Yosemite National Park

A Celebrated Sierra Pass Will Soon Reopen

The snow has been fully cleared from Tioga Road, the highest of the range's passes.

Mono County Tourism

EVEN WHEN IT IS HOT, in the middle of spring, and people are out in summer wear, and fanning themselves at outdoor festivals, and seeking shade, you can count on one remarkable thing: Hardworking crews are still clearing out the prodigious snowpack that sets in, each winter, around the Tioga Pass. It isn't surprising that the high-elevation route sees plenty of snow — after all, it wends, with scenic grandeur, by some of the highest granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada — but it can be surprising to consider that the pass only remains open to vehicles for about half the year, give or take. It frequently closes in November, though sometimes earlier, and cars aren't seen again along its picturesque curves before May or even June. It's how plenty of warm-weather road-trippers toodle from Mono Lake or Bodie State Historic Park to Yosemite or from the waterfall-laden valley over to Mono County, Mammoth Lakes, and Highway 395.

THE 2022 OPENING DATE... was just announced, and the timing seems fortuitous for people heading out to explore over Memorial Day Weekend. Tioga Road reopens at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 27, the last of the "Big 3" Sierra passes to debut for the season. (Sonora Pass and Monitor Pass reopened earlier in the spring.) Good to remember: Reservations are required, during peak hours, to enter or even pass through Yosemite National Park. "We are excited to be reunited with the west side, and welcome visitors and responsible recreation adventurers back to beautiful Mono County," stated Bob Gardener, Chair of the Mono County Board of Supervisors. "The Eastern Sierra is the perfect place to unwind, explore, and recharge, and we appreciate the enthusiasm and respect for the environment that tourists bring to our corner of the state."

LOOKING BACK: If you're a trivia buff with a soft spot for the Sierra facts, you can see all of the Tioga's opening and closing dates, going back to the early 1930s, at this site.

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