Yosemite

Tioga Road, only route over Sierra in Yosemite, to reopen with limited access

Watch the clearing of deep snow and debris from Tioga Pass 2019

Caltrans District 9 crews remove snow and debris from Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass) in April 2019.
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Caltrans District 9 crews remove snow and debris from Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass) in April 2019.

The scenic Tioga Road – Yosemite National Park’s only road over the Sierra Nevada – will reopen Friday, with limited access.

Vehicles and bicycles can access Tioga Road (Highway 120 East) from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. starting Friday each day until further notice, park officials announced Wednesday.

The road will remain closed outside of these times to allow for continued roadwork and snow clearing.

No parking will be allowed on Tioga Road or at either end of the road closure, and day-use recreation is not permitted. No visitor services, including campgrounds, are yet available along Tioga Road. Opening dates for the 2019 season have not been determined.

In 2017, when Yosemite snowpack was comparable to this year, Tioga Road reopened June 29.

Restrooms will be available five miles east of Crane Flat Junction and at Tioga Pass.

Cyclists traveling over Tioga Road will need to be prepared to cross over the full length of Tioga Road during daylight hours.

Backpackers planning trips in the High Sierra can be dropped off and picked up at trailheads along Tioga Road. Any backpacker who misses the road open period will need to be prepared to spend an additional night in the wilderness.

All motorists should drive with caution and be aware of possible hazards in the roadway, including rocks, debris, and water. Tioga Road may be impacted by incoming storm activity, including snow and icy driving conditions over the next several weeks, and may temporarily close due to weather and unsafe driving conditions at any time.

For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, call 209-372-0200. Park road conditions are also posted at nps.gov/yose.

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Carmen George is a features and news reporter for The Fresno Bee. Her stories have been recognized with Best of the West, George F. Gruner, and McClatchy President’s awards, and nine first or second place awards from the California News Publishers Association. She has a passion for sharing people’s stories to highlight issues and promote greater understanding.
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