Thousands spend holiday in Yosemite
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Thousands of people spent Memorial Day in Yosemite. The national park has taken to improve safety after last summer's deadly hantavirus outbreak.
Families flocked to Yosemite from across the country and around the world to enjoy the beautiful scenery on this unofficial start of summer.
"It's really awe inspiring, you can't really explain how around every turn, or a few miles down it's so different, and it's just very, very enjoyable," Linda McCann from Michigan said.
Hundreds rented rafts for a ride down the Merced River. Rangers say the water level is high despite a below average snowpack.
Just last week, the park held its annual swift water rescue training to prepare for the holiday crowds.
"They give a wonderful orientation before you get out on the water, and I think it's just important to have two strong paddlers in the boat and to really pay attention to the kids," Lynn Waelde, tourist from Mountain View, said.
The park has also prepared for the busy tourism season by demolishing all 91 of the double wall tent cabins here at Curry Village that were associated with last summer's hantavirus outbreak and replacing them with these new single-wall tent cabins.
The park had nine confirmed cases of people becoming sick from hantavirus, which is spread through deer mice droppings. Three of the patients died, but these new cabins are designed to keep the animals out.
"I was concerned because I read about it before, but then we came here and there were pamphlets everywhere and signs, it looks clean, we looked through our room when we got here, and it looks great," tourist from Los Angeles Lori Thompson said.
Yosemite can get seven to eight thousand cars and 25-thousand people over the memorial day weekend, and those we spoke with say this holiday seemed no different, but the traffic didn't stop visitors from soaking in the sights.
"It's just so gorgeous, what a beautiful place, what a national treasure, I just absolutely love this place, all of the national parks, but particularly Yosemite," Ashok Srivastava, tourist from Mountain View, said.
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