Whether this your first trip or your 500th, this page has specific information that will help you prepare for your summer 2023 Yosemite travels.
- There is no day-use reservation system to enter Yosemite National Park in the summer of 2023.
- Record snow in High Sierra: plan on late openings for Tioga and Glacier Point roads and expect a snowy season.
- Yosemite Conservancy is celebrating 100 years of conservation! Join in the fun on one of our public programs.
- Construction projects are providing critical infrastructure investments.
- Visitor Access Management Plan: Share your thoughts on the future of management plans for Yosemite National Park.
No reservation system = Plan for crowds
With no reservation system for Yosemite National Park, park staff are anticipating an influx of excited visitors throughout the summer, especially on holiday weekends. A few tips can help you navigate the crowds and make the most of your time.
In Yosemite Valley:
- *New: Before you leave home sign up for traffic alerts from Yosemite National Park by texting YNPTraffic to 333111. These will provide real time updates regarding parking lots and allow you to adjust travel plans in real time allowing you to spend less time in Yosemite traffic and more in enjoying the park.
- Plan on arriving early. The earlier you arrive, the better chance you have at getting a prime parking spot.
- Don’t like traffic? Take the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System or YARTS bus. The YARTS bus operates four routes throughout the summer with three bus stops in Yosemite Valley:
- Curry Village – Best for Happy Isles, Mirror Lake, and the Mist Trail.
- Yosemite Village – Best for the Visitor Center, the Yosemite Museum and Indian Village, Cooks Meadow, and Lower Yosemite Falls.
- Yosemite Valley Lodge – Best for Upper Yosemite Fall or the Valley Loop Trail.
- Once you have a parking spot, keep it. Leave your car for the day and use the Valley shuttle, pedal around the Valley on a bicycle, or walk along the pedestrian pathways to get around.
- Don’t have a way to bring a bike from home? Try the Yosemite Conservancy bike share or a Yosemite Hospitality bike rental.
- If you are able to be in the park for multiple days, try to visit Yosemite Valley on weekday.
While Yosemite Valley remains the focus of many visitors, there are other beautiful corners of the park to explore (often with less crowds). Points of interest outside of Yosemite Valley include:
- Giant sequoia groves: Yosemite National Park has three groves of giant sequoias: Mariposa Grove in the south and near the Crane Flat Junction there is the Merced and Tuolumne groves.
- Wonders of Wawona: Go back in time at the Yosemite History Center, ramble along the Wawona Meadow Loop, or hike up to Chilnualna Falls.
- High Sierra Road Trip*: Spend a day driving along Tioga Road and stopping at scenic overlooks. 2023 was a record-setting year for snowpack in the High Sierra. For visitors looking forward to backpacking this summer, anticipate a slow melt and a delayed mosquito season. We will update our Yosemite Conditions Report once there is an opening date announced for Tioga Road.
- Glacier Point*: see in Construction Updates below. Similar to Tioga Road, once opening dates are announced for Glacier Point Road, this page will be updated.
- *Plowing Updates: Yosemite National Park provides plowing updates every Friday throughout the spring. Watch the snowplows tackle the Yosemite snow that is buried deep in the higher elevations.
Record snow lingers into summer =
Delayed openings for Tioga and Glacier Point Roads
Yosemite National Park received a record setting amount of snow in the winter of 2022-2023. According to the park, The final snow surveys found the Merced drainage at 231% of average (and 189% of April 1 averages) and the Tuolumne drainage at 253% of average (and 207% of April 1 averages).
Many visitors are waiting for the high elevation roadways – Tioga and Glacier Point roads – to open for the season. For the most current updates from Yosemite National Park, check out the plowing updates every Friday throughout the spring.
Snow plowing is just one part of opening the roadways. Under the snow are downed trees and rockfalls. After these hazards are removed, crews make necessary repairs. The final steps include prepping facilities and getting staff in place.
Glacier Point Road will be open weekends only starting July 1.
- Road will be open July 1 at 6 am through July 4 at 10 pm. Services will be limited at Glacier Point this weekend.
- Road will open July 8 at 6 am through July 9 at 10 pm.
Glacier Point Road will fully open July 15 at 6 am with 30-minute delays, Monday through Friday, 6 am to 9 pm. The road will be open 24 hours per day. The midweek closures in early July will allow for paving to continue, including all parking lots, which need to be empty.
*New: Tioga Road will open for the season at 8 am on Saturday, July 22.
According to Yosemite National Park: “While vault and portable toilets will be available, there will be no water, no store or food service, and no fuel. Be sure to bring all the food and water you need. The Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center will be open (8 am to 5 pm) and a general information desk near the visitor center will be open from 9 am to 5 pm.”
For hikers and backpackers, especially early in the summer season you should anticipate snow at higher elevations and ample water at creek crossings. Marked trails may be hard to find at higher elevations. Hikers should have a GPS, map, and compass and know how to use them.
Speaking of record snowpack, there may be times when the park needs to close certain areas for flooding this spring and early summer. To learn better understand the relationship between snowpack and Yosemite flooding check out our blog: From Snow to Flow.
