Despite shutdown respite, Highway 41 into Yosemite stays partially closed – for now

In spite of President Donald Trump agreeing to a temporary reopening of the government on Friday, the Highway 41 entrance into Yosemite will remain partially closed to visitors, according to the region’s tourism board.

Trump agreed to reopen the government for three weeks while discussions on border security continue.

But Visit Yosemite Madera County says that between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., the southern entrance into the park will be open only to residents, those with confirmed lodging reservations inside Yosemite National Park, or those intending to visit the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area.

Access to the entrance has been limited since Jan. 2, and came as a response to the lack of employees available to monitor the entrances.

The shutdown left federal workers, including NPS employees, furloughed or without pay for 35 days, making it the longest shutdown in the country’s history.

Visitors to Yosemite must enter the park via the Arch Rock entrance via Highway 140 or through the Big Oak Flat entrance via Highway 120.

Inside the park, concessions operated by Travel Yosemite are open and operational, including restaurants.

Many locations operated by the National Park Service, are not, including the Tuolumne and Merced Groves of Giant Sequoias and the Mariposa Grove of of Giant Sequoias.

Restrooms outside of Travel Yosemite concessions are also closed.

The Hetch Hetchy area will be open Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as Sunday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The area is closed Monday through Wednesday.

Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area is also open, while the Half Dome ice rink is open on weekends and holidays only.