When Yosemite National Park announced that Tioga Road (continuation of Highway 120 through the park) was to open on Thursday, June 29, at 8 am, you know I had to be there.
We were at the spot on Tioga Road where the gate had been closed for the winter by 0741 and it was already opened! There were several signs warning of water and debris on the road but what we saw was pretty minimal. Conditions could always change so you want to pay attention. We made a few stops along the road and thought you might like to check out the conditions for yourself.
We stopped by Olmsted Point for some quick pictures and a marmot was there to welcome us back.
Tenaya Lake reflections in the morning never disappoint!
We made a quick stop at Tuolumne Meadows.
I wanted to give you a feeling for how much snow was at the parking lot at the Tioga Pass entrance. Of course, much of this was from the lowing but it is still substantial.
The staff at the Tioga Pass entrance were really happy to welcome everyone back into the park.
Tioga Lake was still iced over and looking mighty pretty in the morning.
We stopped by Tioga Resort to see some of the snow damage. Doesn’t look good.
We parked at Saddlebag Lake Road, which was closed and walked up the road which was clear of snow up to the resort. The road follows Lee Vining Creek on the way up and it was full of beautiful views.
When we arrived at Saddlebag Lake, we could help but notice the 8 to 10 feet of snow that still surrounded the Saddlebag Lake Resort Cafe at 10,000′ elevation.
Saddlebag Lake was just gorgeous! But those suncups made walking quite the challenge.
After lunch on a rock, we walked back to our vehicle but were drawn to one last look at Tioga Lake in the afternoon sun.
If you plan on taking the drive up this beautiful scenic road, you will want to check out the Road Conditions page that Yosemite National Parks maintains or contact them because conditions can change pretty quick. No food, lodging, or gas will be available along the road. While the road will be open, hikers should expect snowy and/or flooded conditions on trails. Please stop by the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center (open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm) to get trail conditions before hiking in the area.