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‘Tioga Pass watch’ Category

“An effort of this magnitude will never be perfect”

Friday, September 6th, 2019 by Kevin, Information Center & Bookstore Assistant

Twenty thousand years ago, a glacier churned down Lee Vining Canyon. Hundreds of feet thick at the top of the canyon, the glacier reached its maximum extent at the site of what is now the US Forest Service ranger station, just west of Lee Vining.

It is now easier to picture this arm of what scientists call the Tioga glaciation thanks to a new US Geological Survey map showing its extent throughout the Yosemite region. Greg Stock, geologist for Yosemite National Park and one of the map’s authors, spoke at the Mono Lake Committee last month. To a packed room, he described the jumble of moraines, boulders, and rock striations that he and his colleagues deciphered to build the map.

The USGS’s new map, released this summer, shows the extent of the Tioga glaciation in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park. This corner of the map shows a glacier flowing down Lee Vining Canyon toward ancestral Mono Lake (Lake Russell). Image courtesy of the USGS.

But this latest map is based on more than work by Stock and his colleagues. It also draws on the efforts of an earlier generation of scientists. In other words, just as the Tioga glaciation isn’t the only glacial period in the Sierra Nevada’s past, the 2019 map is not the first map of the Tioga glaciation in the park. (more…)

39th annual Tioga Pass Run coming up

Sunday, September 1st, 2019 by Meghan, Mono Lake Intern

As the heat of the summer simmers down and the phalaropes head south, runners will be lining up on Sunday, September 8 outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstorefor the 39th annual Tioga Pass Run.

With the Dana Plateau towering above, athletes head uphill during the Tioga Pass Run. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

This 12.4mile run goes up the shoulder of scenic Highway 120 West and finishes at the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park. Ascending over 3,000 feet, it’s a challenge that’s worth the effort—athletes are rewarded with lunch at the Whoa Nellie Deli and the bragging rights of completing this hefty task. (more…)

Tioga Pass to open fully on Monday, July 1

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

News from Yosemite National Park: Tioga Pass will open fully on Monday, July 1 at 8:00am. Until the full opening on Monday morning vehicular access will continue to be available at 10:00–11:00am and 3:00–4:00pm.

A view of the Tioga Pass area from the slopes of Mt. Dana on June 23, 2019. Photo by Joslyn Rogers.

July 1 is one of the latest dates for Tioga Pass to fully open, and later than in 2017 when the road opened on June 29 with more snow in the high country that year than this year. This is only the fifth time it has opened fully in July since record keeping began in 1933—other July opening dates happened in (more…)

Tioga Pass open on a limited basis starting Friday, June 21

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

As road crews continue to work to get Tioga Pass (Highway 120) all the way open, Yosemite National Park has announced that there will be limited access to the road starting on Friday.

The gate at the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

The Tioga Road will be open to all vehicles, including bicycles, from 10:00am to 11:00am and from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, with no parking allowed on the road and no day use recreation permitted. This is a pass-through option only, for visitors interested in crossing the Sierra.

There is still no estimated date for the road to open fully. For more information, see the full press release from the National Park Service.

The Tioga Pass lower gate is open

Friday, May 31st, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

At noon today Caltrans opened the lower gate on Tioga Pass, which opens 13 miles of Highway 120, from Highway 395 to the Yosemite National Park boundary. The gate at the park boundary remains closed.

The Tioga Pass lower gate on February 7, 2019. The snow has melted and the gate opened today. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

With the lower gate open, people can access the high country near the park boundary—it remains almost completely snow-covered with wintry conditions and variable weather. Visitors planning to leave the road should be prepared for such conditions. Ellery Lake and Tioga Lake are still covered in ice and snow, and Saddlebag Lake Road is still closed, so there is no vehicle access to Saddlebag Lake. Tioga Pass Resort and Saddlebag Lake Resort remain closed.

There is still no estimated opening date for Tioga Pass; plowing updates can be found here and a list of previous opening dates here.

Tioga Pass watch: Current conditions

Monday, May 20th, 2019 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Dana Meadows, at the top of Tioga Pass, looking northeast towards Tioga Peak. Photo by Nora Livingston.

On Saturday, May 18, I tagged along with a researcher studying sparrows up Tioga Pass. We drove all the way to the Yosemite National Park entrance station to check out the current conditions and set up a weather station for her study plot. It is still a winter wonderland up there! (more…)

Mono Basin roads and services begin to open for the season

Friday, April 19th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

After a winter with above-average snowfall, warm spring temperatures have finally arrived! With Easter this weekend and fishing season opening next weekend (Saturday, April 27), roads and services are beginning to open up for the summer season.

Snow removal happening on Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass) on April 10, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Tuolumne Winter Rangers.

Visitor centers

The Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center opened for the season yesterday. Open Thursday through Monday, 8:30am to 4:30pm, with limited services. The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore is open every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm. (more…)

Tioga Pass, Sonora Pass closing this week

Monday, November 19th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

With the first winter storm in the forecast this week, the National Park Service has announced that Tioga Pass (Highway 120 west) will close at 6:00pm tomorrow, Tuesday, November 20.

Tioga Pass will close tomorrow evening at 6:00pm due to incoming winter weather. Photo by Bartshe Miller from February 15, 2018.

In addition, Caltrans has announced that Ebbetts Pass (Highway 4) will close at 3:00pm tomorrow and Sonora Pass (Highway 108) will close at noon on Wednesday, November 21. Both agencies have noted that these closures are not necessarily the long-term seasonal closures yet. There are no expected re-opening times for the roads; that is weather-dependent.

Results are in for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run

Saturday, September 15th, 2018 by Nigel, Birding Intern

Last Sunday, September 9, athletes from near and far joined us in the Eastern Sierra for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run.

Runners make their way up the Tioga Road just past the midpoint of the race. Photo by Dick Erb.

Starting outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining, the grueling but beautiful 12.4-mile course follows the Tioga Road up Lee Vining Canyon to the eastern gate of Yosemite National Park, topping out at 9,943 feet above sea level. A total of 148 runners and walkers completed the race this year, a new record!

This year’s overall winner, finishing in a time of 1:40:16, was (more…)

Yosemite Valley to reopen on Tuesday, August 14

Sunday, August 12th, 2018 by Eric, Mono Lake Intern

Yosemite Valley will be reopening to visitors on Tuesday, August 14 at 9:00am. The valley has been closed to visitors since July 25 due to the Ferguson Fire burning near the park.

Access to the valley will be available from the El Portal Road (Highway 140), the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120), or the Tioga Road (Highway 120).

The Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias will reopen on Monday, August 13 at 9:00am. Visitors will be able to access the Mariposa Grove via the South Entrance (Highway 41) and park in the newly constructed parking area.

The Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias reopened to visitors on June 14 after a three-year restoration project in partnership with the Yosemite Conservancy. Photo courtesy of nps.gov.

Although the South Entrance will be open in order to provide access to the Mariposa Grove and Wawona, there will be no access to Yosemite Valley via Highway 41. (more…)

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