Yosemite Reopens After 15 Feet of Snowfall Buried the Park for Nearly a Month

Yosemite National Park has partially reopened after being forced to shut down due to heavy snowfall. The park restored “minimal public access” last Saturday, but all other roads and areas remained closed, according to the National Park Service.

Yosemite Valley is now accessible from sunrise to sunset, while all hiking trails are covered in snow, making them impassable. While plowed paths can be icy, visitors are advised to wear waterproof boots and traction devices.

Yosemite initially closed on February 25 due to a series of massive snowstorms that buried some parts of the park in up to 15 feet of snow. Although the park has “documented 22 rockslides, debris flows, and other slope failures along park roads during this time, most of which have been mitigated,” the NPS said. As of now, access to the park is only available by Highway 140 and El Portal Road.

However, the area may experience even more snow as a winter storm warning watch is in effect for the Sierra Nevada area from late Monday through Wednesday afternoon, according to The Weather Channel. The storm is predicted to potentially bring 1 to 4 feet of snow with wind gusts as high as 60 mph.

Yosemite is warning visitors to be prepared for possible road closures and tire chain requirements due to the upcoming storm. The park is expected to open Yosemite Valley 24 hours per day starting later Monday, “conditions permitting,” and the NPS also hopes to open limited overnight lodging. However, campgrounds remain buried in snow and will not open immediately.

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