Snow conditions at Tioga Pass

Last weekend my husband and I ventured up Highway 120 West, on bikes and skis, to check out the snow conditions at Tioga Pass.

Small snowdrifts remain just west of the green bridge on Highway 120 West. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Caltrans has plowed the road clear of snow all the way up to between the Saddlebag Lake Road turnoff and Tioga Pass Resort. At that point we hopped off our bikes and stepped into our ski boots for the remaining 2.25 miles to the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park.

Ellery Lake and Tioga Lake remain nearly entirely frozen over. Snow on the road ranges from almost none near Tioga Lake to six feet of dense drifts in other places. The road was covered by about 3.5 feet of snow at the entrance gate to Yosemite.

Caltrans has been posting updates on the plowing progress on social media, for Tioga Pass and also Sonora Pass—it’s a good way to keep up with their work. As for when Tioga Pass might open? There’s no official word yet, but Yosemite’s plowing update is also a useful resource. You can also see opening dates and snowpack percentages going back decades, which can help you guess when the pass might open—this year the snowpack is 95% of average for the Mono Basin.

The snow conditions at the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park on April 20, 2024. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Top photo by Elin Ljung.