Wilderness Conditions Update

July 10, 2018

General Conditions

Summer has arrived in Yosemite. Trails are clear of snow and creeks are pasable. Water sources are becoming less abundant; while almost all mapped sources have flowing water, seasonal or unnamed streams are starting to get low. Mosquitoes are still abundant, especially above 9,500'. Trails can still be wet and muddy so please stay on trails to prevent resource damage by creating multiple trails.

Summer also brings the potential for thunderstorms. Thunderstorms can form rapidly and bring heavy rain, localized flooding, strong winds, much cooler temperatures and lightning. July typically has the most lightning strikes in Yosemite; avoid high passes and exposed areas if the clouds look threatening. Plan to cross passes early in the morning as opposed to the afternoon. Always be sure to check a current weather forecast for the area before you start your trip and be prepared for multiple weather conditions.

Summer can be hot in Yosemite. Plan accordingly, especially if hiking out of Yosemite Valley, Hetch Hetchy, or Wawona. Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees- make sure to carry plenty of water, eat salty snacks, and avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day.

Fire season has also begun which may, at times, effect air quality in the Yosemite area. Visit the air quality page to check conditions for the area.

Area Specific Conditions
Park Area Locations Trail Conditions
North and South Rim of Yosemite Valley Lehamite Creek, North Dome, Dewey Point, McGurk Meadow Trails are dry and creeks are easily passable. The creeks on the north rim are generally flowing. This includes Yosemite, Bluejay, Lehamite, Indian Canyon and Snow Creeks, but expect worsening water availability throughout the month. Royal Arch Creek is growing smaller and could dry up in the next few weeks. The camping closure between the top of the Snow Creek switchbacks and the Snow Creek footbridge is still in effect: there is no camping allowed in that area. On the south rim, Bridalveil Creek is flowing but smaller sources are becoming low.
Glacier Point Rd Ostrander Lake, Illilouette Creek Illilouette Creek is still 20' wide and 2' deep; use caution when crossing. Some snow coverage remains on the north side of Red Peak Pass.
Wawona Area Chinualna Creek, Buena Vista Loop Trails are clear. Water is available in mapped sources.
Hetch Hetchy Beehive Meadows, Laurel Lake, Jack Main Canyon Between Lake Vernon and Wilma Lake (in Jack Main Canyon) the trail is muddy and flooded. Hetch Hetchy is hot and dry- plan to carry water between the larger water sources.
Tuolumne Area: South of Tioga Rd Lyell Canyon, Rafferty Creek, Ireland Lake, Fletcher Creek Trails in the Vogelsang area are free of snow. Patchy snow exists on the trail over Donohue Pass.
Tuolumne Area: North of Tioga Rd Glen Aulin, Cold Canyon, May Lake, Murphy Creek & Polly Dome Lakes Both the bridge to the Glen Aulin backpackers camp and the bridge crossing the Tuolumne River in Pate Valley are out. Conness Creek must be crossed to access the Glen Aulin backpacker's camp- it is currently 1' at its deepest with moderate flow. The Tuolumne River must be crossed to access Pate Valley from the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne- this is not recommended. May Lake, Murphy Creek, Polly Dome Lakes, and Cold Canyon are clear of snow but expect muddy and wet conditions. On the PCT, Return Creek is 2' deep and has moderate flow.
Tioga Rd: West Half Moon Meadow, Ten Lakes, South Fork Cathedral Creek Muddy conditions in Half Moon Meadow. Ten Lakes trail is snow free.
John Muir Trail
Little Yosemite Valley, Sunrise Creek, Cathedral Lakes The JMT, starting at Happy Isles to upper Lyell Canyon is clear. Lyell Canyon is wet and muddy in sections so please stay on the trail to prevent trail damage. At Donohue Pass, a few patches of snow remain.

The bridge to Glen Aulin High Sierra camp is out and will not be installed for the 2018 hiking season. Please be prepared for an unbridged creek crossing.

The bridge over the Tuolumne River is Pate Valley is out and will not be installed for the 2018 hiking season. The crossing is over a major river and attempting to wade across is strongly discouraged. Perhaps in late summer or fall, when the water level is much lower, wading across could be possible at an alternate site.

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

Current Closures

Current trail closures are listed on the current conditions page.

Kerrick Meadow is closed each year to padstock grazing to reduce impacts to the federally-threatened Yosemite toad and endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog. The area will temporarily reopen to grazing on September 21, 2017.

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.

Wilderness Permit Reservations

The reservation office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30. Reservations are available up to 24 (168 Days) weeks ahead of your entry date.

Yosemite Valley Wilderness Center

Open daily 8 am to 5 pm. Wilderness permits available, maps for sale, and bear canisters for rent.

Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Wilderness permits available, maps for sale, and bear canisters for rent.

Big Oak Flat Information Station

Open daily 8 am to 5 pm. Wilderness permits available, maps for sale, and bear canisters for rent.

Wawona Visitor Center at Hill's Studio

Open daily from 8:30 to 5 pm. Wilderness permits available, maps for sale and bear canisters for rent.

Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station

Permits and bear canisters are available from 7 am to 5 pm. Hetch Hetchy road hours are 7 am to 9 pm. There is no access to Hetch Hetchy beyond road 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: July 10, 2018

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389


(209) 372-0200

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