Wilderness Conditions

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Trails Update:
The Mist and John Muir Trails to Vernal and Nevada Falls are now open.


May 2010
Notices
Both the Tioga and Glacier Point Roads are currently closed. Plowing operations are underway but there is no estimated opening date for either road. For more information on the plowing progress, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm.
Please note that Tioga Road is closed in its entirety, from one mile east of Crane Flat to five miles west of US 395 and is not open to the progress of the plows.
Additionally, if the Glacier Point Road opens for the season prior to May 28, it will be open Saturdays and Sundays only through May 27 (plus Friday, May 21) due to road work. Delays may occur after May 28, but the road will be open seven days per week.
Trail Conditions
Even though it maybe spring on the calendar, it still feels like winter throughout much of Yosemite. A series of late-season storms have increased the winter snow pack to about 140% of average for this time of year. Snow will be present on trails above 6,000 ? 7,000 feet depending on the aspect. Generally forested and shaded areas as well as north and east facing slopes hold snow later in the year than more open areas.
Expect wet and muddy trails throughout the park. Please stay on the existing trails to limit resource damage and trail erosion. Always take caution crossing snow banks as they may be hollow or undercut. In addition, navigation may be difficult over snow covered areas as trails are not marked on trees, so be prepared and know how to use a map and compass.
With warmer temperatures creeks and rivers are running high. Use caution when crossing or fording creeks. Some creek levels may fluctuate with the day’s temperature; a creek that was passable in the morning may not be so in the afternoon.
Trails out of Yosemite Valley
Little Yosemite Valley is mostly snow-free with just a few patches of snow. The trail to Cloud’s Rest is snow free up until the 7,500 ft contour and then is 100% snow covered. The trail up the Merced River is mostly clear with patchy snow until the twin bridges area, after which there is significant snow coverage.
Trails are mostly clear to the top of the valley rims via the Yosemite Falls or Snow Creek trails. However, once past the valley rims, the trails quickly become completely covered with snow. Other trails leading to the valley rims will be free of snow until about 6,500 feet and then quickly become 100% snow covered.
Trails out of Hetch Hetchy
Rancheria Falls is open and clear; though expect to get wet from the spray from the base of Wapama Falls. Furthermore, the crossing from Tueeulala Falls is high so use caution when crossing. Continuing from Rancheria Falls, the trail is clear to Tiltill Valley which is completely flooded.
The trail to Beehive meadows is clear to within about a mile of the meadow, and then is 100% snow covered. Additionally, Frog Creek is very high and is especially difficult to cross. Access to Laurel Lake or Lake Vernon is therefore limited and not recommend at this time.
Trails out of Wawona
The trail up to Chilnualna Falls is clear. However, trails beyond the falls have 100% snow coverage.
Wilderness Center Hours
Yosemite Valley
Open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m
Bear Canisters are available for rent as well as a wide selection of maps and books.
Big Oak Flat
Opens for the year on May 14, 2010, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thereafter, it will be open 7 days a week with bear canisters available for rent as well as a wide selection of maps and books. Before May 14, wilderness permits are available by self-registration. This year, self-registration will be available at the campground office due to construction on the information station.
Wawona
Open 7 days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m
Bear Canisters are available for rent as well as a wide selection of maps and books.
Tuolumne Meadows
The Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center is closed until the Tioga Road opens for the season. Self-registration permits are available at the ski hut.
Hetch Hetchy
Hetch Hetchy road hours are 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m daily. Permits and canisters may be obtained during open hours. There is no access to Hetch Hetchy past open hours.
Wilderness Permit Reservation Line
Permit reservations can be made 24 weeks to the day in advance of your starting date. The phone line is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 209/372-0740. For trip planning, general information and online permit reservations please visit our website http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/backpacking.htm or the interagency website http://www.sierranevadawild.gov/.
Food Storage
Bear Resistant Food Canisters are required in all parts of the Yosemite Wilderness. Use a bear resistant food canister to store all food or scented items when left unattended. Whenever food or scented items are out, please keep them within arms reach, even while day hiking.
If a bear approaches your camp, act immediately to scare it away. Maintain a safe distance while making as much noise as possible. Throw small stones or pines cones toward the bear, being careful not to strike the bear on the head. If the bear returns, repeat. Do not attempt to retrieve food or gear from a bear until it abandons the items.


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