Wilderness Conditions Update

August 8, 2022

General Conditions

Summer is ongoing with hot, dry weather and clear skies with periods of monsoonal moisture causing thunderstorms. A recent influx of monsoonal moisture produced strong and prolonged thunderstorms producing heavy local rain. Some smaller creeks that would have been dry are suddenly full again. However, without additional moisture those creeks will return to their normal seasonal flow within a few weeks. Afternoon thunderstorms and cool nights are a possibility at high elevation. Trails are largely clear and dry, with only a few areas having downed trees and obstructions. Fire season is in full swing and the park has already weathered several wildfires, though none of concern for wilderness at this writing.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS ARE IN PLACE: Wood fires and smoking are prohibited in Yosemite Wilderness below 8,000' in elevation, and above 9,600' in elevation. Portable stoves using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane are permitted, as are alcohol stoves, including tablet/cube stoves. Twig or Sierra stoves are not permitted.

Water is widely available in the park's wilderness, though smaller, seasonal streams have begun to dry up. At the lowest elevations, only larger, year-round drainages have reliable water.

Park Area Trails (landmarks included in description Conditions

North and South Rim of Yosemite Valley

Dewey Point, Four Mile Trail, Panorama Trail, Snow Creek

On the North Rim, trails are largely clear and dry and water is available from most named sources.

Yosemite Creek is flowing and has deep pools of water
Wildcat Creek is less than 2" deep and may soon be dry.
Ribbon Creek is low.
Eagle Creek is dry.
Royal Arch Creek is dry.

On the South Rim, trails are clear and dry.

Note: Glacier Point Road is closed in 2022.

Water is available from Bridalveil Creek and Ilillouette Creek.

Low-flowing water or pools may be found elsewhere on the South Rim, but other water sources are not reliable at this time.

The camping closure between the top of the Snow Creek switchbacks and the Snow Creek footbridge is still in effect: there is no camping allowed in that area, and camping along Snow Creek is discouraged. Hiking past Snow Creek and finding campsites west of Indian Ridge is strongly advised.

Southern Section of the Park

Ostrander Lake, Illilouette Creek, Red Peak Pass

Note: Glacier Point Road is closed in 2022.

Trails are mostly clear and dry.
Water is available from most named sources.

Wawona Area

Chilnualna Creek, Buena Vista Loop

Note: Glacier Point Road is closed in 2022.

Trails are mostly clear and dry.

The Washburn Fire did not impact the Chilnualna Falls trail or trails to the east.
In several areas between Deer Camp Road Trail and Turner Meadow, up to 50ft of trail at a time is obscured by Whitethorn Ceanothus overgrowth and downed trees.

Water is available from most named sources.

Hetch Hetchy

Beehive Meadows, Tilltill Valley, Miguel Meadows, Rancheria Falls

Trails are clear and dry.

Burn area hazards are present in the Tiltill Valley area.

The trail from Smith Meadow to Smith Peak is overgrown with Whitethorn Ceanothus, which impedes travel and navigation. Trails in the Base Line Camp Road area are faint, overgrown in some places, and require additional navigational skills.

Water is available in all but the smallest named drainages. Small, seasonal streams are dry or stagnant.

Tuolumne Area: South of Tioga Rd

Lyell Canyon, Rafferty Creek, Echo Creek, Fletcher Creek

Trails are clear and dry.

Water is available in all named creeks, though some seasonal streams, such as Rafferty Creek, are running low and will dry up.

Tuolumne Area: North of Tioga Rd

Glen Aulin, Cold Canyon, May Lake, Cathedral Creek, PCT

Trails are clear and dry.
Water is available in most named creeks, most creek crossings are less than 2' deep.

Tioga Rd: West

Half Moon Meadow, Ten Lakes, South Fork Cathedral Creek, May Lake

Trails are mostly clear and dry, with downed trees remaining in burn areas.

