Yosemite braces for President Obama, busy weekend

Press release

Yosemite National Park anticipates an extremely busy weekend, as record visitation continues and the park prepares for President Obama’s historic visit to Yosemite June 17 – 19.

The White House announced last week that the President and First Family will celebrate Father’s Day weekend with a family trip to Carlsbad Caverns and Yosemite National Parks.

“We are honored to host the President and First Family and we remain committed, as always, to serving every visitor to Yosemite,” said Don Neubacher, Park Superintendent. “We want to give all visitors advance notice that heavy traffic congestion, full parking lots and several short-term area closures are anticipated throughout the weekend, particularly in Yosemite Valley.” Yosemite staff will be implementing mitigation measures to ensure that visitor impacts are minimized.

President John F. Kennedy, with California Governor Pat Brown, was the last sitting President to visit Yosemite National Park in 1962. Don Neubacher, Park Superintendent, hopes visitors will appreciate the historic nature of this opportunity, that has not happened for over sixty years. “We encourage patience and understanding as the park staff manages any temporary visitor impacts.”

So far this calendar year, visitation to the park has increased by over 20% from 2015’s record visitation. Both last year and so far this spring, the park has seen traffic congestion, delays of up to two hours and full parking lots on weekends and holidays.

To reduce travel frustration and optimize sightseeing and recreational opportunities, the park will provide visitors with travel advisories before and during the President’s visit. Those advisories will be posted on the park’s website and shared through the park’s social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.
As is typical on June weekends visitors should expect extensive traffic delays and several temporary short-term area closures. Detailed information about these closures is still being developed and will be released as soon as possible. The park and the White House are working actively to minimize closures in the park during the President’s visit, while ensuring the safety and security of the First Family.

Visitors are urged to enter the park before 8:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. to avoid traffic congestion and difficulty finding parking. Entering between these times will add to congestion and will likely lead to traffic delays of two or more hours.

Visitors are urged to use Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) buses that serve the park from several gateway communities and help reduce travel delays and congestion.

Local and regional visitors may wish to reschedule their trip for another weekend or during the weekdays. Visitors are also urged to enjoy neighboring gateway communities and other Sierra public lands and sites this weekend.

Nearby areas such as Groveland, Eastern Sierra/Mammoth (Mono County), Oakhurst, Mariposa, and other public lands provide outstanding scenic and recreational opportunities and are likely to be less crowded this weekend.

All climbing routes from and including Church Bowl east to Washington Column (Washington Column itself remains open) will be closed from Thursday sunset through Sunday afternoon. This includes Bishops Terrace, Royal Arches, Serenity Crack, Son’s of Yesterday.

All campgrounds within Yosemite National Park on the reservation system are sold out through the weekend. There are a very limited number of first-come, first-served campsites within the park and those are expected to fill early.

For 24 hour road and weather information, call 209-372-0200.


16 Responses to Yosemite braces for President Obama, busy weekend

  1. Charles O. Jones June 21, 2016 at 6:43 am #

    If Trump gets elected he’ll probably visit YNP too – for the GRAND opening of his new Trump casino. And Trump’s the one who could actually complete the other half of the dome.

  2. Tinner June 19, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    Kinda self centered and selfish to visit Yosemite on Fathers Day weekend, isn’t it?
    He couldn’t visit midweek? What a shame.

  3. Philip Anaya June 19, 2016 at 6:01 am #

    We have experienced two eight year Presidencies. Not only is there a vast difference between the two, George W and Barack O, there was also a vast political divide amongst us. “Impeach Chaney First” bumper stickers have been replaced by “Obummer” and the radical Islamic fanatics recognize the divisions and play and take advantage of this weakness every chance they get. In the land of the free there are many outlets for expression and varied emotional responses, but the ones that will defeat disease, ignorance, hate, hunger and all of that are a considered unified voice all pulling the wagon together to defeat despair. It is well past time for an American and a global human golden age .

  4. Free Four June 19, 2016 at 5:39 am #

    When did they build a golf course in Yosemite valley?

  5. Low Inyo June 18, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    Presto…I think the hot-air is coming from Las Vegas,Nevada,from what I’ve seen on the news Saturday afternoon….

  6. Jaws39 June 18, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    many experts are warning, as this country is ugly, depressing and unappealing like a desert slaughterhouse whose people are corrupt, indulgent, inbred, unintelligent, lazy, fat, cruel, inept and completely flaky and unreliable and have no skills nor work ethics

    • antoniolupi June 22, 2016 at 10:39 am #

      Nice. I think you’re seeking to offend someone, but failed to make one single iota of sense, What are the experts warning?

    • Charles O. Jones June 22, 2016 at 11:53 am #

      Which experts are warning this? And experts in what exactly?

  7. Presto June 17, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

    That’s where all the hot air will be coming from this weekend. Wink..

  8. Trouble June 17, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

    Obama must have must have reserved his campsite years ago.

  9. All Wrong June 17, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    Thanks for the Long Delays…
    I’m Sure all the tourists will understand.

  10. Bone June 17, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    Hope the bears are hungry.

    • Best President Ever June 18, 2016 at 6:30 am #

      So, the President visits one of America’s most popular national parks – with his family – and all you can do is hope he gets be eaten by a bear?

      Good example of the mindless hate of so many folk in Inyo County and Bishop.

      • Presto June 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

        Says the one who will cast there vote this year for ‘The Biggest Thief Ever’

        • antoniolupi June 22, 2016 at 10:45 am #

          Oh, yes, right. Because the Republican ticket is sooooo inviting. Kinda casting stones from a glass house, aren’t you?

      • Low Inyo June 21, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

        Best President Ever….So true,with the name you use,and what you had to say…..but the good thing is,with their hate and the rhetoric they use….the angry lot they are….is that they have NO CHANCE of taking it to the White House come November….what trump has done is show what the Republican party is really all about…and who they have waited for so long to “tell it like it is “….now they got it…..but oops !!…..now it looks like they don’t want it…the upcoming GOP convention is going to be like a three-ring circus…it’s going to be so interesting to see which GOP Governors,Senators and speakers at this convention are going to commit political suicide by backing and endorsing their head clown.


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