Tioga Road Is Fully Open, Finally, Yosemite Fun-Havers

The snow has been cleared from the high-elevation, super-scenic byway

SAYING "FINALLY" ABOUT ANYTHING... can seem a bit cheeky, at first glance, as though you're at the very end of waiting. It's a word that indicates impatience, and some tapping of one's foot, and maybe the crossing of a person's arms, too, in a show of "hurry up, please." But when we break out a "finally!" about the annual reopening of Tioga Road, we're not at all exasperated with the time it has taken to plow prodigious amounts of snow from the high-elevation highway, one of the main routes across the Sierra Nevada; rather, it is an indicator of excitement, of anticipation, and, ultimately, of appreciation of a job very well done. It's a challenging job that crews have been at for months, which is no surprise, since the winter of 2018-2019 saw some truly heavy snowfall. The spectacular, view-laden road did indeed open with "limited access" on the first day of summer 2019, but, on...

MONDAY, JULY 1, visitors can count on a fully open road with "unrestricted travel." It's a true sign of summer's arrival in the Sierra, and travelers looking to cross from the Eastern Sierra to the Central Valley, or vice versa, can now do so via Highway 120. Of course, it isn't just a throughway, but a popular route that includes some of Yosemite's highest-up-there treasures, the natural landmarks that are closer to the sky, such as Tuolumne Meadows, North Dome, and Olmstead Point. Will there still be snow capping various peaks? Oh goodness, yes; Mammoth Mountain, which isn't far from the Tioga, had its snowiest May on record in 2019, which is one reason for road's later opening. But if you really want to dig deep into Tioga trivia, you can look at this...

HELPFUL PAGE, which shows the road's opening and closing dates over the last three decades. This is a late-opener of a year for Tioga Pass, slightly besting 2017, which also saw record snowfall earlier in the winter. As for its closure date? That is definitely TBD, but years gone by tell us to expect an announcement around the middle of November, so head up, up, up soon for that high Sierra splendor.

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