Yosemite National Park , May 6th 2016 – Yosemite National Park has been working since mid-April to open full access to the park. With the early May Storms that are sitting int he Sierra right now, here are some quick updates on expected road closures and delayed openings you can expect.
Updated May 4, 2016
Park road crews have been plowing the Tioga Road since April 18. Crews have plowed one lane to Tenaya Lake, however, there is still no estimated opening date.
Crews still need to plow the full width of the road, as well as side roads. Safety considerations (e.g., avalanche zones, icy road conditions), additional road work, hazard tree removal, continuing snowy weather, and very dense snow are all factors affecting when the road might open.
We will update this page if or when the road partially opens to cyclists before it opens to vehicles.
Glacier Point Road
The Glacier Point Road opened for the season on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at 9 am. However due to the Storm System that hit the Sierra on Thursday Glacier Point Road is Closed Friday, May 6th and will be reevaluated Saturday, May 7th for access. The road is subject to closure during stormy weather. Call 209/372-0200 (then 1, 1) to check on its current status.
Ever wonder what it will take to open Tioga Pass. Here is a great video shot in 2005 of the crew opening Tioga around Olmsted Point which is where crews are approaching at this point this season.
- Why does it take so long to open the roads?
Road repairs, ditching, and brushing operations must occur once snow has melted back enough. The roads may also remain very icy even after they’re plowed.Additionally, these are common causes for slow progress on the Tioga Road:
- Avalanche zones (26 potential areas). The Olmsted Point avalanche zone requires careful work, including application of charcoal over the snow to help with melting and blasting the snow slab to make it safer for personnel.
- Heavy snow pack slows the whole operation.
- Trees that have fallen across the road and been buried in the snow can cause substantial damage to equipment and result in a stop to all operations until they’re cleared.
- Rockfalls buried by the snow can cause substantial damage to the equipment and result in a stop to all operations.
- Snow storms during the opening require a stop to Tioga Road operations in order to plow and sand park roads that are open.