Record winter has Yosemite waterfalls roaring in time for spring break

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Record winter has Yosemite waterfalls roaring in time for spring break
Entrance to Yosemite National Park will be free for visitors over the next two weekends in April.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK -- After nearly five years of drought, water is flowing again in the creeks and falls of Yosemite National Park.

"As folks know it has been a great winter. We've had record snowpacks," Park Ranger Scott Gediman said. "The waterfalls are great, and they are just starting to get great."

Gediman is with the National Park Service, and he says Yosemite had over five million visitors last year. He expects that again this year, and spring break marks the beginning of a busy tourist season that runs through the summer. "Our best advice for people coming to the park right now is, on the roads, is just to drive slow," he said. "Be aware of your surroundings, give yourself plenty of time and be careful."

But the increase of traffic, limited parking and several construction projects are not stopping visitors from across the country from seeing the beautiful scenery Yosemite has to offer. "You kind of drive into some pretty high peaks and pretty big waterfalls," visitor Matt Smith said. "It's all right the for you."

Gediman expects bigger crowds when the $30 entrance fee is waived for visitors during the next two weekends. "These are good for the days so folks can come in. They don't have to pay the park entrance fee," he said. "If you are coming, you still have to pay that fee and others, but the free weekends are a great way for people to come up."

Entrance to the park will be free for visitors on the weekend of April 15 and 16 and again April 22 and 23.