The good news first: Billions of dollars to repair and upgrade America's National Parks, appropriated in 2020's Great American Outdoors Act are starting to flow, repairing roads and facilities that have been in decline for decades and adding new facilities.
And the bad news: for some parks, and especially including Yosemite, that means construction headaches, reservation requirements and capacity limits for this year and possibly the next, as the work is done. At Yosemite, that includes a new and expanded welcome center that will temporarily take up 300 parking spaces.
Yosemite Superintendent Cicely Muldoon told local elected officials and tourism industry reps that “This summer is going to be a crazy construction season in Yosemite like you have never seen before. Bring your hard hats.” Among the mitigation strategies the Park Service is contemplating is using a reservations system, as it did during the height of the pandemic, and encouraging visitors to come early and to visit less-known but beautiful parts of the park.
Image: Mirror Lake, Yosemite (Kai Rambow/TravelGumbo)