Tioga Road to Open in Yosemite National Park (2008)
Yosemite National Park Superintendent Mike Tollefson announced today that the Tioga Road will open for the season on Wednesday, May 21 at 8:00 a.m. for all vehicle traffic. The Tioga Road, bounded on both sides by State Highway 120, is the popular east-west crossing of the Sierra Nevada. There will be no commercial services available along the road. Additionally, the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, other campgrounds along the corridor, and the Visitor Center will not be open. However, there will be restrooms available on the road. All visitor services, including the campgrounds, store, gas station, etc. will open over the next several weeks.
Visitors who are planning to visit Yosemite National Park over the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend are urged to take extra safety precautions, especially along the Merced River. With the current warm weather and accelerated snowmelt, the river is running fast and cold. People should take extreme caution along the river and watch children at all times.
The park is expecting a very busy weekend. People should plan on arriving in the park as early in the day as possible. People visiting Yosemite Valley are urged to take the free Yosemite Shuttle Bus to explore the sites and hike on the trails. If people can not arrive early, they should wait until late afternoon to enter the park as park entrances can become congested, especially mid-day.
There are a limited number of first-come, first-served campsites available in the park. However, those are expected to fill up as the weekend approaches. There are many opportunities for camping and overnight accommodations in the gateway communities surrounding Yosemite National Park.
Finally, the cables on Half Dome are up for the season. The cables allow visitors an opportunity to climb to the top of Half Dome and view the park from an elevation of 8,842 feet above sea level.
Did You Know?
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.