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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

Yosemite’s Tenaya Lake Area to Get Major Makeover

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Date: June 14, 2011

Yosemite Conservancy to Fund Wetlands Restoration and Improved Visitor Access at Spectacular High Country Lake

The first phase of a major makeover at Tenaya Lake, one of Yosemite National Park’s most popular summer destinations, will restore wetlands and improve beach access with funding by Yosemite Conservancy.

“Tenaya Lake is a jewel of the park’s high country,” said Mike Tollefson, president, Yosemite Conservancy. “We’re focused on restoring and protecting it so that the visitor experience is as exceptional as its location.”

Picnickers, hikers and rock climbers are drawn to the lake’s picture perfect beaches, deep blue water, surrounding granite domes, and lodge pole pine forests. Its eye-catching scenery is visible from Tioga Road, which provides easy access to the lake for park visitors of all ages and abilities. However, its popularity has resulted in challenges of crowded parking areas, unsafe traffic conditions, unintended harm to fragile ecosystems, shoreline erosion and unwanted run-off.

“This initial phase restores and protects habitat and improves accessibility for all visitors to this magnificent location,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.

Yosemite Conservancy will provide $850,000 for initial improvements at the lake’s East Beach area. Work begins this summer on a new ecologically friendly trail that will provide easy access for all from the parking lot to the shore and minimize future impacts to wetlands. The beach area will be enhanced for family use and picnicking with installation of new tables including a common “long table” that will accommodate family gatherings. Wetlands and riparian areas also will be restored to natural conditions with re-establishment of native willows.

Neubacher said future enhancements at Tenaya Lake would address ecological restoration of roadside parking areas, additional habitat protection, and redesign of the parking lot at the East Beach to accommodate tour buses that now park on the road and replace parking spaces removed from the roadside. “Initial restoration efforts will improve habitat surrounding the lake and protect it better for the future, while providing a better experience for park visitors. Both the park and its visitors benefit from this Conservancy-funded project,” said Neubacher. Tenaya Lake sits at 8,150 feet, 31 miles east of Highway 120 and nine miles west of Tuolumne Meadows along Tioga Road.

About Yosemite Conservancy
Yosemite Conservancy is the only philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to the protection and preservation of Yosemite National Park and enhancement of the visitor experience. The Conservancy works to restore trails, protect wildlife through scientific research and habitat restoration, and offers outdoor programs that provide visitors with unique ways to connect with the park. It has funded over 300 projects through $60 million in grants in areas including trail and habitat restoration, wildlife protection, education, volunteering, and the production of award winning books and DVDs. Learn more at www.yosemiteconservancy.org or call 1-800-469-7275.

Did You Know?

Wawona Covered Bridge

Built to connect human developments on both sides of the South Fork Merced River, the Wawona Covered Bridge is one of few covered bridges in the region. Built in 1868 by Yosemite’s first guardian, Galen Clark, the Wawona Covered Bridge boasts state significance within transportation, entertainment, and recreation contexts.