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Tioga Pass Will Open in Time for Memorial Day Weekend



Tioga Pass, which rises to 9,943 feet in elevation, will open to traffic at 9 a.m. on Friday. (
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With many of the road repairs complete, Tioga Pass is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. on Friday, the National Park Service says.

However,  a reservation is required to drive into or through Yosemite National Park between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Sept. 30. This includes travelers passing through the park on Tioga Road, the park service reminds visitors.

Motorists are also reminded that road work is ongoing at Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows. You can expect delays of up to 30 minutes during the day and one hour at night from Sunday nights through Friday afternoons, the park service says.

Gateway to the Eastern Sierra

Highway 120, which runs through Yosemite National Park, is one of three high-elevation passes that close each winter. Every spring, motorists look forward to the openings of Tioga Pass, Sonora Pass (Highway 108), and Monitor Pass (Highway 89), which connect to the Eastern Sierra. The other two highways are already open.

Some of the don’t-miss scenic wonders along Highway 120 include Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake, and Olmsted Point.

“We are excited to be reunited with the west side, and welcome visitors and responsible recreation adventurers back to beautiful Mono County,” Bob Gardner, chair of the Mono County Board of Supervisors, said in a news release about Friday’s opening of Highway 120 to traffic.

“The Eastern Sierra is the perfect place to unwind, explore, and recharge, and we appreciate the enthusiasm and respect for the environment that tourists bring to our corner of the state.”

Tenaya Lake is one of many scenic wonders along Tioga Road. (Shutterstock)

Why Isn’t Tioga Pass Already Open?

On social media, some folks have complained about Tioga Pass not yet being open in light of the light winter snow. However, there are usually repairs to make and boulders to clear on Highway 120, which peaks at 9,943 feet in elevation before rapidly descending to Lee Vining. Some years, the pass doesn’t open until July.

Bicyclists were allowed on the road this past Saturday and Sunday before Caltrans made its final preparations for Friday’s opening for vehicles.

The road first welcomed automotive traffic on July 28, 1915,  and records show that just 190 cars entered Yosemite National Park using Tioga Pass that year.

Glacier Point Road Closed for All of 2022

Glacier Point Road closed for the season on Dec. 7, 2021, and will remain closed in 2022 to vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

A spring 2023 re-opening is planned upon completion of road repairs and improvements.

The only access to Glacier Point will be via the Four Mile, Panorama, and Pohono Trails — all labeled “strenuous hikes” by the park service.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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