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6 Tips for Visiting Yosemite National Park During the Partial Government Shutdown

Mackenzie Rodgers | 01/02/2019 | Yosemite National Park

Although the government shutdown has affected some of the amenities visitors expect to encounter when entering federal lands, Yosemite National Park and our National Forest remain OPEN and accessible by visitors who still wish to visit the them during this time. It is important to remember that normal rules and regulations still apply, and violators will be cited.
Yosemite Flight Tours
1.Pack It ALL Out- and Get Rewarded!
With no one to tend to the garbage cans that would typically be around nearly every corner and at each trail head, it is important to prepare accordingly by bringing your own trash bag and packing your garbage out of the Park with you. The nearby gateway community of Groveland has plenty of resources for visitors to dispose of their trash; for example, if you bring your full trash bag to Rush Creek Lodge, the friendly staff will take it. They will even reward you with a complimentary cocktail, dessert, or coffee drink. Visitors can also dispose of their trash at the Groveland Hotel and, in doing so, will receive a $10 food/drink voucher for their on-site store, Provisions.

2. Be on Your BEST Behavior

The rules are set in place to protect the Park. If there are no rangers in sight, be the example of how a visitor should treat the public lands. With signs that indicate safety restrictions and designated areas, there should be little up to question when exploring Yosemite’s grand terrain.

3. Go Before You Go

The number of open bathrooms is very limited throughout the Park especially along Wawona Road (Highway 41), El Portal Road (Highway 140), and Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West). We suggest visitors utilize the nearby amenities in Groveland to do their business before going to the park to avoid any hassle or discomfort.

4. Be Aware of Other Visitors and WildlifeYosemite Tours
Do your best to practice kindness to other visitors and to protect the quality of their experience. Keep the peace and avoid loud noises to help maintain a friendly environment for fellow visitors and wildlife. Help preserve and create more room on trails by traveling in small groups if possible. Spot some wildlife? Observe and respect the animals from a distance and never feed them. Remember to securely store your food and trash from the attraction of animals.

5. Pets in The Park
It is important to abide by the Park’s expectations for dogs in Yosemite. If you decide to bring your adventure pup with you to the Park, remember that rules still apply, and visitors must always keep pets leashed and under control for the safety of themselves and other visitors of the Park. Come prepared, as a responsible owner, to clean up after your pup. Take note that dogs are only permitted to be in developed areas, on sidewalks, and on bicycle paths, so prepare your hiking explorations accordingly.

6. Prepare and Plan Ahead for Winter Weather
When visiting Tuolumne County and Yosemite in the winter, it is imperative to anticipate the possibility of snowy/ icy weather. In preparation, be sure to carry tire chains, water, and a first aid kit. Even if your car has 4-wheel drive, there still may be a requirement for tire chains. For step by step instructions on how to put chains on your vehicle watch our video online at 

Visit to find lodging, including quaint B&Bs, cabins and more, for your trip to Tuolumne County.

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