Wilderness Conditions Update

August 18, 2023

General Conditions

As we pass mid-summer, conditions are finally beginning to look like summer. After the historic winter of 2022-2023, conditions have stabilized. Overall trails are snow free, with some wet & muddy sections and areas of tree downfall. Creeks have receded and can be crossed, but some may still require a wade. Water is plentiful. Mosquitoes have subsided somewhat but are still plentiful, particularly at the highest elevations.

There have been consisent thunderstorms this past week and those are forecasted to contine into next week along with the renaments of Hurricane Hilary potentially entering the area, bringing relatively rare summer rain. Thunderstorms, in addition to lightning, can bring locally heavy rain and high winds.Closely monitor the weather forecast for the next week for up to date weather predicitions. Be prepared for rain and plan ahead for thunderstorm activity.

Trails are wet and muddy in many locations in the park and may have sections of flowing or standing water on them. Stay on the trail instead of creating side trails, causing long lasting resource damage. It is often easier to stay on the trail and get your feet wet than finding multiple alternate paths off or around the trail. Bring multiple pairs of socks for each day of your trip to maintain proper foot health, putting on dry socks when you reach your camp each night.

Yosemite Valley:

  • Trails are mostly clear, with periodic wet and/or muddy sections.
  • The Pika Fire near North Dome has some trail closures and smoke impacts.


  • The trails are mostly clear, with incidental wet and/or muddy sections.

Hetch Hetchy:

  • Trails are mostly clear, dry and hot. Water available in major sources.

Glacier Point Road:

  • Mono Meadow is clear but wet.
  • Trails maybe challenging to follow in the Red Fire footprint.
  • Red Peak Pass still retains significant snow. Upper Ottoway lake is still partially snow covered. The south side of the pass has one snow field covering several switchbacks. Visitors are creating significant resource damage by trying to avoid the snow in this section. Please stay on the trail here. The north side of the pass is fully snow covered from the pass to about a quarter of a mile down. The north side is steep and can be challenging for those will little snow mountainerring experience and/or without the proper equipment.

Tioga Road:

  • Sunrise Lakes: Trail is clear, with occasional wet areas. Outlet of Tenaya Lake may require visitors to take off their shoes for the wide, slow moving crossing.
  • Ten Lakes: Trail to Ten Lakes is clear, with some muddy sections.
  • Pate Valley and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne: Creeks are crossable. Route finding challenges in areas with significant downfall and trail damage from this winter, particularly below Morrison Creek.

Tuolumne Meadows:

  • Cathedral Lakes: Trail is clear with muddy sections.
  • Glen Aulin: Trail is clear. Beyond Glen Aulin there is flooding at the Mattie Lake outlet, just above California Falls.
  • Lyell Canyon is clear. Donohue Pass has a few remaining snow fields, but can be traversed by most hikers. Can be slick in the morning.
  • Rafferty Creek to Vogelsang is snow free. Some snow patches linger on the north side of Vogelsang Pass. Lots of mosquitoes!
  • Young Lakes: Mostly clear, with some wet and muddy sections.
  • PCT to Sonora Pass: Mostly clear, with isolated snow patches on the high passes. Seavey Pass has a 10m snow patch and a section of avalanche debris. Benson Pass is snow free.
  • Burro Pass has a large snow field on the north side of the pass, from Finger Peaks Lakes to the pass. The south side is snow free. Upper Matterhorn Canyon has a section of avalanche debris that pose a navigational challenge.
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.

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.

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 Permit reservations 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. 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.c

Big Oak Flat Information Station

Open daily from 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 am to 5 pm. Wilderness permits 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: August 21, 2023

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