YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KSEE24) – Yosemite National Park is open for visitors after turning away many sightseers during a temporary shutdown at the start of the pandemic.

But before you take the drive up Highway 41, a few hours north of Fresno, know that you must make a reservation this summer.

“While conditions are improving COVID-19 is still with us. The health and safety of park visitors is out top priority. And we are managing visitation for public health and safety,” said Yosemite park ranger Jamie Richards.

Not only will the reservation system help everyone keep their social distance from people outside their group, it will also help you decide what opportunities you will want to take advantage of ahead of time, such as hiking up one of the waterfall trails, biking in Yosemite Valley, or just catching a glimpse of Half Dome from Tunnel View.

“So there really is something for everyone. This is why trip planning is key. Take time to connect with your family and find out what activities your family is interested in,” Richards said.

Be prepared to do a lot of walking. The shuttle service inside Yosemite Valley this year has been suspended due to COVID-19.

A little extra walking didn’t stop an 80-year-old Pasadena woman from making her first visit.

“It is just so beautiful and I think everybody at least once in their life time should come and visit Yosemite,” said Zeenat Edwards.

After flying across the country for several hours, a Kansas City family couldn’t believe this national treasure is only a short drive away for people living in the Golden State.

“I do think that it is amazing for all Californians that this is in their backyard. It really is an amazing national park,” said Wendy Hulsing from Kansas City.

Now if you want to catch the waterfalls such as Yosemite Falls, you better make reservations quick.

The waterfalls are at their peak but the end of July they start to run dry.