Holiday weekend expected to draw crowds to Yosemite


The crowds come as park officials investigate an outbreak of a stomach illness

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California (KSEE) — Many flocked to Yosemite National Park Friday to see the park’s fresh coat of snow brought by Thursday’s storm. It came in time for a holiday weekend when more visitors are expected.

However, all of this comes as park officials are still investigating an outbreak of stomach illnesses in staff and visitors.

Felix Martin Del Campo made the trip to the park from Visalia with his three cameras in tow. After hearing the storm brought some snow, the photographer had to see Yosemite’s iconic Tunnel View in a new way.

“It’s a winter wonderland, so to speak,” he said. “I never have seen it where you had the snow still laying in the trees.”

Snowfall usually is enough to draw people to the park, but with it being a three-day weekend because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday — staff are expecting bigger crowds.

Especially since holidays are free entrance days.

“We anticipate it to be a busy weekend starting today through Monday, so [visitors should] be prepared potentially for traffic and other crowds,” said park spokeswoman Jamie Richards.

The bigger crowds come as the park is investigating the cause of a stomach illness outbreak this month. In statements, the park said 170 visitors and staff who spent time in Yosemite Valley got infected with something consistent to norovirus around the first week of January.

At this time, two of those cases are confirmed to be norovirus, according to the park.

Where it originated is still unclear, so staff has been working to disinfect all public buildings and facilities like restaurants and bathrooms.

General safety guidelines people should follow:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • If there’s no soap readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid sharing food or drinks.

If you feel you catch something, make sure to stay hydrated.

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