Yosemite National Park plans to open the seasonal road and free shuttle to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias on Friday, but don’t break out the hiking shorts just yet. The calendar may say spring, but visitors in April and early May should expect snow and winter hiking conditions, a recent news release said.
The popular grove in the southern end of the park is open year-round, but the road and free shuttle close in winter. Up to 2 feet of snow remains along some trails in the grove as the park gets ready to open it for the summer season.
Starting Friday, the two-mile shuttle from the park’s south entrance parking area will run every 10 minutes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until May 14 and until 8 p.m. after that date.
Yosemite received a lot of snow this season; snowpack as of April 1 measured from 153% to 176% of normal, according to the park’s website.
Other key seasonal routes, Tioga Road (California120 through the park) and Glacier Point Road remain closed and aren’t expected to reopen until late May or June.
In Tuolumne Meadows on the park’s east side, winter remains in place. Rangers posted an update April 3 that said, in part:
“This week saw typical unsettled spring conditions with everything from thunder-snow squalls, high winds, corn snow and soft powder,” the report said. “In between all of that, we had three full days of Sierra Nevada blue skies, and temperatures near 50 [degrees].”