Yosemite National Park to partially reopen after 3-week closure

Mar 17, 2023, 11:44 AM

YOSEMITE, CA - FEBRUARY 22: A view of El Capitan as snow blanked Yosemite National Park in Californ...

YOSEMITE, CA - FEBRUARY 22: A view of El Capitan as snow blanked Yosemite National Park in California, United States on February 22, 2023. Winter storm warning issued in Yosemite Valley until Saturday. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

(Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

(CNN) — Yosemite National Park will begin to reopen Saturday with limited access and hours, the US National Park Service has announced. The park remains closed today.

The popular park, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, was closed because of a series of damaging storms that have swept across the region in recent weeks.

Since February 21, the park has seen more than 15 feet (4.6 meters) of snow at Tuolumne Meadows, higher than the average single story house. Warmer storms left behind 21 inches (53 centimeters) of rain.

The winter storms damaged roads and facilities throughout much of the park, with almost two dozen documented rockslides and debris flows affecting roadways. Most of these have been cleaned up, the park said.

The main roads are cleared, and snow has been plowed in the upper elevations. The park’s smaller roads will remain closed, along with the areas of the park they serve.

Yosemite will be open from sunrise to sunset this weekend. The park plans to expand to 24 hours in the Yosemite Valley on Monday, with limited overnight lodging. Campgrounds will remain closed as they are still buried in snow.

Visitors are cautioned to be ready with warm, waterproof clothing and vehicle chains as more weather is aimed for the area.

Other national and state park sites

Yosemite hasn’t been the only park in California that’s been affected by these winter storms. Here’s a look at the status of a few other popular sites in the state as of 9:30 a.m. PT Friday:

• Sequoia and Kings Canyon National ParksAll entries are closed until further notice. No opening will happen before March 20, and the park said it’s likely the entry closures will extend beyond that.

• Mojave National PreserveThe reserve is open, but select roads are closed. Check for updates before you try to drive through.

• Death Valley National Park: Snow has closed the access road to Telescope Peak trailhead. But other closures in the park are because of last summer’s damaging storms.

• California state parks: More than 20 state parks are closed, including four just in Monterey County.

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Yosemite National Park to partially reopen after 3-week closure