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Yosemite National Park- October 9 Report

-Submitted by Mike Gauthier

Dear Yosemite Community,

The winter weather advisory for the Sierra Mountains above 6,000 feet continues until Thursday morning. Snow accumulations between 2-5 inches and increased winds are predicted. The bulk of the precipitation will occur tonight. The Tioga Pass road from Crane Flat to Tioga Pass remains closed because of compact snow and ice. NPS work crews will reassess the road and reopen as soon as possible when conditions are safe for drivers.

Be on the look out for wildlife along and near park roads. In October and November, acorns and other natural foods draw bears and other wildlife to roadsides. Recently, a sow and her two cubs were foraging near the Wawona Road and deer are also spending time within a few feet of roadways.

Traffic updates – expect delays in the Wawona Tunnel as work crews complete safety improvements. Starting this Sunday night, October 13, thru traffic should expect 30-minute delays between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm, 2-hour traffic delays between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, and 15-minute delays between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm. The delays will include single lane traffic control with pilot car operations escorting traffic thru the construction zone. Also – at the South Entrance – Yosemite thru-travelers should expect intermittent delays of up to 15 minutes with either a flagger and/or pilot car. Please drive slowly thru all construction areas.

Free movie and popcorn night! Thursday evening, October 10, in the Yosemite Valley Chapel at 6:30 PM. Come see “The Wizard of Oz”.

DNC employees are offered a free bus ride to the Big Fresno Fair this Friday, October 11. The scheduled departure from YTS is at 11 AM. The bus returns from Fresno at 10 PM. Employees are required to sign-up in advance through the Wellness Center (see below for more information).

Free breakfast – Once again DNC offers free breakfast for Yosemite Valley residents and their immediate family on October 12 from 7 AM to 10 AM in the Curry Village Pavillion. Last Monday’s free dinner was a huge success and this will be too.

Shuttle service between Yosemite Valley and the Yosemite View Lodge is available for Yosemite Valley Community members. If you want to connect with the YARTS at the Yosemite Valley Lodge, call 209-372-1172 to schedule a free reservation.

At this time, no actionable information is available about a possible appropriation for government services. Until the shutdown is over, Yosemite employees on furlough are advised to check daily for up to date information on when to return to work.

An updated list of community services is below.

Community Services

Village Store: Friday October 4 and after: 11 AM- 6 PM. DNC is offering 25% off all items(minus liquor, tobacco and batteries).

The Curry Village Pavilion – Breakfast: 7 AM- 9 AM, Lunch: 11:30 AM- 1:30 PM, Dinner: 5:30 PM- 7:30 PM

Curry Village Pizza Kitchen (Dinner Only) 5 PM- 9 PM with discounted prices for ALL community members (just like The Carabiner Cafe prices during the winter).

YARTS October 4 on: runs 3, 5 and 6 into park TO YOSEMITE VIEW LODGE; runs 7, 8 and 9 out of park FROM YOSEMITE VIEW LODGE.

Gas is available in El Portal, Wawona, and Crane Flat with 24 hour pay pumps

Towing is available on a 24 hour basis and there is an emergency mechanic on duty from 8 AM- 5 PM

Valley shuttle service will run on winter hours;

The El Portal Market will reduce hours of operation to 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM.

The Ansel Adams Gallery is closed.

The Yosemite Medical Clinic will remain open during regularly scheduled hours for park residents 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM. Dental services are available by appointment.

The Post Offices in Yosemite Valley, Wawona and El Portal will remain open on regularly scheduled hours.

The Mariposa County libraries will remain open with regularly scheduled hours.

Services are at available at the Yosemite Chapel on Sunday at 9:15 AM and at 7:00 PM and Thursday evening at 7:00 PM.

All area schools will continue to operate as normal.


The DNC Wellness Center will operate on regularly scheduled hours. Employees can sign-up at the Wellness Center for activities or call 209-372-8803 for more information. Make sure to check out some the free recreational opportunities such as movie nights, shopping trips to Merced, and the Big Fair in Fresno.

The park is closed. No residents, employees, or partners are allowed to recreate in any back-country areas during the shutdown. The general rule of thumb for residents is that no hiking, climbing, or other recreational activities will be allowed on trail system or in Wilderness areas.


USFS managed campgrounds are closed. Dispersed camping, however, is still allowed. Developed day use areas are closed. Trails are open to day use, however there is no overnight use or hiking allowed where a permit is required (e.g. Mt Whitney).


Bear activity has picked up in residential areas. In El Portal, bears have obtained food from vehicles on at least two occasions. Once a bear discovers that there is food in a vehicle, they will generally continue to break into vehicles. Please clean out your vehicles making sure to remove all food, drinks, and garbage. Lock your car doors to prevent a bear from opening your door (this has been the main method of entry for the incidents in El Portal so far). Other recommendations to help protect your homes and keep bears out of trouble include:

  • Keep windows and doors securely closed in unoccupied homes – A bear can easily claw through a screen. It can also enter a kitchen and obtain food faster than you can crawl out of bed to chase it off. A bear that learns to get food from inside buildings can quickly become a threat to resident’s safety.

  • Pick fruit from trees – Bears are attracted to the many fruit trees near people’s homes. To avoid having bears come into your yard or home, strip trees of ripe fruit, and pick up any fallen fruit.

  • Store pet food and other attractants inside – Unwashed recycling, compost piles with kitchen scraps, and bird feeders are all attractants that can draw a bear into the housing areas.

  • Scare bears away from developed areas – Yelling, garden hoses, small marble sized stones, and other noise can all work well in scaring bears away. A bear that is not afraid to be in housing areas can quickly discover food in houses or vehicles.

  • Report bear sightings, incidents and food storage problems – This will help us determine where we are having problems and if we need to increase patrols in the area. Report bear observations, incidents, and food storage issues to the Save-A-Bear hotline at (209) 372-0322. For urgent wildlife issues or to contact a ranger call (209) 379-1992.

  • If a dumpster is full, please do not leave your trash out – call the bear hotline (209) 372-0322 to have the problem resolved. Please keep your trash inside your house, or find another dumpster that is not full.

We continue to monitor the situation and will provide up-to-date information when it becomes available. We greatly appreciate the community’s support and patience during shutdown.

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