Yosemite National Park is officially closed due to the ongoing severe winter storm conditions through at least Wednesday, March 1st.
The National Park Service announced the closure on Saturday, saying the park would not be accessible to the public for these few days. Only administrative traffic will be allowed through the El Portal Road entrance, the extension of HWY 140 into the park.
Yosemite National Park is now closed through Wednesday, March 1, due to severe winter conditions.— Yosemite National Park (@YosemiteNPS) February 25, 2023
All other roads into the park — Wawona Road, Big Oak Flat Road , Yosemite Valley Roads, Hetch Hetchy Road, Tioga Road, Badger Pass Road, and Mariposa Grove Road — are closed, according to NPS' website.
The storm that caused this week’s snow in the Bay Area is moving east into the mountains and becoming even worse, according to KRON4. Whiteout snow conditions have been reported across Yosemite.
According to park rangers tasked with surveying the snow, the average snow depth across the park is already 122 inches at the beginning of February.
January brought snow to the Sierra Nevada, with 181 in. of snow falling in Tuolumne Meadows! Our winter rangers are halfway through this month’s snow surveys and the average snow depth of surveys completed is 122 inches. Learn more in this week's update: https://t.co/WCVtmTeHtY pic.twitter.com/KiHjsR34wB— Yosemite National Park (@YosemiteNPS) February 2, 2023
You can even watch a live video of Upper Yosemite Falls, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls, to see the current conditions, on the Yosemite Conservancy’s website. Snow-capped mountain peaks and snow-covered pine trees dot the landscape.
Mercury News reported that the last time that heavy snowfall and storms have closed access to the park was in February of 2019, when four days of heavy snow made the valley's roads impassable.
Yosemite has already seen some serious weather impacts in the past week week: a massive rockslide occurred on El Capitan, the towering granite monolith on the north side of Yosemite Valley, causing tons of boulders to cascade down from its 3,000-foot face, according to ABC7.
Roads and trails in Yosemite National Park were forced to close after a rockfall. Video from close range captures growing clouds of debris, as rocks are seen crashing down the edge of the famed rock formation El Capitan. ⛰️📸😲 pic.twitter.com/FOuH3qW3DD— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) February 23, 2023
Image via National Parks Service.