Just in time for Memorial Day, Yosemite National Park’s eastern entrance is open for the season, but don’t expect summer road conditions.
Tioga Road, the eastern part of Highway 120 across the park and gateway to backcountry trails, opened Monday, a national park release said.
However, park officials warn that visitors should expect snow and icy conditions this week, which has the potential to temporarily close the route over safety concerns.
The National Weather Service’s weekend forecast for Tuolumne Meadows in the eastern part of the park shows a possibility of rain and snow showers.
Services along Tioga Road remain limited. Campgrounds along the route as well as the store and visitor center at Tuolumne Meadows remain closed.
The seasonal road opened much earlier than last year, when snow kept it shut until June 29. The Tioga Pass park entrance at almost 10,000 feet is the highest highway pass in California.
It’s a 74-mile drive on Tioga Road from the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center to Lee Vining.
For current road information in Yosemite National Park, call (209) 372-0200 (press 1, then 1 again).
Also, the cables on Half Dome, which help hikers climb the last 400 feet to the 8,842-foot summit, were set up May 11. Permits are needed for all who plan to hike to the top. They cost $10 for each permit plus a $10 application fee.