pay the applicable park entrance fee or present a valid entrance pass. A pass-through permit will be issued and the vehicle will be required to depart the park within the following timeframes: vehicles traveling between South, Arch Rock and Big Oak Flat Entrances have two hours to complete their pass-through; vehicles entering or exiting through the Tioga Pass Entrance have three hours to complete their pass-through. Vehicles must proceed directly from the entry point to the exit point without detour or unreasonable delay. Vehicles with pass-through permits are prohibited from being unoccupied, on the Glacier Point Road or within Yosemite Valley east of El Capitan Crossover.
  • Vehicles without a valid Yosemite National Park vehicle permit or proof of eligibility for a vehicle permit are prohibited from entering or being present in the park between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am.
  • Park residents who have been directed by a Public Health Official or the Superintendent to be in “Isolation” or “Quarantine” shall stay within their residence at all times except to receive medical care until cleared by a Public Health Official or medical professional. Administrative exemptions or modifications to the specified quarantine measures may be made for community members who perform certain roles as determined by the Park Superintendent.

Mather District

  • Hetch Hetchy day-use hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, unless otherwise authorized. Entry to the area will be restricted when parking is no longer available. Day use visitors must exit the area prior to 5:00 pm.
  • Hetch Hetchy day use does not require a Yosemite National Park vehicle day-use permit for entrance. Entrance fees paid at Hetch Hetchy do not provide for entrance into the rest of Yosemite National Park unless the owner also has a Yosemite National Park vehicle day-use permit, a wilderness permit for trailheads outside Hetch Hetchy, a Half Dome permit, or overnight accommodations within the park, Yosemite West, Foresta, or Wawona.

Wawona District

  • Chowchilla Mountain Road is open to foot, bicycle, and equestrian traffic only.

These measures are being enacted to maintain public health and safety. The area will be monitored to ensure compliance with these limits and/or restrictions. This designation will remain in place until rescinded. Administrative activities are exempt from this order.

 

Safety Closure (Prescribed Fire)

Portions of the Yosemite Valley Prescribed Fire remain active within eastern Yosemite Valley. In order to maintain the safety of park visitors and allow fire management operations to continue unimpeded the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park is closing the following areas.

By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.5(a) and Section (a)(1):

The area within the prescribed fire perimeter, to include the Valley Loop Trail segment within the burn area (between Cathedral Beach and El Capitan Cross) depicted on the accompanying map entitled “Yosemite Valley Prescribed Fire"” remains closed to all travel with the exception of the roads and parking areas within the Sentinel Beach and Cathedral Beach areas.

The Merced River within Yosemite National Park downstream of Sentinel Beach is closed to watercraft until further notice.

The designation will remain in place until rescinded. Administrative activities are exempt.

 
Map showing prescribed area in central Yosemite Valley
 

Public and Employee Safety Closure

June 3, 2021

Coronavirus, the virus responsible for the disease COVID-19, has caused a public health emergency as declared by Mariposa County, the State of California, and the United States Government. In consultation with local, county, and state public health officials and guidance provided by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in order to maintain the safety of park visitors, employees, and residents while allowing management and administrative operations to continue, the Superintendent is designating the following area closures in Yosemite National Park.

By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.5(a) and Section (a)(1):

Crane Flat Fire Lookout and Helibase

The Crane Flat Helibase (including the parking lots, rappel towers, helicopter pad, fire lookout tower, and office buildings), Crane Flat Lookout Road, and the social trail that connects from the southern end of the Tuolumne Grove parking lot to Crane Flat Lookout Road, are closed to public entry.

This area is closed to protect the health and safety of Yosemite National Park Firefighters and Heliquest contractors that operate, maintain, and staff the park contract helicopter. This operation is critical to the health and safety of park visitors and residents.

Lower Yosemite Falls Amphitheater

The Lower Yosemite Falls Amphitheater and boulder field, as accessed via the off-trail area to the northwest of the Lower Falls Footbridge, Lower Falls Overlook, and/or the adjacent paved trail to the base of Lower Falls and adjacent cliffs, is closed (see attached map). The area is closed to prevent visitor injury and to decrease the potential exposure of NPS rescue personnel to COVID-19 due to rescue efforts.

All Lower Yosemite Falls Amphitheater climbing routes in this area are open but must be accessed by trails or routes outside of the closed area.

Notice of closure will be posted and areas will be monitored to ensure compliance; please see attached maps for more information. The designation will remain in place until rescinded.

