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[Yosemite]

Plans for opening?

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Plans for opening?

Postby balzaccom » Wed May 20, 2020 6:02 pm

This is being reported on Reddit....

From a conference call at 9am this morning with the Superintendent of Yosemite... Let me emphasize, ALL OF THIS CAN CHANGE AT ANY TIME. This is merely a representation of the call this morning and it was to invitees only and has not even been presented to local communities or some government offices yet.

- Hope to announce at end of this week (5/18 - 5/22) actual plans, so everything below can CHANGE.

- The plan right now is to reopen first week of June (don't know exact date). THIS CAN CHANGE!

- Goal to control capacity to 50% of 2019 average day through day use passes.

- 2000 cars/day allowed for people staying in the park.

- 1700 cars allowed for day use.

- Average day last year was ~6400 cars/day to Yosemite Valley, and ~7500 for the whole park.

- Passes will be available online to reserve from 2-30 days out. At the beginning of this program you MUST go online to reserve a pass. You can NOT just drive to the gate and get into the park. There is an expectation that things will change and adapt and you MAY be able to get a day of pass.

- The NPS will not be acting as the Social Distance police. It will be incumbent upons people to be responsible for themselves. At your own risk.

- Tioga pass reopening is still weeks away, possibly mid June.

- Valley shuttle will not be operating. Bikes are encouraged.

- YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation) will be running from local communities.

- 60 sites at Lower Pines will open

- 81 sites at Upper Pines will open (edit: I should have said North Pines. It looks like Upper Pines won't open in this first round of openings)

- Backpackers campgrounds will open.

- At this time other campgrounds will NOT open.

- There will probably be limitations on popular areas like Tunnel View, one way trails, etc...
Check out our website and blog at: https://www.backpackthesierra.com/home
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby AlmostThere » Wed May 20, 2020 8:49 pm

This is entirely contingent on the governor moving to phase 3. Which may not happen. I have a permit for June, have gotten nothing yet cancelling it... waiting like everyone else.

Time for EVERYONE to get their own bear canister. The Wild Ideas folks will be very very busy with their rent by mail...
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby Phil » Wed May 20, 2020 10:07 pm

Newsom is running the political gauntlet right now. Counties and cities are pushing and going rogue whether the governor likes it or not, and his job is to still maintain at least the illusion of control and save face (and his political career) while that happens. So, the "Phases" are being accelerated, and the narrative is literally changing day-to-day. But, being under federal control, it's hard to say just how the national parks, and especially Yosemite and other Ca parks within the system will fit into it.
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby Grzldvt » Fri May 22, 2020 9:36 pm

Just requested a permit on June 17th for Glen Aulin, will be interesting to see if I get it. My hiking partner in crime have been going there along the same week for 30 years, so we thought we would give it a shot.
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby damu21 » Tue May 26, 2020 8:15 pm

I know everything is up in the air and uncertain, but I’m wondering if it is wise to rely on hitchhiking this summer. I have a hike planned the end of July that ends in the valley and was going to use the shuttle bus to get back to my car on tioga. It sounds like that will not be running at all, so I am wondering your thoughts on relying on hitchhiking from the valley up to tioga, or if a re-route is in order. I feel like people may be a bit more reluctant to pick up a stranger.
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 26, 2020 8:24 pm

They have already said that YARTS will be running.
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby Phil » Wed May 27, 2020 5:51 am

Yeah, YARTS is an independent service that's not under the auspices of Aramark, thankfully. But, in a more general sense of this year's reliance on hitchhiking for filling one's holes as a viable transportation alternative....not a good plan. Remember, the thinking has changed from being, at face value, you're no longer a likely harmless backpacker in need, you're perceived as a potential asymptomatic vector that's completely unable to prove your innocence while standing on the side of the road...and being filthy after a few days in the wilderness isn't going to add to your odds at all. You know how this Coronavirus is: clinging to random boulders and whatnot. As a matter of fact, I hear that 4 out of 5 marmots now prefer it over lichen.
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby balzaccom » Wed May 27, 2020 2:40 pm

Desolation Wilderness is allowing you to make reservations through recreation.gov....one week in advance. Seems like it is open, as I have seen two trip reports already!
Check out our website and blog at: https://www.backpackthesierra.com/home
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby damu21 » Thu May 28, 2020 7:11 am

ah i missed the bit about yarts. that is good news :)
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby Phil » Thu May 28, 2020 7:45 am

YARTS is always the most reliable option. The one thing you have to keep in mind though is the evening departure schedule. You can pick it up at either Curry Village or the Valley Visitor's Center at around 5pm-ish. If you're coming down the JMT you need to watch your timing, and then you also have to take into account whether or not you're going to want to/be able to come off the trail, ride the bus for an hour + or so, coming into the Tuolumne area around 7pm, and then still feel like driving to wherever you need to go after hiking all day. The ways we usually try to do it are to either camp close enough to the Valley to make down by mid afternoon (LYV... when we can't get around it, or Sunrise Creek) for that evening's shuttle, or plan to spend the night at the backpacker's camp and hang out in the Valley the next day and grab showers and food, then catch the shuttle later. We usually prefer to just hang. I've done my nighttime drive with the former, and it's not exactly the safest or wisest 5 hour drive I've ever done.

One other alternative that can save you a grinding drive home back-to-back after everything else in the day's itinerary is to, hit the Valley, grab the bus, then spend the night up at the White Wolf or Tuolumne backpacker's camp, then sort out the car and the drive home the next day after a night's rest.

AT- I'm seeing the YARTS site as showing that the summer schedule is still on hold. You've heard differently?

Here's the YARTS schedule link:

https://yarts.com/routes-and-schedules/ ... te-valley/
Last edited by Phil on Thu May 28, 2020 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plans for opening?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu May 28, 2020 7:49 am

Well, the park is still closed. I suspect they are like the rest of us, holding their breath and not committing to anything. If they announce a date then have to retract it, there's a line at all the entrances. My permit for the 18th is looking pretty hopeless... but, I have alternates over in the NF.

Look in the original post again - YARTS will be running from local communities - when the park opens. Of course it can change. But I think if the park is open it will be there.
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