Animals are taking over. These stunning photos show Yosemite without tourists

An empty trail leading to the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls
An empty trail leading to the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The powerful energy of a waterfall teeming with spring runoff, Half Dome dusted in snow and the lines of cars filled with tourists to see it. On any other April inside Yosemite National Park, that would be the case. Not this April.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the park is closed, campgrounds are empty, and the trails are void of people.

The local residents aren’t complaining. The deer, bobcats, coyotes and bears no longer have to deal with the hordes of camera-toting tourists vying to capture nature. They now roam unfettered.

Los Angeles Times photographer Carolyn Cole gives us an inside look at the park and its return to the wild.

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Open meadows

Deer feed in Yosemite Valley
Deer feed in Yosemite Valley. Yosemite National Park is closed to visitors due to the coronavirus, allowing the animals to roam without having to worry about crowds of people.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Merced River

Yosemite National Park is closed due to the coronavirus outbreak
The Merced River flows through the Yosemite Valley, with Bridalveil Fall in the background.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Residents

Yosemite National Park
Dane Peterson, left, Warren McClain and Billy Sanchez take a break along Northside Drive, just east of Horsetail Fall, soaking in the bright, warm sun. The three work at the Ahwahnee Hotel.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

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Thanks to the coronavirus, Yosemite National Park is closed, the campgrounds are empty and the trails are void of people.

Tunnel view

Yosemite Valley seen from the Tunnel View
Yosemite Valley seen from the Tunnel View overlook on April 11. The popular lookout, normally filled with tour buses and visitors, sits empty.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Wildlife in abundance

coyote, Yosemite National Park
A coyote wanders around Curry Village, looking for a meal in Yosemite Valley.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
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A bobcat, left, hunts for a meal, while a squirrel roams Yosemite Valley.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Half Dome

Half Dome
Half Dome is dusted with snow and clouds inside a closed Yosemite National Park.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Curry Village

coyote, Curry Village
A coyote wanders through the tent camps at Curry Village inside Yosemite National Park.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Sunrise in Yosemite Valley

El Capitan bathed in light at sunrise inside Yosemite National Park
El Capitan is bathed in light at sunrise inside Yosemite National Park.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls seen from across the Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Falls seen from across the Yosemite Valley.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Early warning

Yosemite National Park remains closed to visitors due to the coronavirus outbreak
A freeway sign alerts travelers that Yosemite National Park remains closed to visitors due to the coronavirus outbreak.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

These are some of the unusual new scenes across the Southland during the coronavirus outbreak.

Getty Images’ John Moore documented emergency medical workers on the ground in New York in the first week of April as the coronavirus ravaged the state.

Eerie photos and stunning aerial shots show what California looks like under Gov. Newsom’s “stay at home” order.

Los Angeles Times’ visual coverage of the coronavirus crisis

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