The Sierra Nevada has received a decent amount of snow this year, and unlike the previous 4 years, there will be a few feet or several feet of snow above 8000-9000 ft in SEKI, and 7000-8000 ft in Yosemite, elevations will vary depending on whether the area is forested or facing due north.
Peek into the backcountry:
- Badger Pass Webcam in Yosemite (7380 Ft): https://www.nps.gov/customcf/webcam/dsp ... 5A6D41C8FB
- Yosemite High Sierra Webcam (8000 ft): https://www.nps.gov/customcf/webcam/dsp ... 55BD33D841
- Mineral King Webcam in SEKI (7800ft): http://www.mk-webcam.net/
- Mammoth's webcam with view of the Minarets in the background: http://www.mammothmountain.com/winter/m ... summit-cam
- Bishop's webcam view towards Mt. Humphrey's and Mt.Tom: http://www.sierracamnetwork.com/viewcams/bishop/
- Pinecrest's webcam view of Dodge Ridge (8149 ft): http://www.sierracamnetwork.com/viewcams/pinecrest/
Access to lower/popular elevation trailheads will be in high demand, wilderness permits have been gone months ago, you will have to try to secure a first come, first served permit, and for areas beyond, you will also need to possess winter camping experience, exceptional navigation skills, and understand the risks/dangers of snow/ice travel and high flow creek crossings.
Yosemite NP regulation for first come, first served permits:
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htmWilderness permits are available during business hours at any permit issuing station beginning at 11 am the day before the beginning of your wilderness trip. Priority for permits for a particular trailhead is given to the closest permit issuing station, though it is possible to obtain a permit for any trailhead at any permit issuing station. This mainly affects the most popular trailheads that fill up quickly each morning, such as Little Yosemite Valley trailheads, Lyell Canyon, Cathedral Lakes, among others.
First-come, first-served procedure for all wilderness permit stations (approximately May through October): Unreserved permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11 am on the day before the intended entry date. All reservations (same day and next day) and same-day unreserved permits may still be picked up when the wilderness center opens for the day.
Though popular trailheads may fill up, there is always space available on other trailheads in the park. From November through April, wilderness permits are available without a reservation.
Inyo NF regulations for first come, first served permits:
Walk in permits must be requested in person at the visitor centers. During the quota season (May 1 to November 1) walk in permits cannot be issued more than one day before the entry date. Permits are issued for same day entry or for next day entry; you must enter on the date stated.
- Walk-in permits are subject to space available* at the time the permit request is processed.
- Person requesting the permit will be listed as the group leader. Leader must be a person going on the trip and must be in person at the visitor center.
- Group leader can request a permit for the whole group; all members of the group do not need to be present.
- Leader responsibility includes the terms in Permit Policy
- Walk in permit cannot be held by phone or web.
- No night box service for walk in permits.
- Walk in permit is free.
*The amount of space available for walk-in permits may vary. For all trails except Mt Whitney, 40% of the quota space is saved for walk-in permit requests. In addition, space from any reservations that did not fully book, cancelations, group size reductions, and reservations that are not confirmed or picked up (No Show) will be made available for walk-in requests. Some specific trails are identified as non-quota and are only limited by maximum group size.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/pass ... n%20permit
SEKI regulations for first come, first served:
https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/ ... ermits.htmPermits are issued on the day of your hike by trailhead rangers during normal operating hours.
The rangers provide important information about trail conditions in the area. No night drops are permitted. You may, however, obtain permits the afternoon prior to your hike (after 1:00pm).
Approximately three-quarters of the daily trail quota (see trail descriptions) may be reserved in advance. The remaining spaces are available on a first-come-first-served basis. The permit fee applies to both walk-up and reserved permits; and both walk-up and reserved permits must be picked up at the issuing station closest to your trailhead. The Lakes Trail/Pear Lake Trail is NOT reservable.
Sections are mostly limited to the following areas in May:
- JMT to Little Yosemite Valley, and up the Merced Corridor to Merced Lake will be accessable, but Echo Valley will be flooded. Half Dome cables usually go up a week before Memorial Day, if conditions allow. Clouds Rest Trail will have snow, trail south of Pinnacles will be icy and dangerous in the morning.
- Yosemite Falls Trail to Yosemite Creek to El Capitan, areas into the forested sections will have snow, creeks crossings will be difficult.
- Snow Creek Trail will have snow in the forested sections, especially north of Indian Rock.
- Trails from Glacier Point will have snow, especially west of Glacier Point in forested sections.
Hetch Hetchy (Yosemite):
- Rancheria Falls Trail is open, Wapama Falls bridge crossing needs to be done with caution, preferable in the morning, when the run-off levels are lower.
- Vernon Lake Loop will have snow in sections, and some creek crossings may be difficult. Sections after Vernon, descending to Tiltill Valley may have snow, Tiltill Valley will be flooded, be prepared with proper footwear.
- Tioga Closed, will open in the later half of May, but the high country will have snow and/or flooded section, creek crossing will be difficult in area's. A trip to the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, Waterwheel Falls/LeConte Falls, will require difficult creek crossing at Glen Aulin and a large flooded section above California Falls, be prepared with proper footwear.
- Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road should be opening a week before memorial Day.
- 180 to Roads End is open, Mist Falls and Lower Paradise Valley are accessible, Bubb's Creek has patch snow starting at 7000ft, solid coverage at 8000ft.