The Coronavirus outbreak in Northern California has created eery situations throughout the area. The streets are empty, businesses are closed and residents cling to their sanity as the “shelter-in-place” mandate continues. And while many outdoor destinations in NorCal saw a surge in activity this weekend for people looking to practice social distance, Yosemite National Park’s closure is a reminder of the unprecedented times we’re living in.
Last week, the National Park Service made the difficult decision to close Yosemite in the face of growing outdoor crowds and their concern for the health of the park’s employees. Just a few days later, the park, which is currently covered in a beautiful blanket of fresh snow, is eerily empty. The park posted a photo of a usually bustling Tunnel View that saw only the sounds of the wilderness this weekend.
An unusual sight at Tunnel View: emptiness. We all look forward to the return of normalcy, or something close to it, when once again this park will be enjoyed by many. Until then, Yosemite will be waiting for us. pic.twitter.com/ygYbXSIADJ— Yosemite National Park (@YosemiteNPS) March 23, 2020
“An unusual sight at Tunnel View: emptiness,” read the post. “We all look forward to the return of normalcy, or something close to it, when once again this park will be enjoyed by many. Until then, Yosemite will be waiting for us.”
For the park employees that are lucky enough to have the entire park to themselves, it must be a sight to see emptiness across one of the most famous outdoor destinations on the planet. The roads lack their usual exhaust, the birds can be heard from the sky above and the Instagram influencers are nowhere to be found. It must be pure bliss.
It remains to be seen when the park will reopen to the public, as well as some semblance of normalcy returned to the community. But until then, while you’re stuck under the unnatural lighting of your home, you can enjoy the park digitally.
Park visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Yosemite National Park. Visitors are encouraged to learn about park resources and stories through the many multimedia presentations currently available on the park’s website. In place of traveling to Yosemite National Park in person, visitors are encouraged to download the park’s free Appand continue to enjoy Yosemite National Park through the park’s webcams. There are many wonderful resources available for all ages to remotely explore Yosemite National Park.