Tioga Road Opens for the Summer in Yosemite National Park

Photo by Ankit Malhotra

Yosemite’s Tioga Road, the only route in the region over the Sierra Nevada, opened to the public on Friday morning with no restrictions. The pre-Memorial Day opening of the crucial roadway indicates an early start to the summer season in Yosemite National Park.

Although some snow still remains on the park’s peaks, Tioga Road will enable travelers to access destinations like Tuolumne Meadows, North Dome and Olmstead Point (Tuolumne Meadows Campground is closed in 2022 and 2023 for a major rehabilitation project). The road is known for its fantastic views of the Eastern Sierra, with motorists traveling over freshly thawed high-alpine lakes and providing views of some of the park’s most pristine peaks.

After the early opening, expect delays due to road work on Tioga Road in the Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows areas. Delays of up to 30 minutes during the day and one hour at night from Sunday nights through Friday afternoons are possible. Some parking lots may be closed at times due to construction; parking should be available nearby any closed lots.

The enormous job that CalTrans takes on every spring to open Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park is incredible. On top of massive walls of snow that need to be removed, once the snow melts, officials are typically met with car-sized boulders sitting on the roadway that fell from the cliffs above.

That’s where explosives come into play.

With no other way to remove the massive boulders, CalTrans simply makes them smaller by exploding them into thousands of pieces. See the video below to watch the massive undertaking of clearing the road of boulders:

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