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Posted on: May 22, 2020

Lake Yosemite Remains Open to Public, Passes on Sale

Merced County Lake Yosemite

Lake Yosemite will remain open to the public over the Memorial Day weekend with various precautions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While the park, lake and parking lots are open, the current Public Health Order is still in effect. Visitors should maintain social distancing and limit group sizes to 10 people or fewer. For current information about COVID-19 in Merced County, please visit www.countyofmerced.com/coronavirus.

Both playgrounds, the walking pier, and large group picnic areas are closed off to prevent large group gatherings. Individual picnic tables and barbecues are still available for use, and the bathrooms are open. All facilities are cleaned on a routine basis to prevent the spread of germs.

Entry fees were delayed this year in order to encourage mental health and well-being through socially-distanced activities. As of this afternoon, entry fees are being charged and annual passes are available:

  • Entrance Fees
    • Vehicle: $6
    • Boat: $6
    • Bus: $10
  • Annual Passes
    • Vehicles
      • 1st Pass: $50
      • 2nd Pass: $20
    • Senior Citizen: $30
    • 2nd Senior Pass: $15
  • Boats
    • 1st Pass: $50
    • 2nd Pass: $25
    • Senior Citizen: $30
    • 2nd Senior Pass: $15

Merced County also wants to remind the public to exercise caution around the water as the summer season approaches. In addition to the rules attached below, it is important to note that there are no lifeguards at Lake Yosemite, which means that families need to keep a watchful eye on their children and loved ones. Any visitors that choose to swim do so at their own risk. The shoreline can contain rough rocks, slippery soil, and potentially submerged items. These conditions could pose dangers to visitors.

For more information regarding Merced County parks, please contact Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Bryan Behn at 209-385-7426 or at Bryan.Behn@countyofmerced.com.

County Park Rules and Water Safety Recommendations

Park rules at Lake Yosemite include:

  • All swimming is done at your own risk
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed on the beach areas
  • No swimming with long pants
  • No flotation devices at Main Beach swimming area
  • Do not mix alcohol and swimming
  • All barbecues must be fully extinguished and dumped in the proper receptacles
  • No dumping of hot coals in the trash cans or on the ground 
  • All park patrons should wear shoes at all times
  • Boating Rules at Lake Yosemite are posted, and all Harbors and Navigation Rules are applicable
  • NO swimming in the dock areas  

Water Safety:

Small children should not be left alone near the water.  With large crowds in the water, it’s sometimes difficult to see small children behind larger people. Never enter the water farther than you can manage. 

Sunscreen should be worn, and drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration can occur and cause cramping. 

Hagaman and Henderson Parks

Both parks border the Merced River, and although it may be inviting, swimming is not allowed.  The River is dangerous and has undercurrents that make the area very unsafe for swimmers.

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