Rain-battered Yosemite Valley plans to reopen slowly

Cook's Meadow near the Merced River flooded Sunday as water poured down Yosemite Falls.
(Gary Kazanjian / Associated Press)

Yosemite Valley, the tourist hub of the national park, will reopen Tuesday for day use only. Lodges and hotels in the valley are expected to reopen to guests on Wednesday, according to a park release.

Campgrounds in the valley are scheduled to reopen Tuesday evening.

It wasn’t the mega-flooding park officials had feared, but the Merced River crested above flood level — 12.7 feet — early Monday. The park is still assessing damage to roads and water and sewer systems.


The popular Yosemite Valley closed to visitors 5 p.m. Friday when severe weather that could produce flash floods were predicted. At the time, guests were asked to leave the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly the Ahwahnee), Yosemite Valley Lodge and other accommodations.

Storm-related rock falls will kept of the park’s main arteries to Yosemite Valley — El Portal Road, or California 140 — and Hetch Hetchy Road temporarily shut. El Portal Road reopened to traffic Tuesday, though was scheduled to temporarily close again because of weather and rockfall concerns.

Visitors are warned to be aware of road and weather conditions while driving through the park. For up-to-date information, check the park’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.


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2:45 p.m. Tuesday: This article was updated with additonal details.