The National Park Service made the announcement that we all wait for every spring. Tioga Road is officially scheduled to open to the public at noon on Monday, May 7! The less-than-average winter snowpack (~50% of normal) has melted quickly with the warmer temperatures allowing a relatively early opening. (You can read the official NPS release below)
Just don’t expect all of the facilities and services that Tuolumne has to offer quite yet. Vault toilets will be available in a few places along the road, but electric lines have been damaged over the winter. These will need to be repaired before electricity or other visitor services that you might expect to see during the summer months are available. We will let you know as soon as we find out when facilities like the Tuolumne Meadows Store, Grill, gas station etc. will open.
For so many, the opening of Tioga Road opens a route from the popular western regions of the park to the east side of the Sierra, and signals the beginning of easy access to the high country that has been buried under snow all winter. Suddenly we have access to miles of pristine trail for hikers and backpackers, sunny granite domes for rock climbers, many scenic vistas for photographers and a myriad of alpine lakes and rivers for fishermen (fisherpeople?). Do you have a favorite activity or particular reason to be excited about the road opening? Leave a comment below to share with us all what it is.
Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher announced today that the Tioga Road will open for the season on Monday, May 7, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. for all vehicle traffic. The Tioga Road, bounded on both sides by State Highway 120, is the popular east-west crossing of the Sierra Nevada.
Vault toilets are available in several locations along the road. However, due to damage sustained to two transmission lines, the Tuolumne Meadows area will be without electrical power and visitor services until repairs can be made.
Due to a light snowpack this past winter (approximately 50% of normal), the Tioga Road was able to be cleared of snow early into the summer season. Snow and icy conditions may still exist on hiking trails at the higher elevations. Visitors are urged to be prepared for snowy conditions and possible treacherous stream crossings while hiking the backcountry.
All campgrounds along the Tioga Road are closed. All commercial services, including the gas station, store, and village grill, are also closed. There are no anticipated opening dates for any of these facilities at this time.