yosemite in the fall

Yosemite National Park ends summer vehicle reservations requirement

Since COVID-19 entered our lives in 2020, Yosemite National Park has employed a summer vehicle reservation system to limit traffic inside America’s most iconic park. But after three years, the Yosemite reservation system has been suspended heading into the 2023 summer.

The idea initially stemmed from limiting the number of people to keep infection rates down. However, the park kept it going, surely realizing it created a better visitor experience as fewer cares means more people can enjoy the sights without it feeling like Disneyland.

fall colors in california yosemite valley

Yosemite Vehicle Reservations Removed for 2023

How to plan your trip to Yosemite

With no Yosemite reservations required for a trip, this will help those who visit California from afar. But it will also mean more people will make day or weekend trips. So to avoid crowds, here are a handful of things to consider when visiting.

Ways to avoid the crowds

  • Visit on weekdays and definitely not holidays
  • See the classic spots early or late (better photo opportunities too)
  • Ask rangers about less popular trails that are still awesome
  • Hike 2+ miles from the trailhead
  • Visit Tuolumne Meadows vs. the Valley
  • Explore Yosemite in the shoulder season

What to see and do in Yosemite

  • Hike the Mist Trail. Push past the crowds by completing Nevada Falls
  • Soar with Eagles at Eagle Peak.
  • Get a permit to summit Half Dome
  • Watch climbers on El Cap
  • Enjoy the sunrise from Glacier Point
  • Watch the sunset at Taft Point
  • Photograph the valley at Tunnel View
  • Hike to Cathedral Lakes
  • Enjoy lunch at Tanaya Lake
  • Look down on Half Dome from Clouds Rest
  • Float the Merced River

Read all my blogs from the park.

With no Yosemite reservations needed to drive in, the park is now your oyster. So enjoy it and treat it with respect.

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

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