This page was last updated on September 25, 2020.
Yosemite Conservancy is monitoring developments related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. We’ll update this page with information about changes to our programs and operations. In making these decisions, we are following recommendations from federal, state and local officials.
We’ve taken steps to protect our employees and the public, and to help Yosemite supporters and fans stay in touch with the park from afar. Our staff has been working from home, we’ve canceled many in-person events and activities, and we are providing more ways for people to connect with the park and the Conservancy online, including through nature videos, art projects and virtual events.
Yosemite National Park is open. Park entry requires reservations.
To ensure the health of visitors, staff and residents, the park has introduced a new day-use reservation system and is implementing a variety of safety measures. Please visit nps.gov/yose for the latest information on the park’s reservation system and COVID-19 protocols.
In general, for information on…
- Yosemite Conservancy events, programs and services: See below, and stay in touch with us on social media and via our email updates.
- Yosemite National Park reservation system and COVID-19 updates: nps.gov/yose
- Yosemite Hospitality lodging and services: travelyosemite.com
- Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS): yarts.com
- National Park Service COVID-19 updates: nps.gov/aboutus/news/public-health-update.htm
Conservancy Events, Programs & Services
Are Conservancy donor events happening?
To ensure the safety of our guests and staff, we’ve canceled all in-person donor events until further notice. We look forward to welcoming our supporters for an in-person gathering when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we’re delighted to connect with our donors online through virtual events, social media, email and more.
What is the status of Conservancy programs and services?
We are adjusting our in-person programs, services and operations to ensure the safety of our staff, our partners and the public.
- Wilderness Permits: Adjusted. For 2020, wilderness permits will be processed and distributed online. The 40% of permits usually reserved for first-come, first-served pick-up in the park are available via a two-week lottery system. Visit our wilderness permits page to learn more and apply for a permit.
- Outdoor Adventures and Custom Adventures: Adjusted. We’ve canceled some of our originally scheduled Outdoor Adventures, but we are offering a variety of naturalist-led experiences, including backpacking courses, stargazing programs and Custom Adventures. We are taking special precautions to ensure the health and safety of instructors and participants, as outlined in our COVID-19 Program Procedures. Whether or not you’re planning a trip to the park, explore our website and follow us on social media to learn from our naturalist guides online.
- Art Programs: Adjusted. Happy Isles Art and Nature Center is closed for the 2020 season. Our normally scheduled in-person art programs are canceled, but we’re offering custom art classes in the park. Keep in touch with our art team online through video tutorials and other resources.
- Yosemite Theater: Closed. All Yosemite Theater shows are canceled, and the theater building (behind the Valley Visitor Center) is closed.
- Yosemite Conservancy Volunteers: Canceled. Our 2020 work weeks, corporate work projects and visitor information assistant program are canceled. We appreciate our volunteers’ flexibility and understanding, and we look forward to welcoming volunteers back in 2021.
- Yosemite Conservancy Bookstores: Adjusted. Our webstore is open: shop.yosemite.org. Our bookstore at the Valley Visitor Center is open as a “to-go” retail operation. Our other physical bookstores in Yosemite are currently closed.
How has the pandemic affected projects supported by Conservancy donors?
We’re working with the park to ensure that essential work our donors fund in Yosemite continues, when safe, including trail and habitat restoration, wildlife management, and scientific research. Most of the projects we awarded grants for in 2020 are moving forward as planned. Some projects have been adjusted in order to ensure the safety of park staff and visitors, and a few have been put on hold or postponed. Decisions are being made on a case-by-case basis, driven by public health guidelines and by the park’s ability to hire and safely house seasonal workers.
Visiting Yosemite National Park
Please visit the Yosemite National Park website (nps.gov/yose) for the most detailed and up-to-date information about Yosemite’s reopening plan and reservation system.
How do I visit Yosemite?
Yosemite National Park is open. To ensure the safety of the public, staff and residents, the park has implemented a temporary entry reservation system. If you’re planning to visit the park, you must have one of the following:
- Day-use permit (one per vehicle, valid for up to seven days).
- Wilderness permit or Half Dome permit.
- Lodging reservation in the park (hotel, campground or vacation rental).
- Seat on a regional transit bus (YARTS) or tour bus.
You need to bring proof of your reservation with you to the park. See the Yosemite National Park website for more information about the reservation system.
The Hetch Hetchy area is open to day visitors without reservations. Access is limited when parking fills, and day visitors must exit the area before 5 pm.
For a quick introduction to the temporary reservation system, watch this short video from Yosemite National Park:
What is the NPS doing to protect public health?
National Park Service officials in Yosemite are implementing a comprehensive program to protect public health. Key elements include reducing the number of cars allowed to enter the park, in order to minimize crowding; implementing safety measures, including promoting social distancing guidelines and cleaning public restrooms more frequently; moving visitor center services outdoors; and reducing the number of available campsites. For the most comprehensive and up-to-date information, see the Yosemite National Park website.
How will these changes affect my visit?
To protect visitors and staff, the park has made adjusted visitor access, facilities and activities. Some of the major changes are highlighted below. For the most comprehensive and up-to-date information, see the Yosemite National Park website.
- Park Facilities: Many indoor spaces are closed, including visitor centers, Happy Isles Art and Nature Center, and the Yosemite Museum. Visitor center services, including informational and educational programs, will be offered outdoors. Groceries and gifts are available in Yosemite Valley, at Glacier Point and in Wawona, as well as outside the park. The Ansel Adams Gallery is open. Dining options are available in Yosemite Valley and at Glacier Point.
- Getting Around: Shuttle buses are not running, and Yosemite Hospitality is not operating bus tours. Be prepared to walk, bike or drive. If you’d like to bike, bring your own bike or rent one in the park.
- Staying Safe: Follow park guidance, closures and modifications. The park is encouraging people to recreate responsibly by staying home if they are sick, and by maintaining social distance, avoiding high-risk activities, and wearing a cloth face covering when it isn’t possible to stay at least 6 feet from others.
- Lodging and Camping
- Yosemite Hospitality lodging: According to the Yosemite Hospitality site, the Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite Valley Lodge are open; Curry Village is operating at half capacity; and Housekeeping Camp, White Wolf Lodge, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge and High Sierra Camps are closed for the season. See more on the Yosemite Hospitality (travelyosemite.com).
- Campgrounds: Upper Pines Campground is open all year. Lower Pines Campground and North Pines Campground opened on September 25, and will close for the season on October 12. For the latest information on campground status and reservations, see the Yosemite National Park website.
- Wilderness Access: The Yosemite Wilderness is open for hiking and backpacking. As always, permits and bear-proof food canisters are required for overnight wilderness trips. For 2020, all summer and early autumn wilderness permits are being processed and distributed online (no in-park permit pick-up). Winter permits (November-April) are required, but are not being issued online. Winter permits are available via self-registration at any permit pick-up station in the park. Learn more and apply for a permit: yosemite.org/wilderness-permits.
Bringing Yosemite to You
Explore and learn about the park from afar! For even more ways to stay connected to the park, check out our blog for ways to experience Yosemite from wherever you are, follow us on social media and sign up to stay in touch with us via email.
Thank you for your patience and support. We’ll update this page as the situation and our plans evolve.