Yosemite Conservancy celebrates a Century of Conservation in 2023
2023 marks Yosemite Conservancy’s 100th year of service to Yosemite National Park — and as a supporter, you are very much a part of our centennial celebration. We are so grateful for your support!
Our roots stretch back to August 1923, when the Yosemite Museum Association was established as the original nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Today, we help park fans from around the world explore and conserve Yosemite, including through adventures, art, books, and retail.
With support from donors, we have funded more than $152 million in grants for more than 800 projects involving trail and habitat restoration, scientific research, wildlife management, visitor education, and more.
This summer you can join in the celebrations by attending our in-park programming or visiting our staff at the Conservancy-run bookstores at Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza, Wawona Visitor Center, Big Oak Flat, and Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center.
The Conservancy programs this summer include:
- Naturalist walks
- Stargazing programs
- Multi-day Outdoor Adventures
- Half-day art classes and multi-day art retreats
- Custom Adventures
Not coming to the park this year and still want to participate in our celebration? Share your favorite Yosemite stories and be part of our centennial celebrations.
Critical construction = Providing for Yosemite’s future
No one likes construction. Though many of us appreciate the safe roads, accessible trails, and functioning sewer systems it provides. On behalf of Yosemite National Park, thank you for your patience as these critical construction projects progress throughout the summer of 2023 to provide important updates to the park’s infrastructure.
- The Valley Welcome Center and Restroom will open in 2023. Thanks in part to the generosity of Conservancy donors, the Valley Welcome Center will be centrally located between the Village Story and the Day Use Parking Lot. This webpage will be updated when opening dates have been announced later in 2023.
- The Glacier Point Road Rehabilitation, funded by the Great American Outdoors Act and the Federal Land Transportation Program, will be entering the second year of a two-year project once the road opens after this winter’s record snowfall. Once Glacier Point Road opens for the season, expect delays.
- Big Oak Flat Road is currently closed just inside the park boundary to the Merced Grove. According to the National Park Service: “The road will be closed at least until mid-June and possibly into July. We are working with the Federal Highway Administration to start repairs as soon as possible. Work is expected to begin mid-May. Visitors entering Yosemite via Highway 120 from the west can reach Hodgdon Meadow and Hetch Hetchy, but not other areas of the park (including Yosemite Valley). From Yosemite Valley, visitors can drive up the Big Oak Flat Road to reach the Tuolumne and Merced Groves of Giant Sequoias.”
- After two summers of the pilot program, the Federal Lands Transportation Program is funding the Valleywide Continuous Flow Intersection Project, which will begin this May to officially transition to the new traffic flow. Drivers should anticipate: “Sentinel Drive will be closed for a few months this summer and brief delays elsewhere are possible. One-way traffic circulation pattern will be continuous on both Southside Drive and Northside Drive, resulting ideally in reduced congestion when the project is completed. Two-way traffic will remain through Curry Village and the Happy Isles Loop.”
- Shuttle Bus Stops are receiving attention as part of a two-year project that will “improve shuttle stops, including passenger waiting and access surfaces, shelters, curbing, and concrete braking pad improvements to shuttle bus stops 2 (Village Store/Welcome Center), 4 (Degnan’s), 5 (Valley Visitor Center/Museum), 14 and 20 (Curry Village parking), 15 (Trailhead Parking/Upper Pines Campground), and 19 (Lower Pines Campground).” Look for one-way traffic control near these listed shuttle stops throughout the summer.
- The long-anticipated, Conservancy-donor funded Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation project is wrapping this year.The parking lot, trail, and viewing area will be closed as the final pieces are put into place. Look for a ribbon-cutting ceremony this fall.
- With funding from the Great America Outdoors Act, two campgrounds are being rehabilitated: Crane Flat and Tuolumne Meadows. The Crane Flat Campground Rehabilitation Project is scheduled to be completed this year. The Tuolumne Meadows Campground Rehabilitation Project will continue through possibly 2025 as crews work to “replacement of water lines, upgrading of restrooms, improving accessibility for visitors with disabilities, reorganize campsites, address drainage issues, and replace picnic tables and fire rings.” The Tuolumne Meadows Campground will be closed in the 2023 season for the construction.
- From 2022-2026 there are a series of Biomass Removal and Scenic Vista Management projects schedule to take place throughout the park. According to park staff, “The biomass project will focus on removing mostly dead and down logs and branches to improve forest health and reduce fire danger. Scenic Vista management program reestablishes Yosemite’s important viewpoints and vistas, consistent with the natural processes and human influences that created them.” These may cause minor, intermittent traffic delays.
Be part of the Yosemite Planning Process
Yosemite National Park has embarked on an exciting process to help shape the future of park management and they need your help. Yosemite has begun development on a Visitor Access Management Plan and throughout this long process there will be opportunities for members of the public (you!) to share your thoughts and weigh in on proposed ideas.
Stay tuned to invitations from Yosemite Conservancy and Yosemite National Park throughout the summer share your feedback. Together we can help shape Yosemite’s future.
Header Image of Woman on North Dome by Anita Starchman Bryant