YOSEMITE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – After nearly two weeks of closure due to severe weather, Yosemite National Park is slowly re-opening this weekend.
In a series of social media posts on Thursday, Yosemite National Park officials announced that they will restore minimal public access starting Saturday. The park has been closed since Feb. 25 due to a series of storms that damaged roads and other facilities.
Visitors are being warned that there will be “very limited services available.”
Officials say Yosemite Valley will be open from sunrise to sunset starting Saturday. Visitors should be prepared for the possibility of road closures and tire chain requirements; hiking on snow-covered trails is not recommended, officials add.
The only access to Yosemite Valley will be via Highway 140 and El Portal Road, with a short detour in El Portal. Hetch Hetchy will reopen from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, but will only be accessible via Highway 120 west of Yosemite and Evergreen Road. All other roads and areas of the park, including Big Oak Flat and Wawona Roads, will remain closed, according to officials.
Since Feb. 21, when the series of storms started, Yosemite Valley has received over 21 inches of liquid precipitation. Tuolumne Meadows has received over 15 feet of new snow.
National Park Service officials add that wintery weather is in the forecast again next week, but (weather permitting) Yosemite Valley will open 24 hours per day starting Monday. Limited overnight lodging is available but campgrounds will not open immediately as officials say they are “still buried in snow.”