With traffic backed-up nearly a mile, Yosemite National Park visitors waited patiently at the southgate entrance. Park rangers greeted guests with huge smiles, while guests cheerfully responded with “welcome back.”
Yosemite National Park officially reopened to the public at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, sixteen days following the U.S. government shutdown.
First-time Yosemite visitors, Vangie and Jeffrey Galon from the Philippines, planned a three-week vacation in the U.S. The first week was spent staying with relatives in Fresno waiting for the park to reopen.
“We’re just lucky that it opened before we had to leave on Sunday,” said Vangie with a sigh of relief. The young couple, with camera ready at hand, were excited about spending the day taking in Yosemite’s jaw-dropping magnificence.
All roads in the park, including the Glacier Point Road and Mariposa Grove Road, are open. Additionally, Yosemite National Park’s hiking trails are open.
Valley campgrounds have also reopened. Those with reservations will be able to check in by noon today (Oct. 17). First come, first serve sites at Camp Four, Wawona and Hodgdon are also available.
DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite is fully prepared for all visitors as it ramps up to full service. It is suggested that visitors consult www.YosemitePark.com for additional details.