By SUSAN SHERREN FOR COUTURETRIPS.COM Published: 10:33 AM CST. 14 April, 2021
The U.S. National Parks have become popular destinations during the pandemic. While most international travel has been curbsided, many Americans have been heading to the great outdoors in huge numbers. The statics reveal overall visitorship declined in 2020 -due to park closures during the pandemic. However,the NPS reported that 15 parks experienced record numbers for recreational visitors. Five parks also broke previous records they had set in 2019. Yosemite National Park in particular has been at the top of list for outdoor enthusiasts. While the parks love to see visitors enjoy the stunning natural flora and fauna, they also are concerned about the risk of COVID-19 spread if the visits result in crowds.
"The basic plan is to protect human health and safety and provide as much access as we can," the park's superintendent, Cicely Muldoon, said yesterday during a meeting of local government and business leaders. Muldoon is concerned because large crowds have already begun to visit the Park. Due to this, park-goers will need to make a reservation. This will take effect beginning May 21st thru September 1st. This applies to all day visitor and extends to annual and lifetime pass holders. Visitors who have overnight reservations at hotels and campgrounds inside the park don’t need to make day-use reservations, nor do those with wilderness and Half Dome permits or visitors entering the park via YARTS buses or who are on permitted commercial tours. Park reservations can be made at recreation.gov starting at 8:00 a.m. on April 21, 2021.