Tioga and Glacier Point Roads Plowing Update

 
Yosemite National Park entrance sign at Tioga Pass with snowy mountains and plowed road in background
 

Tioga Road

Tioga Road (the continuation of Highway 120 through the park) is scheduled to open to vehicular traffic on Friday, May 27, 2022, at 9 am. A reservation is required to drive into or through Yosemite between 6 am and 4 pm through September 30; this includes travelers passing through the park on Tioga Road.

Road work has already begun in the Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows areas. Expect delays of up to 30 minutes during the day and one hour at night from Sunday nights through Friday afternoons.

Tioga Road will be open to bicycles on May 21 and 22 only. (A reservation is still required unless entering the park before 6 am, after 4 pm, or by bicycle.) Cyclists should expect administrative traffic on the road. The road will be closed to bicycles May 23 through 26 due to construction and hazardous conditions.

Tioga Road is normally open to vehicles from late May or June until sometime in November. Plowing typically begins around April 15.

Glacier Point Road

Glacier Point Road closed for the season on December 7, 2021, and will remain closed throughouther 2022 (with a planned spring 2023 reopening) to rehabilitate and improve the road. The only access to Glacier Point will be via the Four Mile, Panorama, and Pohono Trails, all of which are strenuous hikes.

Glacier Point Road is closed to all entry, including vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Why does it take so long to open the roads?

These are some common causes for slow progress of Tioga Road plowing:

  • Avalanche zones (26 potential areas). The Olmsted Point avalanche zone requires careful work, including application of charcoal over the snow to help with melting and blasting the snow slab to make it safer for personnel.
  • Heavy snow pack slows the whole operation.
  • Trees that have fallen across the road and been buried in the snow can cause substantial damage to equipment and result in a stop to all operations until they're cleared.
  • Rockfalls buried by the snow can cause substantial damage to the equipment and result in a stop to all operations.
  • Snow storms during the opening require a stop to Tioga Road operations in order to plow and sand park roads that are open.

Even after plowing is complete, trash collection, functioning restrooms, and adequate staffing must be in place to prevent harm to park resources.

For Tioga Road, once plows reach Tioga Pass, just one lane is plowed. Additional work is still required before the road can open:

Crews plow to the full width of Tioga Road and roads leading to critical infrastructure. During this time, several avalanche zones typically remain active.

Crews then shovel out infrastructure and begin the process of turning on drinking water and sewer systems. Meanwhile, other crews remove trees in danger of falling on the road and in developed areas, clear culverts on side roads, and replace signs.

Crews then work on setting up or de-winterizing buildings. Plowing and culvert clearing continues, and crews clear ditches and fill potholes.Just prior to opening, staff set up operations at the entrance station, wilderness/visitor center, and move into housing.

Will I be able to ride a bicycle on the Tioga or Glacier Point Roads before they open to cars?

In some years, these roads may be open during limited periods to bicycles prior to opening to cars. Any updates regarding pre-opening access on these roads will appear on this webpage. Unless otherwise posted here, both roads are closed to cyclists if they are closed to vehicles.

 

Last updated: May 20, 2022

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