 
Map showing closure of Lower Yosemite Fall boulders and Crane Flat helibase
 

Pet and Bicycle Restrictions – Mariposa Grove

June 14, 2021

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is open to the public; the shuttle bus is not operating during the 2021 season. To provide consistency among park areas and regulations, the Superintendent is designating the following temporary measures in Yosemite National Park.

By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2.15(a)(1):

To protect natural resources and ensure the safety of park visitors, the following area is closed to pets:

  • The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias which includes the Grove Road leading from the Welcome Plaza, the Lower Grove Arrival Area, the Grizzly Giant ADA service road, the Washburn Trail and all areas within.

Service Animals, as defined by the US Department of Justice, and administrative activities are exempt from this order.

and

By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 4.30(f):

To protect natural resources and ensure the safety of park visitors, the following areas are closed to bicycles:

  • The ADA Service Road from the Lower Grove Arrival Area to the Grizzly Giant ADA Parking Lot

Bicycle use remains prohibited on the Washburn Trail and all trails with the Mariposa Grove, this order does not change that restriction.

Notice of closure will be posted and areas will be monitored to ensure compliance; this designation will remain in place until rescinded.

 

Safety Closure (Wildlife Protection)

May 31, 2017 (The designation will remain in place until rescinded.)

Due to increasing bear activity along the Snow Creek Trail and the resulting potential for negative human-bear interactions, the area to the south and east of the footbridge as depicted on the attached map will be closed to overnight camping. The National Park Service will continue to monitor bear activity in this area and will re-open the area to camping as soon as conditions allow.

By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.5(a) (1):

The area marked on the accompanying map entitled Wildlife Safety Closure dated May 31, 2017 is closed to overnight camping or unattended food (even when stored properly).

The marked area remains open for day use.

Notice of closure will be posted and area will be monitored to ensure compliance. Your cooperation in complying with this temporary restriction is greatly appreciated. Please see map below for more information.


 
The area at the top of Snow Creek east of the trail is closed to camping
 

EL PORTAL ADMINISTRATIVE SITE

Visiting Hours, Public Use Limits, Closures, Area Designationas for Specific Uses or Activities and Conditions

36 CFR § 34.5 (a)(3) and 1.5 (a)(2) – Designate areas for a specific use or activity or impose conditions or restrictions on a use or activity

May 21, 2021

In response to Executive Order no. 13991, the following conditions apply to all federal employees, contractors, volunteers, park partners and visitors:

Individuals over the age of two years who are not yet fully vaccinated must wear masks (fully vaccinated individuals are those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine and are 2 weeks or more past their final dose), except when actively eating or drinking, in the following locations:

  1. All common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, rented or leased by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to public restrooms, administrative offices, the El Portal Market, and Service Station
  2. The following outdoor areas, when others are present, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:
  3. Parking Areas and Viewpoints: Any parking lot or pullout
  4. Interpretive Facilities and Programs: El Portal Train Exhibit and within 50 feet of any park employee speaking to a group or gathering.
  5. Buildings: Within 25 feet of any public building, including (but not limited to) the entrance station, post office, fire station, community hall, and gas station
  6. Bus stops: When entering, riding, and exiting buses and shuttles (during seasons and hours when shuttles are operating)
  7. Gathering Places: Prominent beaches along the river
  8. Eating Areas: Picnic areas and outdoor food service areas, when not eating or drinking.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within parks, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in transportation hubs.

Park staff should not ask visitors whether or not they have been vaccinated. Absent evidence to the contrary, park staff should operate as though non-masked visitors are fully vaccinated.

As stated in E.O. 13991, it is the policy of the Administration to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On January 24, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget issued M-21-15, COVID-19 Safe Federal Workplace: Agency Model Safety Principles to provide guidance to federal agencies on implementing E.O. 13991. M-21-15 contains model safety principles that apply CDC guidelines related to mask-wearing and physical distancing to the federal workplace and are designed to be used by federal agencies as a starting point for updating their COVID-19 workplace safety plans. The guidance for superintendents in this Memorandum draws upon these principles to help ensure that visitors to the National Park System do not threaten the health and safety of NPS employees, volunteers, partners and contractors, or other park visitors.

2/2/2021 On January 29, 2021, the Acting Secretary of the Interior issued a memorandum entitled Protecting Our Workforce by Requiring Mask-Wearing. This memorandum reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to an urgent, robust, and professional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Memorandum requires all onsite employees, contractors, and volunteers to wear a mask or face covering at all times while in Department buildings or on federal public lands when physical distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible. This memorandum was updated on May 14, 2021 to provide guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.

This designation will remain in place until rescinded or superseded.

Last updated: June 15, 2021

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