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Image of People Digging Snow
Yosemite Staff manually digging out fire hydrants. Picture courtesy of Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Preparing To Allow Minimal Public Access

NORTH FORK — Yosemite National Park will restore minimal public access starting Saturday, March 18, 2023.

Yosemite Valley will be open from sunrise to sunset starting Saturday, March 18, 2023, with very limited services available. The only access to Yosemite Valley will be via Highway 140 and El Portal Road, with a short detour in El Portal.

Hetch Hetchy will reopen from 8 am to 5 pm daily but will only be accessed via Highway 120 west of Yosemite and Evergreen Road. All other roads and areas of the park, including Big Oak Flat and Wawona Roads, will remain closed.

While several miles of paved pedestrian paths in Yosemite Valley are plowed, all hiking trails are covered in snow. Wear waterproof boots and traction devices; even plowed paths can be icy. Hiking on snow-covered trails is not recommended.

Winter weather is again in the forecast next week. However, conditions permitting, Yosemite Valley will open 24 hours daily starting Monday, March 20, with limited overnight lodging. Campgrounds are still buried in snow and will not open immediately.

Image of Tractor Removing Snow

Yosemite snow removal operations. Picture courtesy of Yosemite National Park

Visitors should be prepared for the possibility of road closures and tire chain requirements. Please call 209/372-0200 (then 1, 1) to check road conditions.

The park has been closed since February 25 due to a series of storms that damaged roads and other facilities.

Since February 21, when the series of storms started, Yosemite Valley has received over 21 inches of liquid precipitation, and Tuolumne Meadows has received over 15 feet of new snow.

The park has documented 22 rockslides, debris flows, and other slope failures along park roads during this time, most of which have been mitigated.

Other services and areas of the park will reopen as park recovery efforts continue.

In this video, the Yosemite roads and trails crew works to clear one of many rockslides on Big Oak Flat Road with drilling, blasting, and heavy equipment.



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