Yosemite Plan Boosts Camping Space
Barring another lawsuit, a nearly 40% increase in campground space will be allowed in the Yosemite Valley under the final Merced River plan released Friday by the National Park Service, National Parks Traveler reported.
Yosemite National Park officials seemingly acquiesced on initial intentions to remove ice skating, rafting, and bicycling from the scenic, but compact, valley. Those activities, which a congressman rose to defend after the draft plan was released a year ago, will continue to be allowed, though the Curry Ice Rink and the rafting concession will be moved away from the river corridor.
At the National Parks Conservation Association, Neal Desai thought the plan was a good solution to protect the river corridor through the Yosemite Valley. He acknowledged Friday that the daily cap on visitors is similar to what it has been — 20,100 measured in the eastern end of the valley — but thought that once all elements of the plan are incorporated that the valley wouldn’t feel as crowded as it does now at the peak of summer.
According to the plan, camping will be increased by 37% in Yosemite Valley. This includes building 72 sites in the location of the former Upper and Lower River Campgrounds, 35 walk-in sites east of Camp 4, and 87 sites at the existing Upper Pines Campground. An additional 40 drive-in campsites will be provided at the Trailer Park Village in El Portal.
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