YOSEMITE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The National Park Service announced Wednesday that visitors to Yosemite will need reservations for the last three weekends of February 2024, as part of efforts to manage the crowd of people wanting to see Horsetail Falls.
Thousands of visitors flock to Yosemite National Park’s Horsetail Falls to see the waterfall that – when it is backlit by the sunset – glows orange to make it appear like the water is on fire. Horsetail Falls glows orange for approximately two weeks in February. The event attracts many visitors to a small area – causing traffic congestion, parking issues and safety concerns.
Officials say that the surge in visitation has led to full parking lots, parking overflowing into traffic lanes, pedestrian-vehicle conflicts causing safety issues and damage to natural and cultural resources.
To manage visitor activity, the National Park Service says they will require visitors to make reservations to drive into Yosemite National Park on the weekends of Feb. 10-11, Feb. 17-19 and Feb. 24-25 of 2024.
Visitors who arrive Mondays through Fridays won’t need a reservation – except visitors arriving on Monday, Feb. 19.
There is a $35 car entrance fee which is valid for seven days, regardless of the day of arrival.
For those wanting to make reservations to see Horsetail Falls, reservations will be made available beginning at 8 a.m. on Dec. 1. Initially 50% of day-use reservations will be available for all three weekends; the other 50% of day-use reservations will be made available starting at 8 a.m. two days before the day-use reservation date. Reservations can be made by clicking here.
Officials say that if visitors have lodging reservations for certain lodges and campgrounds, they will not need a reservation.
More information on reservations can be found on Yosemite National Park Service’s website.