November 4, 2014
Winter is coming to Yosemite. A recent winter storm dropped up to a foot of snow at the higher elevations. Clear skies and warmer temperatures have melted most of it, but snow will remain in shaded areas and at higher elevations. Be careful of icy patches and frozen snow while hiking. Otherwise trails are clear and open. Water is mostly available though streams and rivers are low. Days are short with long cold nights. At higher elevations, be prepared for freezing temperatures at night.
Be aware of the current weather forecast as well as monitoring the weather when you are hiking. Winter storms can come at anytime and bring much colder temperatures, significant snowfall and strong winds. Winter storms pose a hazard to hikers
Current trail closures are listed on the current conditions page.
Trails in Yosemite may be closed when there are hidden hazards or are impassable due to rock fall, snow, ice, or fire. Open trails are not necessarily free of hazards. By entering the wilderness, you are assuming responsibility for your safety and must use good judgment.
Free wilderness permits are required for overnight stays in the Yosemite Wilderness. Permits can be obtained at the following locations.
Wilderness Permit Reservations
The reservation office is closed for the season. The office will reopen on December 1 for permits for the 2015 season. Reservations are available up to 24 (168 Days) weeks ahead of your entry date.
Yosemite Conservancy staff will be available Monday to Friday to process wilderness permit reservations for this year. Fax is still the preferred method for reserving wilderness permits. The fax machine is functioning well and is receiving permit applications as fast as we can process them.
Approximately 70% of permit applications are rejected due to too many requests for the same trailhead on the same day. Most rejections are for the John Muir Trail, which is the most popular request. You will receive notice on the status of your application within two business days.
Yosemite Valley Wilderness Center
Closed for the season. Self registration permits are available at the Valley Visitor Center 9 am to 5 pm daily. The visitor center also has bear canister rentals, maps, and books for sale. Will reopen May, 2015.
Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center
Closed for the season. Self registration permits are available on the front porch. No bear canisters rentals or other services are available. Visitors should come prepared with their own allowed bear canister(s). Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center will reopen in May 2015, depending on the status of Tioga Road.
Big Oak Flat Information Station
Closed for the season. Self registration permits are available on the front porch. No bear canisters rentals or other services are available. Visitors should come prepared with their own allowed bear canister(s). Big Oak Flat Information Station will reopen in May 2015.
Wawona Visitor Center at Hill's Studio
Closed for the season. Self registration permits are available on the front porch. No bear canisters rentals or other services are available. Visitors should come prepared with their own allowed bear canister(s). Wawona Visitor Center at Hill's Studio will reopen in May 2015
Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station
Hetch Hetchy road hours are 8 am to 7 pm. Permits and bear canisters may only be obtained during open hours. There is no access to Hetch Hetchy beyond open hours (overnight parking is permitted in the overnight parking lot near the backpackers' campground).
Bear resistant food canisters are required in the Yosemite Wilderness. Use a canister to store all food or scented items when left unattended. Remember that anything used in, on, or around the body is considered a food item. Whenever food or scented items are out, please keep them within arm's reach, even while day hiking.If a bear approaches your camp, act immediately to scare it away. Maintain a safe distance while making as much noise as possible. Throw small stones or pines cones toward the bear, being careful not to strike the bear on the head. If the bear returns, repeat. Do not attempt to retrieve food or gear from a bear until it abandons the items.