Visitors will have full access to Yosemite Valley from the park's western entrance from Groveland for the first time since the Rim fire broke out Aug. 17.
Though a 14-mile stretch of the highway is closed within the park — from Crane Flat to White Wolf — the update was met with joy Friday.
Linda Struhm, who works at the front desk of the Hotel Charlotte in Groveland, was ecstatic.
"Did you hear? It's official. They're opening the road!" she told her friend, a real estate agent. "Yay! Yay! Yay!"
Struhm said traffic would have been nonstop last weekend over the Labor Day holiday as people headed to the park. Instead, the highway through town was all but empty.
Under blue skies Friday morning, she warned a family from Switzerland heading to the park to not get out of their car and walk around in the burn area.
"Use caution. But just drive straight through to Yosemite and enjoy," she said. "This is big. This is great."
Authorities cautioned that stopping along the highway is prohibited and all access points to secondary roads remained closed.
The Rim fire has burned 246,350 acres, or 385 square miles, the U.S. Forest Service said Friday. It surpassed the 2007 Zaca fire in Santa Barbara County for the third spot.
A burn operation to cut off the fire's path south near California 120 was successful Thursday, and crews were planning on spending Friday searching out small spot fires.
Masked men with guns hold up In-N-Out looking for cash
Outrage after San Francisco mother killed in park by city truck
L.A. Customs officer, brothers charged in gun-smuggling scheme
Marcum reported from Groveland, Calif., and Serna from Los Angeles.