Snow storm threat shuts recently opened Glacier Point Road in Yosemite

YOSEMITE, CA., MAY 20, 2013: Lit by a very bright half moon, night becomes day during this 30-second
Lit by a half-moon, night becomes day during this 30-second time exposure view of Yosemite’s Half Dome from a Glacier Point vantage point.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Glacier Point Road, the pathway to one of the most treasured views in Yosemite National Park — the great granite bulk of Half Dome — had opened for the season Friday. But a late-season storm forecast for the Sierra will shut the road at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

It will remain closed until the storm passes and roads can be evaluated for safety, a news release said.

Even before the storm hits, rangers were warning visitors that trails in the area are still under snow.

“Do not hike trails starting from the road unless you’re prepared for cross-country navigation and have winter hiking skills/gear,” rangers tweeted.


The road climbs 16 miles from the park’s Wawona area to Glacier Point, 7,214 feet above sea level. The point is about 3,200 feet above the floor of Yosemite Valley. Though it feels as if it looks down up Half Dome, Half Dome is actually about 1,600 feet higher. Glacier Point Road usually closes for the winter in October or November.

Meanwhile, Tioga Road, the main artery connecting the park to the eastern Sierra and Owens Valley, remains closed. It typically opens in late May or June, and this was an unusually snowy winter. The park service reports that as of May 1, snowpack in the Tuolumne River basin was at 149% of average.

To check road conditions, call (209) 372-0200 (then 1,1).


Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds

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