Yosemite will not use a reservation system in summer 2023

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Yosemite National Park, which has used a reservation system for the past three summers to limit crowds while dealing with COVID-19 and infrastructure work, will not require reservations in the summer of 2023.

Park officials made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday morning. The move means less red tape for travelers, but has raised concerns among some park watchers about the possibility of difficult overcrowding.

As noted by park officials, “Yosemite has struggled with congestion – even traffic jams – for decades. We want to build on the lessons learned from the past three summers.[s] managed access.

In their announcement, National Park Service officials noted that the reservation system has so far been a temporary measure and that more research is needed before a permanent system can be put in place. They added that in December, “we will begin seeking your help in designing an approach that provides an excellent visitor experience while protecting Yosemite’s natural and cultural resources.”

National Parks Conservation Association. responded with suspicion. The association’s Sierra Nevada program manager, Mark Rose, said in a statement that “we are pleased that the park is committed to finding a long-term solution to the overcrowding issues that have long been endemic in Yosemite. However, it’s disappointing that park managers have chosen to take a break from a highly successful reservation system in the meantime. We don’t want to see a return to the days when visitors were stuck in lines of traffic for hours before navigating crowded trails.

Rose said the announcement “sends mixed messages and will also create more uncertainty and confusion for visitors and nearby communities.”

Among the Twitter responses, some people welcomed the decision, but several fired back.

“Oh no, don’t get rid of the reservation system!” one person commented.

“It’s unfortunate,” wrote another. “It’s hard to enjoy the park when it’s overcrowded.”

Last summer, Yosemite required reservations for all visitors on a peak-hour day trip between May 20 and September 30. With this system in place, Yosemite rangers counted 507,923 visitors in August, a dramatic drop from the 703,153 visitors who were counted in August 2019, the park’s last pre-COVID and pre-booking summer.

Chelsie Layman, director of sales and marketing at the offices of Yosemite Hospitality, Aramark’s grant that serves as the main concessionaire in the park, said: “We support the decision of the park and fully support what they have chosen to TO DO.

Layman said the company has already taken steps to reduce the effects of overcrowding, including adding kiosks to shorten lines to order food at Yosemite Valley restaurants.

Park officials previously announced that the popular Ahwahnee Hotel, a landmark in the valley, will close Jan. 2-March 2 for seismic upgrades, with a scheduled reopening March 3. However, Layman noted, further work on the Ahwahnee will continue for several months after the hotel reopens.



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