A tour of Yosemite Valley on 7.1.23.
Starts at Yosemite Lodge heading east to Curry Village and then back to the lodge. We then head out west from Yosemite Lodge on Northside Drive and end past El Capitan straightaway.
With no reservation system the crowds have been huge. The lines at the entrance stations have 2+ hours long and then there is no place to park in Yosemite Valley.
Recently NPS has enacted a plan where once the east valley is full they just shut it off which has usually been around 10am. All traffic is diverted at El Cap Crossover which takes you out of the west end of Yosemite Valley so there is no cars allowed towards Yosemite Falls, Curry Village etc.
Everyone then parks on Northside Drive from El Capitan going west and walk in or try to take the shuttle at El Cap. Unfortunately the shuttles have been packed so they just drive by the stops leaving crowds of folks waiting.
Towards the end of this video you will see the El Cap shuttle stop with 50+ people waiting and this after a shuttle had just driven by. Towards the end you will also notice hundreds of people walking into east Yosemite Valley.
You will also notice towards the end that on northside drive from Yosemite Lodge west there are hundreds of illegally parked cars many off the road impacting the resources. Warning stickers are slapped on some of these cars.
What has happened is that the media has drilled into everyone “get there early” so they do and the parking fills up fast. Once full you are turned around at El Capitan, you may not find a parking place to walk in so you will just have to keep driving in circles.
One nice thing about this is that the east valley had hardly any traffic with no backups and the roads were almost empty. There were parking places here and there.
It was very enjoyable bike riding on the roads in the east valley with the minimal traffic.