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Much of Yosemite Unaffected by Rim Fire

September 2, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

As firefighters battle the Rim Fire at the northwestern edge of Yosemite National Park, the rest of the park remains virtually unaffected by the blaze.

Tourism officials say that while the fire continues to dominate headlines, most Yosemite travelers can still visit the park and never even know about the drama playing out on the other side.gI_83580_Pat_Althizer_Rim_Fire

“People don’t realize just how incredibly large Yosemite is,” said Jarrod Lyman with the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, the entity responsible for marketing Yosemite’s southern entrance and surrounding Madera County.

“Yosemite is the size of Rhode Island, and the fire is only impacting one area of the park,” he said.

The majority of fire activity happening is near Lake Eleanor and the Hetch Hetchy area. While all of Yosemite has seen about 1.47 million visitors as of June of this year, Hetch Hetchy only recorded fewer than 22,000 visitors, a small percentage of the park visitation.

The most popular part of the park, Yosemite Valley, remains virtually smoke free. That means visitors can take in the famous views without the Rim Fire having any effect on their trip.

“We’ve been directing visitors to the Yosemite Conservancy webcams which show up-to-date images of some of the valley’s top attractions, and without fail guests have come away happy knowing their vacation plans don’t need to be changed.”

“Popular spots such as the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia, Wawona, Glacier Point, Tunnel View and all of Yosemite Valley are open and there are no restrictions or affects from the fire,” Lyman said.

While the fire has caused the closure of one of the park’s entrances, Highway 120, three other routes remain open.

“Our entrance, Highway 41, is still wide open with no issues from the fire,” Lyman said, “Travelers can also take Highway 140 and the eastern Highway 120 entrance, known as the Tioga Road,” he said.

Travelers have numerous resources to help them plan their trip or answer any questions they may have regarding the Rim Fire or Yosemite travel in general.

Guests can call the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau at 559-683-4636 and speak to a live person who can assist them. Updated road conditions can be found by calling 209-372-0200 and then pressing 1 and 1 again. The Yosemite Conservancy Webcams are available at

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