half dome glacier point

Welcome to Yosemite! Don’t Touch Anything!

By Darren

This Sunday’s New York Times ran a piece about proposed efforts to limit the activities offered in Yosemite National Park in an attempt to cut down on the park’s wear and tear:

The Park Service’s plan would restore more than 200 acres of meadows, reorganize transportation and reduce traffic congestion. To shrink the human presence along the Merced River, park officials are also proposing closing nearby rental facilities for bicycling, horseback riding and rafting, and removing swimming pools, an ice rink and a stone bridge.

I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, if people are going to spend the time and money to come to Yosemite, why shouldn’t they be allowed to enjoy some amenities? But on the other, you’re in one of most beautiful natural areas this country has to offer – what on earth do you need a swimming pool for?

I’ve only been to Yosemite once, and based on all the horror stories I had heard about the park over the years, I expected shoulder-to-shoulder views of the valley. I was pleasantly surprised, however, by how relatively empty it felt.

We visited in early October, though, and a few weeks before the various campsites shutdown for the season. I’ll be heading back there next month, so I’m curious to see what difference it makes being there two months earlier in the year. I’ll let you know!

(Click below to go to the article.)

new york times article image yosemite curbing visitors