Tioga and Glacier Point Roads Plowing and Road Opening Update

Snowy peak rising above a pond that is still mostly covered in ice
Mount Dana, May 30, 2024
 

Tioga Road

June 7, 2024

Tioga Road is scheduled to open on Monday, June 10, at 7 am. Cycling will be allowed on Sunday, June 9. A reservation is required to drive a vehicle into the park between 5 am and 4 pm this weekend.

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

In some years, Tioga Road opens to cycling one or more days before opening to vehicles. If this occurs in 2024, we'll provide that information here.

Glacier Point Road

May 16, 2024

Glacier Point Road opened to vehicles on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

Glacier Point Road is typically open to vehicles from sometime in May until sometime in November. Plowing typically begins around April 15.

In some years, Glacier Point Road opens to cycling one or more days before opening to vehicles. If this occurs in 2024, we'll provide that information here.

 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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.

 
A simple illustration depicting Tuolumne Meadows and Tioga Road, with some snow on Tioga Road.

What does it take to reopen Tioga Road?

Plowing is just the beginning! Plowing crews must safely navigate through multiple avalanche zones. In addition to several feet of snow, downed trees and rockfall often need to be cleared from the road. Park facilities and infrastructure may require repairs after a heavy winter. For the safety of staff and visitors, and for the protection of Yosemite's high country, services such as radio, water, restrooms, and trash must be in place before the road opens. We're not just opening a road—we're essentially opening a park!

Before Plowing Begins

Tioga Road is closed to vehicles for the winter but open to skiers and snowshoers. The road is treated as wilderness during this time.

Tasks:

  • During winter and early spring, crews complete essential training and prepare equipment.

 
Tioga Road mile 45.5

Plowing 45.5 miles from Crane Flat to Tioga Pass

Plowing begins on or around April 15.

Tasks:

  • Ahead of the plows, the avalanche team surveys, monitors, and mitigates safety concerns along the route.
  • Plowing crew clears 1−2 lanes of road to Tioga Pass Entrance.
  • Caltrans plows Highway 120 from Lee Vining to Tioga Pass Entrance.
  • Forestry and maintenance crews follow plows to begin clearing trees that pose a safety hazard and replacing road signs.

After snowplows “punch through,” even more work must be completed before the road opens!

Completing this checklist before opening the road to the public ensures the safety of staff and visitors and the protection of high-country resources.

Ongoing tasks throughout phases 1−3:

  • Continue clearing Tioga Road and plow turnouts, secondary roads, campgrounds, and parking areas.
  • Clear trees that pose a safety hazard along roads and in administrative and visitor areas.
  • Repair and set up the potable water system, sewer system, and wastewater treatment plant.
  • Clear culverts and ditches, repair potholes and other damage to road.
  • Fabricate and replace signs, as needed.

Phase 1: Access Critical Facilities

  • Avalanche team continues to support employee safety.
  • EMS arrives in Tuolumne Meadows to support employee safety.
  • Set up temporary camp for work crews.
  • Extensive snow shoveling to access critical facilities and infrastructure.
  • Assessment of damage to facilities and infrastructure.

Phase 2: Set Up Essential Services

  • Dig out and set up tent cabins for employees.
  • De-winterize restrooms and cabins.
  • Employees begin moving in.
  • Trash & vault toilets emptied.
  • Park radio repeaters operational.
  • Cell & internet service operational.

Phase 3: Final Preparation

  • Remaining employees arrive and move into housing.
  • Entrance station, visitor center, and wilderness center de-winterized and set up for opening.
  • Road opening date announced.
 
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Duration:
3 minutes, 35 seconds

Every spring, both visitors and locals look forward to the opening of the Tioga Road, a high-elevation pass that crosses Yosemite National Park. Get a glimpse of what it takes to clear snow and ice from a section of the highway known for dangerous avalanches.

 

Last updated: June 7, 2024

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209/372-0200

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