Will the Tioga Pass Road be open for Memorial Day Weekend? National Park officials wont say for certain, but plowing updates show good prospects for a May opener of this important summer road.
Every year National Park Service crews set out from Crane Flat on the west side of the pass, while Caltrans crews work up the eastern approach from Lee Vining. Depending on the winter snowfall and the condition of the road, crews can have the road open anywhere from late April to the Fourth of July.
The latest news from the Park Service morning report, the daily briefing for park staff, shows that crews have opened at least one lane of highway all the way over the pass. As of Wednesday, the road was open to essential park staff, but avalanche danger still exists near the pass, so only trained personnel are allowed through this area.
Park officials are reluctant to give an estimated date for the opening of the road. On Friday the road is expected to be open to Yosemite Creek from the west side. Cyclists will be allowed to go farther, up to the May Lakes parking area. The east side of the highway is open to the pass, but the full connection has only been opened to official park traffic.
Being open to administrative traffic is a good sign that the road will open soon, possibly by the middle of next week, but there is no set date at this time. Park officials say that crews could still run into trouble and that the staff will open the road as soon as it is safe to do so.