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Re: Visitor Services are Limited Inside Yosemite National Park Due to the Lapse in Federal Appropriations

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avatar Visitor Services are Limited Inside Yosemite National Park Due to the Lapse in Federal Appropriations
December 29, 2018 10:41AM
Closures inside the park include the Wawona Campground, Hodgdon Meadow Campground, and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Yosemite National Park is open, however visitor services are limited due to the lapse in federal appropriations. During the government shutdown, national parks are working to remain as open and accessible to the American people as possible.

Unfortunately, the following facilities and areas inside Yosemite National Park are closed due to impacts from human waste and public safety concerns: Wawona Campground and Hodgdon Meadow Campground. The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias will close on Saturday, December 29, 2018 due to impacts from human waste and vehicular safety concerns along Wawona Road, Highway 41. All park visitor centers are currently closed.

All normal park rules and regulations still apply. Dogs are not permitted on park trails, including the Mariposa Grove Road. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and are permitted in developed areas, on sidewalks, and on bicycle paths. For more information on pet regulations, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/pets.htm.

Restroom facilities are very limited throughout the park, especially along Wawona Road (Highway 41), El Portal Road (Highway 140), and Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West). Visitors are encouraged to stop and use restroom facilities in the gateway communities before entering the park. Visitors are also encouraged to pack in and pack out all trash, as custodial services are very limited at this time.

All roads within the park are subject to chain control or temporary closures due to hazardous driving conditions. All motorists are required to carry tire chains, even if their car is equipped with four-wheel drive, while driving in the park during the winter months.

Additional facilities and areas may close within Yosemite National Park at any time for the health and safety of park visitors.
We were at Mariposa Grove on Friday and it was packed. They may have intended to close it that day also, because the main parking lot was blocked off when we arrived around 10am. There were at least thirty cars parked in any available space (designated for parking or not) around the nearby restrooms and the tiny parking loop outside the huge lot, with a steady stream of cars milling around looking for any available space. We found a (probably not legal) parking spot and followed the hordes past an orange road sign at the welcome center that said "trail closed" and then along the Washburn trail up to Mariposa Grove. None of the restrooms at the welcome center, arrival center, or the picnic area halfway between them were open, which I'm sure created some issues with that many people around (we had our trowel and toilet paper, but fortunately didn't need them). When we returned about 3:30pm, there were still a few groups heading out from the parking lot for the two mile walk to the Grove.
i saw last night on the news that they were having a serious problem with human waste all around the place, did you notice any of that?

so i'm guessing the restrooms are all closed????

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2019 07:31AM by forrestranger.
We didn't notice a big problem with waste, but we didn't hang out much at the Welcome Center (parking lot) or the Arrival Center (entrance to the grove). We did stop for lunch at the picnic area about halfway between, and several people approached looking to use the locked pit toilet there.

I believe the only restrooms that are open are those operated by a park concessionaire. When we went up to Badger Pass on Sunday, the Ski center there was open and packed to the gills. We hiked out to Dewey Point (with about 300 other people... there was not a lot of solitude up there), and the pit toilet at Summit Meadow was open and quite fragrant. When we drove back down in the afternoon park rangers had closed off the road up to Badger Pass, I'm assuming because the parking lot up at the ski area was overfull.

We didn't go down into Yosemite Valley during our visit, but I'm sure if Mariposa Grove and Badger Pass were that crowded the valley must have been crazy. Here's a story from the Associated Press with some details on conditions there:

Any updates, folks?
Any updates, folks?

What are you looking for?

nps website is actually quite updated... regularly... of course you should call the road number before deciding way in


Conditions change frequently.

We were surprised to see the 120 entrance manned on Friday. They were giving out maps and info. Not taking money.
Badger A-Frame had rangers in it too. Valley Visitor Center was closed. Self-reg permits outside.
John Muir and Mist were closed. Saw 1000 tracks... (we didn't venture that way)
Backpacker/Day Hiking/Mist Trail Parking Lot was closed (JMT/Mist is closed... so...)

We've gone every weekend this year … and it's been really peaceful and nice …

I'd recommend waiting until Summer.

tongue sticking out smiley

Chick-on is looking at you!
Do you know if the Snow Creek Cabin is locked up or can you still get to it?
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