Yosemite was high on the list of things Deas and I wanted to see on this trip. As luck would have it, our visit to the area coincided with the government shutdown, which meant Yosemite would be closed. We were pretty disappointed, but then we heard that the highways running through Yosemite would still be open, so we decided to spend a day driving through. After all, we did Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in just two days, and in a motorhome to boot. So we were hopeful that we would still be able to see of the lovely sights that we knew Yosemite had to offer.
As soon as we pulled through the gate at Tioga Pass, the ranger informed us that we could drive through the park, but that pulling off to the side and parking was “strictly prohibited.” We decided to just see how the other tourists were following this stupid rule before we decided how closely we would obey. And sure enough, only about 5 miles in, we saw a few cars pulled to the side and people outside taking pictures. So we followed suit, and were treated to the sight of a coyote hunting in the field. Not exactly a grizzly sighting, but hey, we would take what we could get.
All through the park we saw cars pulled to the side of the road taking pictures. It didn’t appear that the rangers were doing much about it – I assume they don’t like the shutdown anymore than we do. We did pull over a few times ourselves, and other times I just took the pictures from a moving car with a really fast shutter speed.
We weren’t the only ones taking pictures from a car….this couple in front of us had the same idea.
The road outside of Yosemite going back towards Highway 395 was pretty in and of itself. If you’re going to spend the day in a car, enjoying sights like this makes it worthwhile.
Even though it was a disappointing way to have to see Yosemite, we still got a glimpse of its beauty. It’ll definitely be on the agenda for 2014.
4 thoughts on “Yosemite during a Government Shutdown”
Some rules just need to be broken. Hope you let the dogs off-leash too.
The whole government shut-down is a total SNAFU, if you know what I mean.
Agree you have to go back! You only scratch the surface there is more to see. Avoid summer at all cost. early or late in the season would be best. Because of its beauty, the crowd there is horrendous.
I have found the best two times to visit Yosemite is in the spring (Mid-May) and fall (First week of November). This year, 2016, there should be a superb spring with lots of water in all the water falls. In May you can only get access to the Yosemite Valley, the high country will likely still be closed with snow.