As the fifth highest waterfall on the planet, Yosemite Falls is one of the world’s most photographed natural wonders — and the area around it is one of the most heavily tromped, trampled, and otherwise degraded. The falls attract about 3 million visitors per year, which has lead to despoiled trails, jam-packed parking lots, and overcrowded bathrooms. All that could change courtesy of a two-year, $12.5 million restoration plan announced yesterday. Under the plan, a loop trail around the falls will be restored, access for the disabled and restroom facilities will be improved, and the parking lot by the falls will be removed. (Visitors will instead park at a central facility and be shuttled to the waterfall by bus.) The restoration is the first stage in the Yosemite Valley Plan, a blueprint for relieving traffic congestion and restoring the wonders of the national park.
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