With Yosemite Valley closed, tourists move to Mariposa

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Though the rain may dampen some weekend plans inside Yosemite, it's generate more activity in Mariposa. (KFSN)

As rainfall soaked the North Valley Friday, slick roadways seemed to be the least of people's worries.

Yosemite National Park's most popular tourist attraction, the valley floor, was forced to close, sending droves of people to nearby towns.

Stephanie and Jessica Anderson drove 6 hours from Monte Bello with their friends. Though they heard about the closure before they left, Stephanie says they decided to make the most of the trip they planned.

"We were kinda bummed but we decided well find something else around town. We're going to improvise."

Lilly and George Pontes used the change in their itinerary to pick up souvenirs. They flew in from Rio de Janeiro Wednesday to visit the iconic national park. George says they're just happy they made it to the valley floor at least once on their vacation.

"Yosemite is fantastic, a lot of wilderness, very beautiful indeed."

This latest storm system is expected to drop 3-4 inches of rain prompting a flood watch in effect through Sunday for elevations below 7,000 feet.

Though that may dampen some weekend plans, Carrie Kidwell with the Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau says they're seeing it generate more activity in Mariposa.

"A lot of the hotels in town have accommodations to accommodate those that have their reservations canceled within the park and their activities canceled within the park."

She adds there is plenty to do rain or shine, including the gem and mineral show at the fairgrounds and a beer competition at a local brewery.
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