Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

All discussion related to transportation to, from and within the Sierra Nevada. Need directions or flight information? Info on road conditions? A ride to the trail head? Can you offer a ride, or do you run a transportation business or shuttle service for the Sierra Nevada? Come on in and post the details!
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markskor
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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by markskor » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:53 am

Tioga pass road update, 6/17/19

Road crews are patching potholes, cleaning ditches and road side debris and forestry is wrapping up immediate hazard tree work that needs to be done. The Avalanche Team performed one final blast on Olmsted to primarily charcoal the upper section.
Yesterday we were able to work each end of Olmsted to narrow this area down to about 100 yards wide and you can now see each vehicle pass through the zone from each end. The west bound lane is still acting as the toe of the snow remaining on the slope so we are not able to remove at this time. The area is finally beginning to melt out but it needs to reduce in volume/depth before we can change to just a no stopping zone. We are hoping that by early next week we will see dramatic difference in snow levels with the water running off the slope.
Though it has been reduced in size it is still unstable due to the heat and water running under the snowpack and could result in a wet slab release that will impact the road.
Tony with Mono County will be coming up tomorrow afternoon and Bob Brantley will be showing him Olmsted and what efforts we have been doing to reduce snow in this area.
B&G and Utilities has been working daily this week in TM and sounds like they are making good progress.
We are hoping next week is the big push of melt and we can get the avalanche areas safe to get full opening crews up there to push facilities open. I also have a draft of a vehicle access-shuttle plan in the Supt office in case we can get the road safe but the snow is preventing us from stationing our emergency services people or getting water or services turned on…we could try to use this to at least let cars through on a limited hours basis if possible.
I would guess we are still looking at melting out all next week but the warmer temps are improving things.

Michael Reynolds
Superintendent
Yosemite National Park


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el marinero
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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by el marinero » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:50 am

Dang! There goes my shot at getting some artwork.

Interesting about the possibility of only opening the road for limited hours.

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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by markskor » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:08 pm

Tioga Road to open 6/21/19

Yosemite National Park announces there will be limited access to Tioga Road (Highway 120 East) for visitors interested in crossing the Sierra. Tioga Road will be open to all vehicles, including bicycles, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. No parking will be allowed on Tioga Road and day use recreation is not permitted. There is no visitor parking available at either end of the road closure.

There are no visitor services available along Tioga Road. The Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, Wilderness Center, and the Tuolumne Meadows Campground remain closed. Opening dates for the 2019 season have not been determined. Restroom facilities will be available 5 miles east of Crane Flat Junction and at Tioga Pass.

Visitors are encouraged to plan their trips over Tioga Road in advance and to prepare for the restricted access and no access to visitor services. The road will remain closed outside of these times to allow for continued roadwork and snow clearing.
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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by markskor » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:40 pm

We have a weiner! OldRanger guessed June 21, first.

If they do open it up on the 21st as promised...(even if only for a few hours) - he gets the prize.
Mike, PM me your address please.
Anything from my recent sketchbook strike a fancy? If not, I'll just send you something nice, or pick it up in Tuolumne.
mark
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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by rlown » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:45 pm

markskor wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:08 pm
Tioga Road to open 6/21/19

A bit confused. Are you saying they might open it tomorrow?

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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by Mike M. » Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:39 pm

From a park service news release today:
News Release
Yosemite National Park Announces Limited Access on Tioga Road Beginning on Friday, June 21, 2019

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Date: June 19, 2019

Tioga Road to open limited hours for access to cross the Sierra

Yosemite National Park announces there will be limited access to Tioga Road (Highway 120 East) for visitors interested in crossing the Sierra. Tioga Road will be open to all vehicles, including bicycles, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. No parking will be allowed on Tioga Road and day use recreation is not permitted. There is no visitor parking available at either end of the road closure.

There are no visitor services available along Tioga Road. The Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, Wilderness Center, and the Tuolumne Meadows Campground remain closed. Opening dates for the 2019 season have not been determined. Restroom facilities will be available 5 miles east of Crane Flat Junction and at Tioga Pass.

Visitors are encouraged to plan their trips over Tioga Road in advance and to prepare for the restricted access and no access to visitor services. The road will remain closed outside of these times to allow for continued roadwork and snow clearing.

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

Backpackers planning trips in the High Sierra will be able to be dropped off and picked up at trailheads along Tioga Road. All backpackers will need to pick up their wilderness permits in advance and have a bear canister in hand. It is strongly recommended for all backpackers to be aware of the timing that the road is open and closed and to plan their trip logistics accordingly. Any backpacker who misses the road open period will need to be prepared to spend an additional night in the wilderness. All wilderness regulations will remain in effect.