In the Ten Lakes area, water is available at creek crossings 2 and 3 miles north of the Ten Lakes Trailhead and 1/2 mile south of Halfmoon meadow.
No water available between Halfmoon Meadow and Ten Lakes Basin.
In the May Lake area, reliable water can be found in lakes and in Cathedral Creek.
The South Fork of the Tuolumne and the Middle Fork of the Tuolumne are flowing.

John Muir Trail (JMT) - Happy Isles to Donohue Pass

Little Yosemite Valley, Sunrise Creek, Lyell Canyon, Donohue Pass

The trail is clear and dry.
Sunrise Creek is flowing.
The creek in the Sunrise High Sierra Camp is flowing., otherwise there is no water between Sunrise Creek and Upper Cathedral Lake.

The Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River is flowing.

Bears are active throughout the very busy JMT corridor in Yosemite, particularly Lyell Canyon. Make sure all your food fits into your bear canister and store properly throughout your trip.

Note: The Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers campground is closed in 2022. No exceptions for JMT hikers

See a map of trails that have been cleared of downed trees for the season. Please note that although most tree failures occur during the stormy winter months, trees can fail at any time.

Current Closures

All current trail closures are listed on the current conditions page.

Glacier Point Rd is closed for the entire 2022 season. Permits will not be issued for trailheads on Glacier Point Rd, and travel along or across the road is prohibited.

Tuolumne Meadows Campground, including the Backpacker's Campground, is closed for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. There will be no camping of any kind in Tuolumne Meadows nor any exceptions for backpackers or hikers. Backpackers will have to camp at least four trail miles from Tuolumne Meadows.

Full or partial meadow closures to free-range grazing are in effect at Crescent Lake, Hook Lake North, Isberg Lake, Miller Lake, Rodger's Lake, Turner Meadow, and Upper Kerrick Meadow to align with the 2020 Biological Opinion for Yosemite toads and mountain yellow-legged frogs, and Virginia Canyon - Castle Camp for protection of sensitive vegetation resources. Further guidance is provided in the Superintendent's Compendium; detailed maps of meadow closures are at the stock use page.

Trails in Yosemite may be closed when there are hidden hazards or are impassable due to rock fall, snow, ice, or fire. Open trails are not necessarily free of hazards. By entering the wilderness, you are assuming responsibility for your safety and must use good judgment.

Parking in Tuolumne Meadows

The only two trailhead parking areas in Tuolumne Meadows (between Fairview Dome and the wilderness center) are Dog Lake parking and at the wilderness center.

Wilderness Permits

Wilderness permits are required for overnight stays in the Yosemite Wilderness. Reserved permits can be picked up at the following locations:

Wilderness Permit Reservations

Wilderness Permits are available online at recreation.gov (help desk available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm). Reservations are available up to 24 (168 Days) weeks to 3 days ahead of your entry date.

Yosemite Valley Wilderness Center

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Reserved permit pickup available, maps for sale, and bear canisters for rent.

Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Reserved permit pickup available and bear canisters for rent.

Big Oak Flat Information Station

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Reserved permit pickup available and bear canisters for rent.

Wawona Visitor Center at Hill's Studio

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Reserved permit pickup available, maps for sale, and bear canisters for rent.

Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station

Hetchy Road is open 8 am to 5 pm. Wilderness permits for the Hetch Hetchy area and bear canister rentals are available at the entrance station. There is no access to Hetch Hetchy beyond open hours (overnight parking is permitted in the overnight parking lot near the backpackers campground).

Food Storage

Bear resistant food canisters are required in the Yosemite Wilderness. Use a canister to store all food or scented items when left unattended. Remember that anything used in, on, or around the body is considered a food item. Whenever food or scented items are out, please keep them within arm's reach, even while day hiking.

If a bear approaches your camp, act immediately to scare it away. Maintain a safe distance while making as much noise as possible. Throw small stones or pines cones toward the bear, being careful not to strike the bear on the head. If the bear returns, repeat. Do not attempt to retrieve food or gear from a bear until it abandons the items.

Last updated: August 8, 2022

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