Yosemite National Park is known to be one of the most visited parks in the United States, with averages hovering around 4 to 5.2 million annual visitors. Those visitation numbers are hindered during summer months by day-pass requirements. But on October 1, you’ll be able to drive to Yosemite National Park and enter without using the temporary day-use vehicle reservation system.
With park official preparing for the winter season and the closing of many high elevation destinations known to receive snow, Yosemite will surely see an influx of visitors hoping to grab their last glance of fall vibes in the park. Known as a “shoulder season” following the summer months, the park usually sees an increase in visitation before the winter.
“There is a great shoulder season in Yosemite before and after the summer that is worth considering for visitors, especially now that they are not trying to get an elusive day pass,” said Graham Ottley, general manager and senior guide at Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides, to NPR.
If you want to see Yosemite in 2021, now’s the time. The upcoming winter season will significantly limit operations in the park and close many of the great destinations you’re probably hoping to see. But if you go, prepare for some crowds.