Yosemite National Park

Sierra Scenic: Tioga Road to Reopen

You'll need a Yosemite reservation, though, to cross the mountain-famous byway in a vehicle.

Peter Unger

IF YOU KNOW YOUR YOSEMITE ADVENTURES, and the higher elevation passes of California, and majestic Mono County, too, you know there is a thoroughfare that observes an opening date, and then a closing date, each and every year. This isn't a single event, happening just once, but something that takes place around May or June on every calendar, and again during the following October, November, or December. It's the opening, and closing, of the iconic Tioga Road, one of the great Golden State passages, a Sierra Nevada pass that truly ribbons by some of the most spectacular peaks and meadows to be found anywhere. The way-up-there pass, which connects the western side of Yosemite to the Eastern Sierra, closes around the mid-fall each year, or sometimes later, due to copious amounts of snow, and then reopens when the snow has been cleared (the clearing commences in mid-April).

AND THE 2020 REOPENING? It's happening on June 15, which times well with the June 11 reopening of many recreational opportunities at Yosemite National Park (which the road partially wends through). Something important to keep in mind? "A reservation is required to enter the park and use Tioga Road," unless you're entering by cycle (there's more information on that here). As for other celebrated streets in the region? Glacier Point Road reopened on June 5, but keep in mind it will close for the entirety of 2021 for improvements. For more on both roads, you can visit Yosemite's official National Park Service site. For an interesting grid that details the opening/closing Tioga Road dates from years gone by, there's this page, which offers a fascinating window into some of the snowier winters in the Sierra.

FOR UPDATES... on California Safer at Home recommendations in the time of the coronavirus closures, click.

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