Yosemite National Park is open year-round. 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. Tioga Road may temporarily close due to weather and unsafe driving conditions at any time. Tioga Road is a seasonal road through Yosemite National Park, typically open from late spring to early fall.

For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200.



Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by markskor » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:17 pm

FAQs for Restricted Tioga Road Access
Tioga Road, Yosemite National Park Announces Limited Access Beginning on Friday, June 21, 2019
Q: What if I don’t make it across the corridor during the travel windows?
A: Law Enforcement cars will be sweeping the road at the end of each travel window and locking the gates behind the last car. Any violators will be ticketed.

Q: Do I have to be at the gate in line at 10:00 and/or 3:00 sharp to get through?
A: You will be able to enter the road corridor for pass through travel between 10:00am and 11:00am and 3:00 and 4:00pm, from 5 miles east of Crane Flat and at Tioga Pass. There will be no stopping and no parking allowed anywhere. This includes turnouts, parking lots, side roads and trailheads.

Q: How early should I get in line to be ready to get through the gate?
A: There is no need to line up before the opening times of 10:00am and 3:00pm. There will be administrative traffic with trucks and equipment in the opposite lane. Please do not line up early, or obstruct traffic.

Q: Where and when do I line up for the thru-traffic driving access?
A: On the west side (inside the park), you will wait at Walker Party Gate which is 1 mile from
Tamarack Flat turn off. From the East Side, you will wait at the park entrance at Tioga Pass

Q: Can I day hike on the road corridor?
A: No. This limited access is exclusively for thru traffic from 10-11am and 3 -4pm and dropping off of backpackers. There are no services along Tioga Rd and minimal staff

Q: What services are available right now?
A: There are no services available along Tioga Road during this limited access period.

Q: Will the YARTS and Hiker’s Bus be running?
A: No. The YARTS bus will not start running until the Tioga Road is open without restrictions and the Hiker’s Bus will not begin running until the Tuolumne Lodge is open for the season.

Q: Can I drive my vehicle and park at the trailhead if I have a wilderness permit?
A: No. There is no overnight parking allowed on the Tioga Road between Walker Party Gate andTioga Pass including turnouts, parking lots and side roads.

Q: Can I park at either end of the closure and hitchhike to my trailhead from there?
A: Due to needed staging areas for this thru access period, there is no parking available at either end of the closure. Plan to park in trailhead and wilderness lots along Big Oak Flat Rd, Yosemite Valley and Wawona. It is highly recommended that drop off and pick up logistics be planned before arriving in the park.

Q: With the Tuolumne Wilderness Center closed how do I pick up my wilderness permit if
I am coming from the Eastside?
A: Wilderness permit reservation holders were directed to pick up their permits and bear canisters from Big Oak Flat, Yosemite Valley or Wawona. If this is absolutely not an option, they can rent a bear canister from The Mono Basin Visitor Center and there are a very limited number of self-registration permits available at Tioga Pass when staff is present.

Q: What happens if I finish my backpacking trip after the last limited access vehicle run for the day?
A: You can either spend the night in the Wilderness, camping at least 4 miles from Tuolumne Meadows or choose to hike out of the Tioga Rd corridor.

Q: Can I hike up to Tioga Road from the Valley (or elsewhere) and catch a ride down?
A: While you are free to hike where you choose, coordinating a ride will be essential before you start your trip. Tioga Road remains essentially closed except for two windows each day.

Q: What are the trail conditions for backpacking off the Tioga Road?
A: Conditions are challenging. Over 90% snow cover remains above 8500 feet. Any trip of off Tioga road requires strong navigation skills, expectation of snow travel and high creek crossings.
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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by rightstar76 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:34 pm

Mark, thanks for putting together the faq. It definitely helps. :)

Do you or anyone here on HST know if there has ever been a partial opening like this before? (not to be confused with the re-openings that take place some years after early fall snow storms)

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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by markskor » Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:18 pm

Good news, just now from Yosemite.
"The plan is to open the store and grill to the public on 7/12 and Tuolumne Lodge (partially) on 7/19. I anticipate your start date to be Monday 7/8."
So, soon enough, back to the Tuolumne Store...stop in and say hi!
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Re: Best guess for Tioga Pass opening?

Post by robow8 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:13 am

markskor wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:18 pm
Good news, just now from Yosemite.
"The plan is to open the store and grill to the public on 7/12 and Tuolumne Lodge (partially) on 7/19. I anticipate your start date to be Monday 7/8."
So, soon back to the Tuolumne Store...stop in and say hi!
mark
tm store.jpg
We plan on being up there on July 20 for a bit, before we head back down to Mammoth for our hike starting on the 22nd. See you then!

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