Yosemite Mariposa County: Six Newsworthy Nuggets

LONDON, 2023-Feb-21 — /Travel PR News/ — Yosemite Mariposa County is ever-changing and always provides something new to experience. 2023 will bring a new glamping location and an old meets new historic hotel that is being reinvented. This year major Yosemite National Park infrastructure projects funded through the Great American Outdoors Act are set to be completed. There are also some big changes coming to how visitors will plan their trip to Yosemite this February and summer. See below a guide to what’s new in Yosemite Mariposa in 2023:

Mariposa Named Finalist for USA Today 10Best Travel Award for Best Small-Town Cultural Scene

The charming town of Mariposa is in the national spotlight yet again for a cultural scene that residents and returning visitors alike know is among the best in the United States. On Monday 23 January Mariposa was named as one of 20 finalists for the 2023 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award in the category of Best Small-Town Cultural Scene for a second year in a row. To be considered for the award, a town must have fewer than 25,000 residents and have outstanding examples of museums, art galleries, performing arts and a strong stable of local events. Winners and a top-10 list for the category will be decided by a public vote at the link here. Voting is open now and each person can vote once per day for the length of the contest which runs through 20 February 2023.

The end to Yosemite National Park’s Peak Hours Vehicle Reservations System

The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that it will not require a Temporary Peak Hours vehicle reservation to enter Yosemite National Park in 2023. The decision follows three years of a reservation system that originally was implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and later assist with significant construction projects in the park. 

“This decision will help our visitors, especially those from other states and countries who tend to plan their once-in-a-lifetime vacations to Yosemite about a year in advance,” said Jonathan Farrington, CEO and Executive Director of the Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau (YMTCB).

YMCTB does recommend that visitors make a detailed travel plan for visiting, no matter how long or short their vacation will be. The organisation offers some helpful tips for visitation:

  1. Arrive early to avoid queues at Yosemite’s entrance gates.
  2. Use public transportation or commercial tours, such as YARTS and the Yosemite Valley Shuttle System or several of the region’s tour companies.
  3. Consider spending full days exploring regions in and out of the park instead of trying to see the nearly 1,200 square mile park in a single day.
  4. Avoid peak traffic times between 10am and 2pm at park gates on holiday weekends.
  5. Visit during fall, winter and spring for a more serene experience in Yosemite.

New lodging options

Mariposa County will welcome two lodging businesses in 2023; Wildhaven Yosemite and Hotel Bluey.  Wildhaven Yosemite will be the second location opened by glamping operator Wildhaven which opened its first property in June 2020 in Sonoma County. The glamping tents will open on the former site of Yosemite Ziplines and Adventure Ranch just outside of the historic gold-rush town of Mariposa. The new grounds will expand the glamping options in Yosemite Mariposa County by as many as 80 glamping tents once it is fully completed over the coming three years.

Hotel Bluey will open on the site of the historic Hotel Jeffery in 2022’s “Friendliest Town in America”, Coulterville, California. Hotel Bluey seeks to reimagine the Gold Rush era Historic Landmark Town of Coulterville by modernising the Hotel Jeffery and Magnolia Saloon, two of the oldest of their kind in California. The completed project will bring to life a property that has played host to guests such as Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir with sustainable, eco-responsible and modern practices of design, construction and hotel operations.

New Welcome Center: Spring 2023 

Set to be completed and open to the public in late spring of 2023, the Yosemite Valley Welcome Center is a $10.4 million project that will transform Yosemite Village’s old “sport shop” into a 3,000-square-foot state-of-the-art space to welcome visitors to Yosemite.

The project creates a welcoming space near the recently expanded Yosemite Village Parking Area, newly constructed restrooms and the popular Village Store. Inside, park visitors will be able to speak directly with NPS rangers and Yosemite Conservancy volunteers to learn about safety and stewardship while also gathering info to plan their stay. Outside, a 20,000-square-foot plaza will provide ample seating, restrooms, interpretive materials and maps that will be available 24 hours a day.

The reopening of Glacier Point Road: Summer 2023

After a full year of being closed to vehicle traffic for road rehabilitation and improvements, the popular Glacier Point Road will reopen with some traffic controls and delays in summer of 2023 as work continues. The advancement of the project means that visitors will be able to reach popular viewpoints such as Glacier Point, Washburn Point and McGurk Meadow as well as popular trailheads such as Taft Point, Sentinel Dome and Panorama Trail from Glacier Point down to the Valley Floor.

The reopening of Bridalveil Fall: June 2023

The popular trail to Bridalveil Fall, its parking area and its significantly larger and handicap-accessible viewing area will reopen in June 2023 after a multi-year closure. The Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation project’s completion will foster a fully recreated arrival experience which will improve visitor services, protect natural and cultural resources and provide new facilities, such as flush sanitary bathrooms, for visitors.  Improved interpretation and wayfinding materials and improved accessibility for disabled visitors will also be features of the completed project.