Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

2008: When Will Tioga Pass Open?

For those of us who travel to the Yosemite high country and cross between the “west side” and the “east side” guessing when Tioga Pass will open is an annual sport. It seems that the fun has started, as I’ve seen the subject mentioned online several times during the past week or so. If you want to play, there are a few resources you might want to check out:

  • The Tioga Pass Road Opening and Closing Dates are available from several online sources. The short summary is that the average opening date is near the very end of May – think of it as “by the first of June” – but that it has been as early as April and as late as early July. (Closing date info is also available at this link.)
  • Online discussions include lots of interesting speculation and sometimes information that isn’t available from the official sources – perhaps someone knows a person working on the plowing crew or happened to pick something up in a conversation with a park employee.
  • The Park Service update page is perhaps the most useful, though it is not always updated very frequently and you sometimes have to read between the lines to figure out what is really happening. For example, you might mistake early progress for an indication of an early opening – but sometimes issues remain in one or a few locations that prevent the park service from opening the whole road. But if you’ve watched this stuff for awhile and you’ve learned to parse “ParkSpeak” (that unique language occasionally used by Park Service employees when English would normally suffice) you can often figure out in advance the approximate or even exact opening date as the time approaches.

If I had to guess, I think that this year’s opening date will not depart too far from the average.

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April 26, 2008 - Posted by | Commentary

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