It’s going to be a busy Memorial Day weekend, and nearby national and state parks are bracing for the annual rise in visitors.
Yosemite National Park posted a visitors advisory on its Facebook page, cautioning about the need to arrive early or wait till early evening to avoid large crowds and heavy traffic. Visitors are urged to arrive before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. to avoid major congestion and find a place to park. Visitors can expect delays in the Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point.
As an alternative, the park suggests using Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System buses, which pick up visitors in Fresno as well as at stops at Chukchansi Resort & Casino and in Oakhurst. One-way tickets start at $15 each. For more information, visit www.yarts.com.
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At Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Sequoia Shuttle will begin summer operations Thursday, connecting south San Joaquin Valley cities with those parks for just a $15 round-trip ticket. The shuttle departs from points in Visalia, Exeter and Three Rivers several times a day, seven days a week. Riders will receive unlimited shuttle service inside the parks. Reservations can be made at www.sequoiashuttle.com.
California State Parks will be offering free admission on Memorial Day to active and reserve military as well as veterans at most sites, including recreation areas at Millerton Lake, San Luis Reservoir and Henry W. Coe State Park.
Hume Lake, Chicago Stump, Buck Rock, Tenmile and all campgrounds in the Hume Lake Ranger District are expected to be open by the holiday. However, much of the area between Mill Flat Creek north to Verplank Ridge, the western and northern portions of Converse Grove, and areas east of Hume Lake and north of Burton Pass including all of Monarch Wilderness, remained inaccessible under a Rough Fire Closure order.
Big game – Big game hunters have one week to submit applications for the tag drawing, with a June 2 deadline set by Fish and Wildlife. Applications for elk, antelope, premium deer tags and fundraising drawing tags can be submitted anywhere fishing or hunting licenses are sold.
CCASC fundraiser – Enjoy an Evening in the Sierra Nevada with a tri-tip dinner, wine tasting, dessert auction and more on the shore of Shaver Lake as part of a fundraiser for the Central California Adaptive Sports Center.
The center is a nonprofit headquartered at China Peak that brings outdoor adventure programs to persons with disabilities through the latest in adaptive recreation equipment.
Outdoor school – Like hiking and running? Learn how to mix the two at the Fresno REI Outdoor School’s free 90-minute trailrunning workshop at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Other classes include an introduction to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park on May 31 and an International & Adventure Travel Basics course June 3. Space is limited. Reserve your spot at www.rei.com/fresno.
National Trails Day – The country’s national celebration of trails is set for June 4, with events at Camp Pashayan in Fresno and Sequoia/Kings Canyon.
▪ Camp Pashayan: The Watershed Stewards Program and San Joaquin River Parkway Conservation Trust will lead a team of volunteers to help clean up the river by picking up trash and removing invasive scarlet wisteria. The day will start at 8 a.m. with a nature walk followed by a geocache hunt. Gloves, tools, water and food will be provided.
▪ Sequoia/Kings Canyon: The parks will be waiving entrance fees for National Trails Day, with ranger-led programs held at Grant Grove, Lodgepole and Giant Forest.