Wilderness Conditions Update

June 16, 2022

General Conditions

The snow is melting, rivers are flowing, wildflowers are blooming at lower elevations- it's spring in Yosemite! Trails at low elevations are clear of snow but may have downed trees and light flooding. At higher elevations, expect flooding, snow and ice in places, and above 10,000 feet (especially north facing slopes), widespread snow necessitating off-trail navigation skills. Tread lightly: as snow continues to melt rotten snow and snow bridges are common.

Water is widely available in the park's wilderness. Named creeks are flowing, most mapped creeks are running, though in dry, low-elevation areas the smallest streams and seasonal drainages have already begun to dry up.

Park Area Trails (landmarks included in description Conditions

North and South Rim of Yosemite Valley

Dewey Point, Four Mile Trail, Panorama Trail, Snow Creek

Trails are mostly clear, with some downed trees and some mild flooding. Many downed trees in the Yosemite Creek area, obscuring the trail and requiring navigation without visible trail.

The northern crossing of Yosemite Creek (between Tioga Rd. and Yosemite Creek campground) is 1.5' deep and 20' wide, no dry crossing is possible.

Water is readily available in all named creeks and streams. Most mapped streams are flowing, though small, unnamed creeks are beginning to run low.

On the South Rim- Stanford falls is 4' wide and 6" deep; Bridalveil Creek is 10' wide and 5' deep; Sentinel Creek is 6' wide and 1' deep

On the North Rim, water is available at all named creeks; small unnamed creeks are not reliable at this time. Tributaries of Wildcat Creek are flowing. Eagle Creek is trickling, its Western tributary is flowing: 2' deep and 8" wide. Some drainages (Tamarack Creek, southwestern tributary of Yosemite Creek) have large algae blooms. Be aware of algae when gathering drinking water. Water is available from many sources in the Snow Creek area on the east end of the North rim, including the western drainage of Royal Arch Creek and on the Snow Creek Switchbacks.

Southern Section of the Park

Ostrander Lake, Illilouette Creek, Red Peak Pass

Note: Glacier Point Road is closed in 2022.

Trails around Ostrander Lake are fairly clear. Be prepared for some flooding, Illilouette Creek is flowing strong, 30' wide and 2.5' deep at the Panorama Trail Bridge.

Trails in the Clark Range area are muddy with many downed trees. The northern aspect of Red Peak pass is completely covered in snow.

Water is widely available and flowing swiftly at many creek crossings in the Red Peak Pass area. Cross cautiously or turn around if unsure. Trail crossings may not always be the safest place to cross water.

Wawona Area

Chilnualna Creek, Buena Vista Loop

The trail to Chilnualna Falls is mostly clear, but has many downed trees and several flooded areas after the falls and along the Buena Vista Loop.

In the Deer Camp area, several sections of trail up to 200' long are completely obscured by Whitethorn Ceanothus brush overgrowth.

The trail between Deer Camp and Alder Creek has many downed trees, requiring stepping over and under and route finding where trail is obscured.

All mapped creeks are flowing.

Hetch Hetchy

Beehive Meadows, Tilltill Valley, Miguel Meadows, Rancheria Falls

Trails are mostly clear with some isolated flooded areas.

The trail between Lake Vernon and Tiltill Valley has many impacts from last year's fire. The trail has many downed trees, obscuring the trail for up to 50' in addition to some washouts in the Tilltill Valley area, completely obscuring the trail in several places and making navigation difficult. Burn area hazards are also present throughout. Impacts will likely remain well into summer.

Trails in the Smith Meadow and Smith peak area are overgrown in some places, making navigation difficult.

Be aware of widespread poison oak in the area, esp. between Wapama Falls and Rancheria Falls.

Wapama Falls footbridge is wet but crossable.
Creek crossing to Laurel Lake is 15' wide, 3' deep, moderate current.
All named creeks are flowing; water is widely available.

