Tioga Road will be closed through the holiday weekendSeptember 3rd, 2009 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
Yesterday, Wednesday September 2, the National Park Service issued a press release that said Tioga Road (Hwy 120) will be closed between Crane Flat and White Wolf at least through the Labor Day weekend. The road closed on Monday afternoon due to smoke from the Big Meadow Fire, which has been burning for a week. The fire reached Tioga Road yesterday, and is burning along the road today. Click here for a current fire map.
The shortest open route from Mono Lake to Yosemite Valley is via Sonora Pass, Hwy 108, to Hwy 49, and to Hwy 140. When Tioga Pass is open (usually from May to November), the drive can take up to two hours. Currently the detour takes over five hours and is not recommended for large vehicles due to the tight curves on Sonora Pass.
Smoke is impacting air quality in the Mono Basin; views of the scenery are impacted, and the air smells like smoke.