Yosemite National Park will reopen Tuesday, 14 days after a wildfire choked the park with smoke at the peak of tourist season.
Park spokesman Scott Gediman said Friday visitors should expect limited hours and visitor services as the park returns to normal.
The scenic Yosemite Valley and other areas have been closed since July 25 along with hundreds of campsites and hotels.
Though the blaze didn’t reach the heart of the park, it burned in remote areas, making roads inaccessible and polluting the area with smoke.
Disappointed Visitors Leave Yosemite as Fire Rages Nearby
The closure has dealt a financial blow to Yosemite at the height of the summer season and caused upheaval for thousands of tourists whose summer trips were canceled.
"We'd like to express our sincere gratitude to the firefighters and, Incident command teams for their great efforts in suppressing the Ferguson Fire. We'd also like to express our gratitude and thanks to our gateway communites who tirelessly helped visitors to the area while they were being impacted by the fire", said Michael Reynolds, Yosemite National Park superintendent. "This is truly a historic and unprecedented event in park history, and we are thrilled to welcome back visitors to Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove."
Fire crews have made progress against the biggest blaze in California history but officials say the fire won't be fully contained until September.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Friday the blaze in Northern California is 60 percent contained.
The Mendocino Complex Fire of twin fires burning side by side has been raging through tinder-dry vegetation for two weeks.
It has destroyed 119 homes and charred an area the size of Los Angeles.
Officials say a much more destructive blaze burning farther north near the city of Redding is now 51 percent contained.
That blaze destroyed more than 1,000 homes and displaced 38,000 people.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again. Updated information is also available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose and on the Yosemite National Park Facebook page.
Information via Yosemite National Park:
Visitors can access Yosemite Valley from the El Portal Road (Highway 140), the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) or the Tioga Road (Highway 120).
The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias will reopen to the public on Monday, August 13 at 9:00 a.m.
The Wawona Road (Highway 41) will remain closed from Wawona to Yosemite Valley for at least another week due to ongoing fire activity and firefighter operations. Park visitors are being asked to drive with extreme caution and delays are possible due to fire activity and ongoing fire operations. Visitors should expect limited hours until the park returns to normal operations.
Park visitors should be aware that there is still active fire and smoke on the roads and people should drive with extreme caution. Delays on the roads are possible due to fire activity and ongoing firefighter operations. There will be limited hours and limited visitor services at park facilities as the park returns to normal operations.
The Glacier Point Road remains closed and is expected to open when the Wawona Road (Highway 41) reopens. The Hetch Hetchy Area remains closed due to smoke impacts but is expected to reopen soon.