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  • Big Oak Flat Road is closed; no access to Yosemite via Highway 120 from the west

    The Big Oak Flat Road is temporarily closed west of Crane Flat; there is no access to Yosemite via Hwy 120 from the west (except to Hetch Hetchy). Tioga Road is open and accessible if entering the park via Hwys 41 and 140, and Hwy 120 from the east. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. All other campgrounds, including Hodgdon Meadow, are open. More »

Wildlife and Other Sightings: Western Whiptail, Gilbert's Skink....

August 04, 2012 Posted by: PU - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Western Whiptail
Aspidoscelis tigris
Western Whiptail

July 25, 2012
Hetch Hetchy

Western Whiptails were active along the trail from O'Shaughnessy Dam to Wapama Falls from 9:30 to 11:45AM. These lizards are more commonly observed in open habitat, running from bush to bush.

Gilbert's Skink
Plestidon gilberti
Gilbert's Skink

July 25, 2012
Hetch Hetchy

This lizard is most often heard before it is seen. They are excellent leaf litter "swimmers." In quiet moments, listen for feint rustling in the leaf litter (most commonly oak).  They will periodically peek their heads out for a look on the surface. This individual was observed close to the picnic tables near the rest rooms at Hetch Hetchy. A blue-tailed juvenile was observed cruising in the leaf litter near Hodgdon Meadow employee housing.

Black Bear
Ursus americanus
Bear scat

July 25, 2012
Hetch Hetchy

Fresh scat filled with Manzanita seeds was observed on the trail between O'Shaughnessy Dam and Wapama Falls.


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Did You Know?

Sierra Sweet Bay

In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.