Tuolumne Area: South of Tioga Rd

Lyell Canyon, Rafferty Creek, Echo Creek, Fletcher Creek

Trails are wet and muddy in many places, be prepared for marshy, muddy conditions. Patches of snow, especially on north facing slopes or above 10,000 ft.
Water is widely available.

Tuolumne Area: North of Tioga Rd

Glen Aulin, Cold Canyon, May Lake, Cathedral Creek, PCT

Sections of flooded trails are present in many places as remaining snow continues to melt. Trails are mostly clear of downed trees. Most creek crossings are possible dry. Delaney Creek on the Young Lakes via Dog Lake trail is 12' wide and 14" deep with no dry crossing options.

In the northern reaches of the park, more flooded sections of trails and more significant patches of snow remains at higher elevations.

Water is widely available.

Tioga Rd: West

Half Moon Meadow, Ten Lakes, South Fork Cathedral Creek, May Lake

Widespread snow coverage, especially at high elevation.
Ten Lakes pass is covered in snow, necessitating travel with no visible trail. Descending into Ten Lakes basin is mostly clear, with large patches of snow in the basin. Most campsites are under snow near the lakes.
The May Lake area is 30% snow covered; necessitating travel with winter-like conditions.

John Muir Trail (JMT) - Happy Isles to Donohue Pass

Little Yosemite Valley, Sunrise Creek, Donohue Pass

The trail is mostly clear to Tuolumne Meadows, with some wet, muddy or flooded sections near Sunrise High Sierra Camp and some snow patches over Cathedral Pass

Many wet, muddy or flooded sections in Lyell Canyon. Significant patches of snow still exist at Donohue Pass, necessitating winter travel skills.
Early Season hikers: Please stay on the trail to help protect the meadows.

Water is widely available.

Note: The Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers campground is closed in 2022. No exceptions for JMT hikers

See a map of trails that have been cleared of downed trees for the season. Please note that although most tree failures occur during the stormy winter months, trees can fail at any time.

Current Closures

All current trail closures are listed on the current conditions page.

Glacier Point Rd is closed for the entire 2022 season. Permits will not be issued for trailheads on Glacier Point Rd, and travel along or across the road is prohibited.

Tuolumne Meadows Campground, including the Backpacker's Campground, is closed for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. There will be no camping of any kind in Tuolumne Meadows nor any exceptions for backpackers or hikers. Backpackers will have to camp at least four trail miles from Tuolumne Meadows.

Full or partial meadow closures to free-range grazing are in effect at Crescent Lake, Hook Lake North, Isberg Lake, Miller Lake, Rodger's Lake, Turner Meadow, and Upper Kerrick Meadow to align with the 2020 Biological Opinion for Yosemite toads and mountain yellow-legged frogs, and Virginia Canyon - Castle Camp for protection of sensitive vegetation resources. Further guidance is provided in the Superintendent's Compendium; detailed maps of meadow closures are at the stock use 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.

Parking in Tuolumne Meadows

The only two trailhead parking areas in Tuolumne Meadows (between Fairview Dome and the wilderness center) are Dog Lake parking and at the wilderness center.

Wilderness Permits

Wilderness permits are required for overnight stays in the Yosemite Wilderness. Reserved permits can be picked up at the following locations:

Wilderness Permit Reservations

Wilderness Permits are available online at recreation.gov (help desk available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm). Reservations are available up to 24 (168 Days) weeks to 3 days ahead of your entry date.

Yosemite Valley Wilderness Center

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Reserved permit pickup available, maps for sale, and bear canisters for rent.

Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Reserved permit pickup available and bear canisters for rent.

Big Oak Flat Information Station

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Reserved permit pickup available and bear canisters for rent.

Wawona Visitor Center at Hill's Studio

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Reserved permit pickup available, maps for sale, and bear canisters for rent.

Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station

Hetchy Road is open 8 am to 5 pm. Wilderness permits for the Hetch Hetchy area and bear canister rentals are available at the entrance station. 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.

Last updated: June 16, 2022

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