Spring has arrived in Yosemite National Park. Visitors arriving to the park should expect green meadows, dogwoods in bloom, and full waterfalls fed by the late rain and snow that persisted through April.
While visitors to the park will be treated to the majesty of Yosemite Valley€™s towering cliffs, they should also be aware of conditions and projects in the park. Because of the late snows this year, many of the high country roads remain closed due to snow and icy conditions. The Glacier Point and the Tioga Pass Roads are expected to be opened on June 6, weather permitting.
People intending to backpack and hike should anticipate snowy conditions lower in elevation than is typical this time of the year. The average snow level is 6,500 feet and deep snow pack can exist in shaded, north facing slopes. The Four Mile Trail will be open to Union Point but closed beyond that because of dangerous conditions. Glacier Point will not be accessible from trail and hikers on the Panorama Trail should not use the Four Mile Trail as part of a loop hike.
Little Yosemite Valley Ranger Station is open and the rangers intend to put up the cables to the top of Half Dome, weather permitting, for Memorial Day weekend. Please check on trail conditions when you arrive at the park for the most current information.
A limited number of first-come, first-served campsites are available. Visitors are advised to arrive as early as possible in an effort to obtain these sites. All campsites in on the reservation system are booked throughout Memorial Day weekend.
The Merced River is full from melting snow pack and incredible to see. However, rivers and creeks are dangerous in the spring. Avoid the cold, swift water and never wade above waterfalls. Enjoy these treasures from a safe distance.
Several projects are underway in Yosemite Valley as designated by the Yosemite Valley Plan. Among these is the Lower Yosemite Fall Project. The parking lot at Lower Yosemite Fall is closed to vehicle traffic as this project proceeds. Visitors still have full access to Lower Yosemite Fall by foot. Improvements to the trail, better educational opportunities, and improved restroom facilities are all part of the project that should be completed by 2004 and is being coordinated with the Yosemite Fund.