YOSEMITE — Due to the exceptionally heavy snowpack in Yosemite National Park and the subsequent extensive damage to many park facilities, officials have announced that there will be late seasonal openings to facilities throughout the park.
Yosemite National Park experienced significant snowfall over the winter season. The March 1 snow survey showed that both the Merced and Tuolumne River drainages are measuring at approximately 143 percent of normal.
The final snow survey of the year will be conducted on April 1.
Several significant storm systems in January and February produced high levels of snow, which resulted in temporary road closures, rock and debris slides, and falling trees. Additionally, these storms resulted in extensive damage to facilities throughout the park.
Damage to facilities includes trees falling on and damaging campground restrooms, utilities systems compromised, tent cabins damaged or destroyed, and falling trees impacting campsites, parking areas, hiking trails, and roads.
Although the park will begin plowing the Glacier Point and Tioga Roads in April, neither road is anticipated to be open before Memorial Day. Extensive snow along Tioga Road portends a late opening, say officials, and park visitors should plan accordingly.
For the latest updates on park programs and facilities, please visit this NPS link.
Several facilities operated by Yosemite Hospitality, the park’s primary Concessioner, are also expected to open later than usual. For the latest information on concession-operated programs and facilities, please visit TravelYosemite.com.
Park visitors should anticipate additional late openings, including the installation of the Half Dome cables, the Mariposa Grove Visitor Shuttle, and vehicular access to the Mariposa Grove parking areas.
As spring temperatures begin to warm, the park will see significant snowmelt resulting in higher levels of water in rivers and streams. This cold and swift-moving water poses a potential hazard to park visitors. All visitors are reminded to take special precautions around water, especially around stream crossings. Even the best swimmers can find themselves in a difficult situation under the current water conditions, warn park officials.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200 and press 1.
Photos show damage to facilities in Half Dome Village and Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley.