Trail Conditions Update – The Vernal/Nevada Falls trail complex will be completely opened by Thursday morning for foot traffic. The trail will not be available for stock for perhaps another week or so until the trail is fully cleared of trees and the small snow banks that still exist in shaded areas. There is approximately 20-30% snow cover in Little Yosemite Valley. It is hoped the Half Dome cables will be up for Memorial Day, but that is weather dependent.
The lower 2 miles of the 4 Mile Trail are open. The trail on the south side of the Mirror Lake loop was damaged by a large fallen tree, but trail crews are currently working on it, and it should be repaired in a few weeks. It is passable on foot, but not with stock. The Yosemite Falls Trail is completely open for foot traffic, although some snow patches exist at the top. The Snow Creek switchbacks should be clear of snow to the top. The loop across to the Yosemite Falls Trail may be difficult to follow due to snowy sections, and is not recommended yet.
Hikers might consider trails out of the Hetchy area toward Beehive or Rancheria, or out of Wawona toward Chilnualna Falls. High water challenges have already been seen by hikers, including flooding on trails and difficult creek crossings. Hikers should be extremely careful regarding high water this year, as many creeks may be hazardous to cross well into the summer. Although any crossing can be dangerous, Tamarack and Cascade Creeks on the Old Big Oak Flat Road trail, Bluejay Creek upstream from Yosemite Falls, and the crossing above Chilnualna Falls camping area are “close-in” areas which are commonly very difficult in high water. (L. Boyers – 5/12/05)