Yosemite National Park’s Tioga Road opened for summer season vehicle traffic May 7, 2012, but rangers urge visitors to take safety precautions while traveling on the road.
Due to a light snow pack this past winter (approximately 50 percent of normal), the Tioga Road was able to be cleared of snow early into the summer season.
A plow clears away mushy snow from Yosemite’s Tioga Road just a few days before the road’s May 7, 2012 opening for park visitors. NPS photo
Snow and icy conditions may still exist on hiking trails at the higher elevations, rangers caution. Visitors are urged to be prepared for snowy conditions and possible treacherous stream crossings while hiking the backcountry.
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.
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.
The Tioga Road is an historic travel route stretching 46 miles through the high country of Yosemite National Park.
This trans-Sierra road began as a Native American footpath for trade and travel. It later became the great Sierra Wagon road and then a mining road.
When the road first opened to regular park visitors in 1915 it was travelled by only 190 cars. Today Tioga Road is a seasonal highway used by more than 500,000 travelers each year. The road is typically open from May to November, depending on weather conditions, and is closed each winter.
Day hikes and overnight trips are abundant along the Tioga Road, each with a scenic reward of its own. Trips available from this stretch of the Tioga Road range from relatively level forested hikes to Yosemite Valley’s north rim to trails plummeting deep into Yosemite’s northernmost canyons.
Yosemite National Park covers nearly 1,200 square miles of mountainous terrain in the Sierra Nevada of California. For more information, visit the park’s Website at www.nps.gov/yose .