Tioga and Glacier Point Roads Plowing Update

Blower plow pushing through piles of snow moved by the dozer (in the far distance in the snow)

Tioga Road

June 1, 2023 (updated every Friday)

Plows are currently just east of Yosemite Creek, which is about 18 miles from Crane Flat.

Yosemite had record snowpack (over 240% of average) as of April 1, 2023. In the previous snowiest years, Tioga Road opened in late June or early July. There is no way to provide a more precise estimate for this year.

Tioga Road is typically open to vehicles from late May or June until sometime in November. Plowing typically begins around April 15.

Glacier Point Road

April 28, 2023

Crews have reached Glacier Point. Blowers are done working on Glacier Point Road and are moving up to Tioga Road.

Glacier Point Road opening will not open until July, 2023, due to road construction that must be completed prior to the road opening (in addition to record snowpack). Expect 30-minute delays once Glacier Point Road opens. Until the road opens, Glacier Point Road is closed to all entry, including vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

Glacier Point Road is typically open to vehicles from sometime in May until sometime in November. Plowing typically begins around April 15.


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Why does it take so long to open the roads?

These are some common causes for slow progress of Tioga Road plowing:

  • Avalanche zones (26 potential areas). The Olmsted Point avalanche zone requires careful work, including application of charcoal over the snow to help with melting and blasting the snow slab to make it safer for personnel.
  • Heavy snow pack slows the whole operation.
  • Trees that have fallen across the road and been buried in the snow can cause substantial damage to equipment and result in a stop to all operations until they're cleared.
  • Rockfalls buried by the snow can cause substantial damage to the equipment and result in a stop to all operations.
  • Snow storms during the opening require a stop to Tioga Road operations in order to plow and sand park roads that are open.

Even after plowing is complete, trash collection, functioning restrooms, and adequate staffing must be in place to prevent harm to park resources.

For Tioga Road, once plows reach Tioga Pass, just one lane is plowed. Additional work is still required before the road can open:

Crews plow to the full width of Tioga Road and roads leading to critical infrastructure. During this time, several avalanche zones typically remain active.

Crews then shovel out infrastructure and begin the process of turning on drinking water and sewer systems. Meanwhile, other crews remove trees in danger of falling on the road and in developed areas, clear culverts on side roads, and replace signs.

Crews then work on setting up or de-winterizing buildings. Plowing and culvert clearing continues, and crews clear ditches and fill potholes.Just prior to opening, staff set up operations at the entrance station, wilderness/visitor center, and move into housing.

Will I be able to ride a bicycle on the Tioga or Glacier Point Roads before they open to cars?

In some years, these roads may be open during limited periods to bicycles prior to opening to cars. Any updates regarding pre-opening access on these roads will appear on this webpage. Unless otherwise posted here, both roads are closed to cyclists if they are closed to vehicles.


Last updated: June 1, 2023

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