Mountains of snow close Yosemite, other California parks after winter storms
After up to 15 feet of snow fell on some areas of Yosemite National Park, the park has been closed with no estimated time of reopening, among the many closures of parks and forestlands across California following a series of powerful winter storms.
“Park crews are working to restore critical services so visitors can safely return,” Yosemite park officials said.
Across California, other parks have shut down to give crews time to dig out the roads and repair damage from the storms.
All roads inside the park have been restricted to administrative use only.
Here’s the most recent status on how California state and national parks are faring after the storms.
- Mojave National Preserve: All preserve roads have been closed since Wednesday until further notice, according to its website. Travelers were warned not to drive into the area or go around barricades. Mojave Road across Soda Lake was also closed because of wet and muddy conditions.
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Almost all park roads were closed as of Friday morning while crews continued repairs. Kings Canyon Visitor Center in Grant Grove Village and Azalea Campground were also closed.
- Redwood National and State Parks: There were closures throughout the Northern California park “due to multiple storms causing downed trees and power outages,” according to the website.
- Death Valley National Park: Many roads, including North Highway and Beatty Cut-Off, were closed Friday because of damage from the storms or icy conditions.
As of Thursday afternoon, 14 California state parks were fully closed and 34 were partially closed. In Los Angeles County, Leo Carrillo State Park was partially closed. In Orange County, Bolsa Chica State Beach was fully closed and Crystal Cove State Beach and Chino Hills State Park were also fully shuttered.
The San Bernardino National Forest was also closed beginning Friday through March 16 because of storm damage to infrastructure in the forest and around the mountain communities, according to a news release.
“Due to limited access and deteriorating conditions, it will be several weeks before the Forest is fully operational,” said Forest Supervisor Danielle Harrison in the release. “With communities dealing with lack of power and lack of resources, visiting these mountain communities puts additional pressure on already scarce resources.”
The storms downed utility poles and lines, damaged roads and left them unsafe because of snow and ice.
Forest officials advised drivers against traveling to the communities but said if they must, they should be prepared with self-sustaining resources in case they get stuck.
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