They close the road to Crescent Meadow and Moro Rock except for the shuttle (and those with a disability placard). You could drive your car down to the museum area and use that as a hub for the shuttle if you wanted the ability to see a few things not on the shuttle route.
Cookie: isn't there a time range on the Crescent Meadow road closure? When we were there back in June, I think the road was closed to private vehicles between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM on weekends. As it happened, we got onto the road at 8:45 AM and there was no sign that the road would be closing; it was not unitl we were leaving in the early afternoon that we saw the sign on the way out.
OhioHick is correct. During the summer months, the Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow road is only closed to private vehicles on weekends and holidays, and even during those periods it is only closed from 9am to 4pm. You can view the official information here: nps.gov/seki/…road-conditions.htm
In terms of whether or not to take the shuttle, I generally recommend it if the stops are in the same places you're wanting to go. However, it's entirely up to you as the visitor.
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