Yosemite National Park Winter Road Closures

by John Soares on December 17, 2008

Well, winter’s officially arrived, thanks to the recent storms that dumped the white stuff on the higher elevations of all of Northern California. The news from Yosemite National Park on road closures:

The Tioga Road closes due to snow, usually from sometime in November through late May or early June. The road closure extends from the Tuolumne Grove, just east of Crane Flat, to Tioga Pass Entrance Station. (Highway 120, the continuation of the Tioga Road outside the park, is often closed in winter from Tioga Pass to five miles east of Lee Vining.)

When the Tioga Road is closed, it is not possible to drive to Tuolumne Meadows or enter Yosemite National Park from the east. All other park entrances, including those along Highway 120 from the west, Highway 140, and Highway 41, remain open all year.

The Glacier Point Road closes due to snow, usually from sometime in November through late May or early June. From approximately mid December through March, the first five miles of this road are open (to Badger Pass ski area). It is not possible to drive to Glacier Point when the Glacier Point Road is closed.

The Mariposa Grove Road closes due to snow, usually from sometime in November or December through sometime in April. The road closure begins at South Entrance. Limited parking is available at South Entrance and it is possible to walk, snowshoe, or ski on the closed road. (It’s two miles to the Mariposa Grove with an elevation gain of 500 feet; the road may be icy or snowy.)

Here’s a summary of the road conditions:

Wawona Road (Highway 41 from Fresno)
(Information about Highway 41 outside Yosemite)
Open
Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 from Manteca/San Francisco)
(Information about Highway 120 outside Yosemite)
Open
El Portal Road (Highway 140 from Merced)
(Information about Highway 140 outside Yosemite)
Open
Hetch Hetchy Road (open 8 am to 5 pm) Open
Mariposa Grove Road Closed
Glacier Point Road Closed
Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) Closed

And here’s a road map of Yosemite National Park:

Yosemite National Park road map

Like this post? Then please help me out and share it on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and elsewhere -- and click that Google +1 button. And don't miss any Northern California Hiking Trails posts: subscribe by e-mail or subscribe by RSS.

    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    Roy Scribner December 23, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Took the family sledding on Saturday – Hwy 41 was completely clear, at least up to Wawona (~6,000 feet?). Venturing off the highway onto unimproved roads required 4-wheel drive, as there was a pretty good layer of ice on top of the snow.

    Reply

    John Soares December 23, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Glad to hear 41 was clear, although that may be changing right now with this new storm.

    Sounds like a fun trip!

    Reply

    Betsy Vallejo December 28, 2008 at 9:02 am

    We’re heading to Yosemite on New Years Day weekend. Any recommended hikes for Yosemite this time of year other then Lower Yosemite Falls? We’re staying at Curry Village. We have an almost 8 year old that loves the outdoors.
    Also thinking of entering into park at Hwy 41 to go sledding at Goat Meadows. Would tires with chains work for that?
    I see Roy Scribner posts here – I found his post ://www.campingblogger.net/ that was also helpful to me. Our family enjoys camping Northern CA, eastern sierra, death valley, etc – so will stay tuned to these blogs. Thanks!

    Reply

    John Soares December 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Hello Betsy! Thanks for checking out the blog, and Roy’s blog is especially a winner.

    Here’s this from the Yosemite website: “You can check on current road conditions and chain restrictions by calling 209/372-0200 (press 1 then 1).”

    I suggest you actually get there and assess the weather, snow conditions, time of day, and how you are all feeling before picking a hike. The nearby visitor center will be able to give you suggestions for a good hike.

    Have a great time!

    Reply

    MAYRA ORTIZ January 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I’M GOING TO THE PARK IN APRIL 18 -24. WHAT LIMITATION I WILL HAVE IN THOSE DAYS. I’M GOING FROM PUERTO RICO ONLY TO SEE THE PARK. WHAT HOTEL DO YOU RECOMEND? THE PARK HAVE SPANISH TALKING GUIDE?

    Reply

    John Soares January 25, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Hello Mayra.I do think there is printed information available in Spanish. In April the valley floor will likely be snow-free, but there will be much snow at higher elevations.

    I don’t know anything about the hotels in the park. I camp!

    Reply

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: