Wet Weather Impacts Travel to Yosemite

May 26, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many people cancelled plans to visit the national park over the holiday weekend, and others left early. But Memorial Day brought better weather and longer lines to Yosemite.A steady stream of cars filed into Yosemite on Memorial Day despite the overcast skies and cool temperatures.

Robert Pond/Yosemite Visitor: "It is chilly and I've been in California since 1950 and this is the wettest may storm I've ever experienced."

Robert Pond and Maureen McGettigan drove here from the Bay Area to enjoy incredible sights like cascading waterfalls and grazing deer. But they had trouble finding a spot to spend the night.

Maureen McGettigan: "We called about 2 months ago, and I had to call back every single day for a month in a row to get a cancellation."

This is traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the year in the park, and rangers say most of the campgrounds were booked months in advance. But unexpected snow and rain led some people to cancel their plans and other to leave early over the weekend. Fortunately attendance appeared to be back up on Monday.

Adrienne Freeman/Yosemite Park Ranger: "What I'm hearing this morning is that more and more people are coming today when there's a break in the weather so we're happy that people are coming up and enjoying their weekend."

And these hikers from Virginia were happy to hear that Tioga Pass re-opened Monday morning after the weather kept it closed Saturday and Sunday.

Kyle Sartelle/Yosemite visitor: "The trail we're hiking had a big issue with the road closing so in the days leading up to the trip it would open then close hours later. And then reopen then close. So we're going to run over there while it's still open."

But rain or shine, visitors here say Yosemite is still a majestic destination.

Robert Pond: "It's quite a place. I've loved this place since I was a little guy. It's just a wonderful place to come."


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