Tioga Pass Will Open in Time for Memorial Day Weekend
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.”
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.
“Thank you for restricting access to our public lands, charging me more money and thank you for opening up Tioga Pass way later than it should be on a low snow year”
— peakbagger (@SeanCasserly) May 20, 2022
Bicyclists were allowed on the road this past Saturday and Sunday before Caltrans made its final preparations for Friday’s opening for vehicles.
Big day in Yosemite to cap off a great weekend of riding! They open Tioga Pass (9900ft) only to cyclists the weekend before letting cars though. 100 quiet miles through a National Park wasn’t something I could pass up! pic.twitter.com/8YFUgBCWUY
— Ryan Alcantara, PhD (@Ryan_Alcantara_) May 23, 2022
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.