This past weekend, on July 22nd, National Park officials achieved a historic milestone by opening Yosemite’s Tioga Pass Entrance, marking the latest seasonal opening for the route since its establishment in 1915.
Breaking a 108-year-old record, and finally being able to enter the park from Tioga Road, is certainly cause for celebration.
Tioga Pass Road – Hwy 120 into Yosemite National Park is officially OPEN FOR THE SEASON!!!! ??? pic.twitter.com/wIplcNaptV— Mono County Tourism (@EasternSierra) July 22, 2023
This year’s record snowfall in California led to several extraordinary occurrences, including the delayed opening of Tioga Pass. Mammoth Mountain and other resorts across the state received an unprecedented amount of snow, delighting winter sports enthusiasts but posing significant challenges to infrastructure.
The impact of the massive snowfall on the Tioga Pass corridor has been substantial. According to park ranger Steve Lyon, 62% of the area’s structures were damaged or destroyed as of July 13th.
As repair efforts continue, the available amenities in Tioga Pass are limited. Visitors will find only vault and portable toilets, as other essential facilities, including fuel stations, water sources, and stores, are yet to open.
Moreover, travelers should be prepared for traffic management along the route, as park officials have warned that certain stretches of the road can only accommodate one-way traffic.
The challenges faced during the aftermath of the historic snowfall raise an important question: Can there be such a thing as too much snow? For rangers like Lyon, the answer is undoubtedly a resounding yes. While snow brings beauty and excitement to the region, it also brings substantial difficulties that require careful management and repair to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors to Yosemite’s magnificent landscapes.