• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

Wilderness Conditions

July 15, 2014

General Conditions

Summer has arrived in Yosemite. All trails are clear of snow though some sections of trails may still be wet and muddy. Along with the arrival of summer is the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. Weather can change rapidly in the Sierra so hikers should be prepared for the potential of fast forming storms. High temperatures are another concern for hikers. Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat snacks while hiking.

Water availability is a major concern in this drought year. At this time all named creeks are still flowing, though some smaller creeks are drying rapidly and maybe dry in a few weeks. Seasonal unnamed creeks are now dry. This information is provided to you as a guide to trip planning, but ultimately it is up to you to be prepared for conditions you may encounter.

Park Area Trails (Landmarks included in Description) Trail Conditions
Valley Rims
North Rim from Snow Creek to Tamarack Creek
South Rim from Glacier Pt to Wawona Tunnel
All trails passable. From Yosemite Creek to Snow Creek, all marked water sources are flowing or have pools to filter from. Eagle Creek is dry. All creeks west of Eagle Creek are likely dry or have minimal stagnant pools.
Glacier Point Road Illilouette Creek basin, Ostrander Lake All trails passable. Illilouette Creek is crossable (4 inches deep). As in all areas of the park, unnamed ephermal streams are likely dry.
South End Chilnualna Creek drainage, Chain Lakes All trails passable. All creeks crossable (6 inches deep or less). Unnamed streams are dry, while named creeks are trickling or have standing pools of water. Buck Camp has water but is running slowly. The inlet to Johnson Lake is not running but has puddles. The creek crossings between Royal Arch Lake and Buena Vista Lake are not running but do have puddles at the crossing. The creek south of Merced Pass is not running but has puddles.
Hetch Hetchy Rancheria Creek, Tiltill drainage, lower Falls Creek and Miguel Meadows Falls and Tilden Creeks are flowing. No water along the Tiltill Canyon trail, below 7,500 ft. until Rancheria Falls. Tiltill Creeks is at a low flow. Frog Creek and Wapama Falls are very low, but water is accessible.
Tuolumne Area
(South of Tioga Rd)
Lyell Canyon, Rafferty Creek, Cathedral Lakes and upper Sunrise Creek All trails are clear of snow. Rafferty and Ireland Creeks are still flowing while small unnamed creeks are dry. Very active bears - use extra care in storing food properly.
Tuolumne Area
(North of Tioga Rd)
Glen Aulin, May Lake and Northern PCT in Yosemite All trails are clear and creek crossings are passable. Delaney, Dingley and Cathedral Creeks all have low flowing water with dry rock crossings. Murphy Creek is dry with a few puddles. The Tuolumne River and all lakes are reliable water sources.
Tioga Road - West White Wolf, Ten Lakes and Pate Valley Morrison Creek is flowing and is the only water source between White Wolf and Pate Valley.There is water available above and below Halfmoon Meadow, at Ten Lakes pass and in the Ten Lakes Basin.
JMT
(In Yosemite)
Happy Isles to Donahue Pass Trail is passable. All lakes have water, as well as Sunrise Creek and the Lyell Fork. Donahue Pass is clear of snow. Marmots and bear activity abound! Please use diligence with food storage.

View a map showing which trails have been cleared of down trees [3.4 MB PDF].

Fire Restrictions

Fire restrictions are in effect; below 6,000 feet, fires are only permitted in portable stoves using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, propane, or alcohol (including tablet/cube stoves). Wood fires (including twig stove fires) and charcoal fires are prohibited. Smoking is not allowed below 6,000 feet in the wilderness.

Current Closures

Current trail closures are listed on the current conditions page.

The trail to Rancheria Falls is open only to foot traffic for an undetermined amount of time east of Wapama Falls due to a large rockfall.

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.


Wilderness Permits

Free wilderness permits are required for overnight stays in the Yosemite Wilderness. Permits can be obtained at the following locations.

Call 209/372-0826 (Monday-Friday, 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 4:30 pm) for more information. For wilderness permit reservations, call 209/372-0740.

Wilderness Permit Reservations

Yosemite Conservancy staff are working every day to process wilderness permit reservations for this summer. 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

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. The wilderness center offers permits, bear canister rentals, maps, and books.

Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. The wilderness center offers permits, bear canister rentals, maps, and books.

Big Oak Flat Information Station

Open 8 am to 5 pm. The information station offers visitor information, wilderness permits, bear canister rentals, and a variety of books and maps.

Wawona Visitor Center at Hill's Studio

Open 8:30 am to 5 pm. The visitor center offers general information, wilderness permits, bear canister rentals, and a variety of books and maps.

Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station

Hetch Hetchy road hours are 7 am to 9 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).


Food Storage

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.

Did You Know?

Cars and campers in a meadow in Yosemite Valley.

Unrestricted camping is no longer allowed in Yosemite Valley because of damage it causes. The placement of campgrounds and campsites has changed over the past 75 years in response to a growing understanding of river dynamics, geologic hazards, and the park's natural and cultural resources.