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Yosemite Closed Due To Blizzard

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Yosemite, CA – With a winter storm passing through the region, Yosemite National Park closed the entrance gates at 12 am today.

“This was not a decision that was easy or was a late decision that was made, but with the amount of snow that’s expected and the road conditions, we just felt it was safe for everybody to close,” explained Park Ranger Scott Gediman.

After conferring with the National Weather Service on the conditions, including the forecasting of several feet of snow with very high winds throughout the park, and Badger Pass expected to get over seven feet of snow, it was determined that the entrance gates should close at midnight.

“We looked at factors like: can our plows keep up with the snow on the roads, and is it safe? You know, if our power goes down, are there enough generators?” added Gediman.

All visitors are being asked to leave the park as soon as possible or by noon Friday, March 1. Gediman added, “All the visitors who had a reservation either in the campground or a park hotel will get a full refund.”

The last time the park closed due to bad weather was last year around this time. It shut down on February 25 when snow levels exceeded 15 feet in some parks in the park, as we reported here. It partially reopened two weeks later, on March 18th, as detailed here. Gediman commented on other notable park closures: “It’s closed in the past for things like fire, smoke, and the government shut down, so the park has closed periodically over the years, but a full park closure like we’re instituting this evening is rare.”

Staff and concessionaires will stay in the park, and road crews always try to keep one roadway open for emergencies if possible. The park will remain closed at least through Sunday at noon, and depending on the conditions, possibly later.

Gediman says, “Plows will be ready to hit the roadways as soon as the storm passes.”