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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA - The budget battle in Washington has made Yosemite off limits to nearly every person who'd like to be there.

Those that still had reservations for Wednesday night are not only getting to stay, but experiencing a remarkably empty world-class destination.

"This is what Yosemite must have been like years ago when it's not overrun with tourists," Lake Tahoe resident Michele Braganca said. "It's just wonderful, such a treat."

The park was closedto tourists who didn't have a Wednesday reservation;many attractions in the park, like Glacier Point,were unreachable. Still, with so much of the park available, those remaining can't believe their luck.

"We booked herethree months ago. Then we heard it was shut down and thought 'oh no,'"England resident David Taylorsaid. "We turned up and couldn't believe it was open.We were due out tomorrow anyway, so it worked out for us."

Everyone is expected out of the park by 3 p.m. Thursday, but the park will be open for drivers using highways to get from one side of Yosemite to the other.

It'll be tempting to stop and take pictures, but park rangers are making it clear they're not to stop.

By Tim Daly,tdaly@news10.net