Yosemite National Park released its 2019 attendance statistics and it shows another year of massive crowds. The National Park’s monthly use report showed 4.59 million visitor’s to Yosemite last year, up from 4.16 million in 2018. Although 2016’s 5.2 million visitors remains the record, Yosemite is constantly figuring out solutions for its crowding problems. If you look closely at the statistics, you can find the best way to beat the crowds.
Park leaders have calculated the numbers, and it shows how big the visitation numbers at one of the country’s most popular National Parks can be. They’ve concluded that the park can handle 18,710 people at one time before traffic begins to slow, and the park can accommodate a peak visitation number of approximately 20,100 visitors per day. That’s about 5,000 to 7,000 cars rolling through the park a day.
Here are some statistics to show you when you can find the best times to avoid the crowds at Yosemite National Park:
- Yosemite traffic numbers show that most visitors are day trippers coming from Oakhurst or Groveland. So anytime in the early morning or evening will see the least congestion.
- Although the park sees an influx of photographers for the “Firefall,” February is typically the slowest time of the year in the park. Only 116,000 people visited during that month in 2019.
- July and August remain the busiest months in the park. July had 743,000 visitors in 2019, while August saw 728,000.
- Of Yosemite’s five entrances, the most popular was Oak Flat just east of Groveland. That’s where most people from NorCal enter the park. Coming in second was the south entrance on highway 41, where you’ll see an influx of Southern California visitors.
So if you’ve done the math, you want to:
- Go to Yosemite in the morning or evening.
- Preferably during winter months, but definitely not during peak summertime (hint: spring is awesome in Yosemite)
- And find one of the least used entrances.
Sharing our beautiful natural resources with each other is the kind thing to do, even if the crowds are frustrating. But if you plan your trips to avoid to crowds, you may have a better experience and help park officials relieve traffic. It’s a win-win.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine