Yosemite National Park Thursday, June 29th, 2017

June 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park

Thursday, June 29th, 2017


Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast

Today: Sunny. Highs 79 to 87 at 5000 feet...68 to 76 at 8000 feet.

Tonight: Clear. Lows 53 to 63 at 5000 feet...42 to 52 at 8000 feet.

Tomorrow: Sunny. Highs 82 to 90 at 5000 feet...70 to 78 at 8000 feet.


Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:

Yosemite Valley  |  Wawona  |  Tuolumne Meadows  |  Glacier Point |  Big Oak Flat  |  Hetch Hetchy  |  El Portal  |  Mariposa | Badger Pass






The park has been evaluating all of its communication tools in order to be strategic and deliberate. Recently, the park received legal advice regarding our obligations in communication messages coming from an official NPS government email account. 


As of Monday, June 26, the Daily Report will focus on news items that affect people’s work in the park. We understand that information about community news and events is important and valuable to our employees, partners, and community. We are working on having a partner set up and independently manage a new email list that would contain community news and events. The Daily Report will provide information about how to sign up for this new email list as soon as it is available.


Additionally, the version of the Daily Report that non-NPS employees receive may have some NPS-specific items (such as trainings open only to NPS employees or acting designations) removed.


For reference, this is the description of the Daily Report (and appears in every regular edition):

Yosemite's Daily Report is an internal memorandum of long standing intended to provide timely administrative information needed for daily park operations. The primary purpose of the report is to serve as a communication tool for park management to pass specific operational information to field employees of Yosemite National Park, park partners, concessioners, and related government agencies in a fast and efficient manner and offer a format for inter-divisional, inter-agency, and general intra-park notifications. 






The Housing Office Closed Monday

The Housing Office will be closed Monday, July 3rd.  (Y. Radanovich



Yosemite National Park Expects Busy Fourth of July Weekend - Yosemite News Release

June 28, 2017

Fireworks are Strictly Prohibited in Park


Yosemite National Park anticipates a very busy Fourth of July weekend. The park expects high visitation, especially from Thursday, June 29, 2017 until Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Visitors are encouraged to arrive at Yosemite before 9:00 am or after 4:00 pm. Once in the park, visitors are urged to park their vehicles at the Yosemite Village, Yosemite Falls, or Half Dome Village parking areas and leave them parked. Visitors are then encouraged to use the free shuttle bus service, bike paths, and hiking trails to navigate Yosemite Valley. One of the best ways to travel around Yosemite Valley is by bicycle.


Parking in Yosemite Valley is very limited and is expected to fill early. Visitors coming to Yosemite National Park should expect up to a 3-hour wait to enter and park their vehicles. There will be traffic congestion throughout the park, including in Yosemite Valley, along Glacier Point Road, and in Tuolumne Meadows. Parking is only allowed in designated parking areas. Vehicles parked off road or blocking the flow of traffic may be towed or receive a citation for up to $780.00.


A great way to avoid parking challenges in Yosemite Valley is to park your vehicle outside Yosemite National Park and ride the Yosemite Area Regional Transit (YARTS) buses into Yosemite Valley. YARTS picks up passengers at multiple locations, including along Highway 140 (from Merced), along Highway 120 (from Sonora and Mammoth Lakes), and along Highway 41 (beginning in Fresno). YARTS buses provide multiple drop-off locations throughout the park and in Yosemite Valley. Once visitors are in Yosemite Valley, they can enjoy the free shuttle throughout the valley or simply walk, to enjoy many of park’s most famous sites and destinations. Visit www.yarts.com for more information.


Fireworks are strictly prohibited in the park.


All campgrounds on the reservation system are completely sold out for the weekend. The park’s first-come, first-served campgrounds will fill early. There are many camping and lodging options in the gateway communities surrounding the park.


Visitors should also be mindful of the expected warm temperatures this weekend. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, avoid strenuous activity in the middle of the day, and be careful of overexertion. Watch for signs of heat stress and do not leave pets or children unattended in vehicles.


Waterways inside Yosemite National Park, including the Merced and the Tuolumne Rivers, continue to flow very fast and very cold. Visitors are encouraged to avoid fast-moving

stream crossings and to stay at least one body length away from any moving water. 


The park is experiencing a very busy summer season.  Below are some tips to enjoy the park during the busy summer season.


Stop at a visitor center in town on your way to the park - Stop at one of the visitor centers in the communities of Mariposa, Oakhurst, Groveland, or Lee Vining for information on Yosemite National Park and to purchase your park pass. Buying an entrance pass at a gateway visitor center can help reduce your wait time at the park’s entrance.


Plan trips during the mid-week - Yosemite National Park is most popular on weekends and holidays, which can mean traffic congestion. Fewer visitors arrive Monday through Friday. 


Explore lesser known areas of Yosemite and the Surrounding Areas - Yosemite National Park is a big park with a lot to offer. Consider visiting other areas outside of Yosemite Valley that are just as beautiful. Visitors can explore areas such as Hetch Hetchy, Tioga Road, and Wawona. Visitors are also urged to explore other areas within the Yosemite region. There are many areas of natural beauty and cultural significance surrounding the park. A variety of attractions in and around gateway communities such as Mariposa, Oakhurst, Sonora, Lee Vining, and Mammoth Lakes offer great recreational and sightseeing opportunities. 


Other general tips on visiting Yosemite include:


Hiking is a great way to explore the wonders of Yosemite National Park. Day hikers and backpackers should be aware that weather can be unpredictable and change without warming. Visitors are encouraged to plan and bring the necessary gear to have a safe and enjoyable trip. To help plan your visit, check out the current edition of the Yosemite Guide (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/yg17-5.pdf). 


Speeding Kills Bears - When driving in the park, motorists are urged to drive slowly as bears and other animals are active and may be present on the roadway.


For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again.  (J. Richards)







Chowchilla Mountain Road

The Chowchilla Mountain Road will now be open in the park from the Wawona Golf Course to the park boundary.  This section of the road in the park is very rough from the winter storms, with ditches and washouts. The conditions are much worse on the Sierra NF section of the road.  Only vehicles with high clearance or Four-Wheeled drive are recommended on the road at this time. Sedan low clearance type vehicles will not be able to use this road.  (E. Scott)



Kim Hasting's Retirement Celebration

Kim Hastings, RMS Science Data Manager extraordinaire  will be celebrating her retirement this Thursday, June 29th.  The festivities will take place at Indian Flat Picnic Area (near Cedar Lodge) from 5 PM to 9 PM.  This will be a Build Your Own Taco  potluck event so please bring something to share or just join your friends at the river for Kim's send off.  You may want to bring your own chair, beverage, bug repellent, and good cheer. See you there!  (C. Knipper)



Crane Flat Campground

Crane Flat Campground opened Wednesday, June 28. It will be first come, first served for the nights of June 28, 29 and 30 only. Visitors must go directly to Crane Flat Campground to obtain a site for said dates; only cash or checks are acceptable for payment. The campground returns to reservations July 1 and is fully booked from then on. For more information, please contact the Big Oak Flat Campground Office at 379-2123.  (E. Bissmeyer)



Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park Open to All Vehicular Traffic Thursday, June 29, 2017 - Yosemite News Release June 27, 2017

Tioga Road will open for Bicycle and Pedestrian Use on Wednesday, June 28, 2017


The Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park (Highway 120 through the park) will open for the season to all vehicular traffic beginning at 8:00 am on Thursday, June 29, 2017. There will be limited visitor services available from the Tioga Pass Entrance Station to Crane Flat. Tioga Road will open for bicycle and pedestrian users at 8:00 amWednesday, June 28, 2017. 


All visitors on the road are encouraged to use caution as there may be dirt, debris, and water flowing over sections of the road. Visitors are encouraged to keep an eye out for maintenance vehicles working on the roadway.


There will be minimal services available along the Tioga Road for several weeks. There will be no drinking water. Visitors should use the vault and portable toilets located along the roadway to help protect water quality in the Tuolumne River watershed. Food service and lodging are not available along the Tioga Road. There is no mobile phone service at this time and 911 emergency calls will not be operational. There are no gasoline services available along Tioga Road. Visitors can purchase gasoline in Lee Vining and at Crane Flat.


For maps and visitor information, visit the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center, open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, the Big Oak Flat Information Station, the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, and the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center in Lee Vining. 


Tamarack Flat Campground is the only campground that is currently open along Tioga Road. This campground is first-come, first served and fills early in the day.   


Anyone planning to hike or backpack near Tuolumne Meadows and in all high elevation areas of Yosemite should be prepared for winter hiking and camping conditions. Trails are still impacted by snow and ice. River crossings are high and swift moving. There are several high water areas currently impacting the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the John Muir Trail (JMT) in Yosemite National Park. Trail conditions may vary at any time.


When driving in the park, motorists are urged to drive slowly as bears and other animals are active and may be present on the roadway.


 For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200 and press 1.  (J. Richards)



Last Pack Test Friday

The last pack test in the Valley for 2017 will be on Friday, June 30th at 10:00AM.  Meet in front of the Valley fire station. Please contact Katie Brandt at 372-0327 to get signed up.  (K. Brandt)



Temporary Promotion/Detail: Maintenance Mechanic Supervisor, WS-4749-09 Wawona

The following temporary promotion NTE 1 year opportunity is now open. In order to apply, you must click on the link below, and it will take you to the job announcement in USAJobs. You will not find this announcement by searching USAJobs - you must use the link below.  

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/472701800  (K. Lewis)



Your Help Is Needed  Tracking Algal Blooms in Mountain Lakes

If your hiking plans include passing by or camping at mountain lakes, consider downloading the app WATR2016 for your smartphone. This app allows you to report pictures of algae growing in shallow waters along the shores of lakes. The algae are of interest to scientists because they may indicate changes related to air pollution or climate change.


Scientists have seen algal blooms in a few mountain lakes in Colorado and California, but cannot watch all of the lakes. These images will help scientists understand where, how, and when wavy green algae are appearing. To learn more, visit http://tiny.cc/WATR2016.  You can download the WATR2016 app at the App Store.  (L. Mutch)



Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park Remains Closed - Yosemite News Release June 23, 2017

Park staff continue to make necessary repairs for visitor safety


The Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park (Highway 120 through the park) remains closed to all vehicular traffic, including bicycles. Melting snow is causing water to run over the road in multiple locations, creating a safety hazard. Park staff and partners continue to conduct necessary repairs to power, communications, water, and sewer systems along the Tioga Road following a record-breaking year for winter snowpack. 


The park is diligently working to ensure that adequate sanitation facilities are in place to meet visitor needs and to protect the water quality in the Tuolumne River watershed.  Due to safety and sanitation concerns, Tioga Road will remain closed until the impacted power, communications, water and sewer systems are operational to meet the needs of park staff and visitors. There is no anticipated opening date at this time.


April snow surveys indicated that in the high elevation regions of Yosemite, the park saw the highest snowpack on record. In many locations above 8,000 feet in elevation, the snowpack measured over 200 percent of average (based on water content). The increased snowpack has resulted in a late opening of the Tioga Road for the summer season. Warm summer weather has led to increased melting of the snowpack, resulting in high water levels that are fluctuating daily.


Anyone planning to hike or backpack in the higher elevations of Yosemite should be prepared for winter hiking and camping conditions. Trails are still impacted by snow and ice. River crossings are high and swift moving. There are several high water areas currently impacting the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the John Muir Trail (JMT) in Yosemite National Park. Anyone planning a trip on the PCT through Yosemite should use caution and be prepared to turn back in the event of high water crossings. 


All visitors planning to hike or camp in the high elevation regions of Yosemite are urged to be prepared for snowy conditions and possible treacherous stream crossings while hiking in wilderness areas this summer season. Stream crossings on the PCT, JMT and other trails can be deceiving and should be avoided until water levels decrease.  (J. Richards)






El Portal Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation – Phase 1

June 26-30: Contractor will be installing lift station by Nature Bridge 7:00AM - 5:30PM. Contractor will be offsite 6/30 to 7/4. Construction activities will resume on 7/5. For additional information please visit the Construction Update Boards located at the Post Office and El Portal Market. For any further questions or concerns, please contact Jamie Richards at jamie_richards@nps.gov.  (G. Chun, Y. Lugo, J. Richards)



El Portal Road Delays

Crews have begun repairing damaged sections of the El Portal roadway, shoulders and embankment from this past Springs storms and slides. Crews will be working Mondaythru Friday, 7AM to 5PM with 15 minute delays and single lane traffic control between the western park boundary near Yosemite View Lodge and the Big Oak Flat Intersection. This work on El Portal Road is scheduled to be complete by July 15th. For more information contact Michael Pieper at 209-200-1131.  (M. Pieper)



Caltrans Traffic Advisory - Hwy 120

During the week of June 26th, Caltrans is conducting pavement work in both lanes of State Route 120 in Tuolumne County. East- and westbound travelers are subject to delays of up to 10 minutes and one-way traffic control.


Work is scheduled from 6:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on Monday and Tuesday, June 26th and 27th, between Evergreen Road and Hardin Flat Road. On Wednesday and Thursday, June 28th and 29th, work will extend west to School Street during the same hours of operation. Please drive carefully, pay attention to warning signs, and watch for stopped vehicles, workers, and equipment.  (J. Donovan)



Yosemite Valley Road Work 

Contractors are working on Northside Drive in west Yosemite Valley between Hanging Valley and Pohono Bridge. One lane will be open at all times (day and night) and one lane will be closed at all times (day and night). Be prepared for slow traffic during peak hours. The park expects this work configuration to shorten the overall length of time required to finish the work. The end date for this work is TBD, depending on changing road conditions in the park.


In east Yosemite Valley on Southside Drive between Housekeeping Camp and Half Dome Village, work continues in one lane of traffic. One lane will remain open at all times. Work will take place on weekdays between Monday 6/5 and Friday 6/30. (L. Acree)



Wawona Road Delays Near South Entrance

6-6-17: Crews are continuing the Rehabilitation of the Wawona Road.  This work will continue over the next 4 months.  At this time there is no weekend or night time work scheduled. The current work zone along Wawona Road is 1 mile south and 1/2 mile north of the South Entrance intersection.  The current traffic delays are as follows:


Monday thru Friday

6:00 AM to 8:00 AM 15-Minute Delays With Alternating One-Way Traffic

8:00 AM to 3:00 PM 30-Minute Delays With Alternating One-Way Traffic

3:00 PM to 5:30 PM 15-Minute Delays With Alternating One-Way Traffic

(Pilot cars may be used to escort vehicles thru the construction zones.)  (M. Pieper)






Greg Stock will be acting Chief of Resources Management and Science on June 30.  He can be reached at 768-1028.


Dayna Jackson will be acting Administrative Officer until 30 June. She can be reached at 379-1892.


Peter Lindstrom will be acting Information Technology Branch Chief until June 30. He can be reached at 379-1484.


Brian See will be acting Mather Forestry Supervisor until June 30. He can be reached at 379-2849.


Michael Alcantar will be acting High Voltage Supervisor until June 30. He can be reached at 379-1236.


Gus Martinez will be acting Chief Ranger until July 2. He can be reached at 372-0520.


Paul DePascale will be acting Program Manager until July 5. He can be reached at 379-1211.


Ben Bissmeyer will be acting Wawona Utilities Supervisor until further notice.  He can be reached at 375-9508.


Jon Babcock will be acting Machine Shop Supervisor until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1155.


Heather Boothe will be acting Hetch Hetchy Program Manager and Yosemite Conservancy Liaison until further notice. She can be reached at 372-0238.


Sally Kintner will be acting Volunteer Program Manager until further notice. She can be reached at 379-1850.


Jim Roche will be acting Branch Chief of Physical Science and Landscape Ecology until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1446.


Don Pasley will be acting Wawona B&G Supervisor until further notice. He can be reached at 375-9508 or don_pasley@nps.gov.


Joe Meyer will be acting Division Chief for Resources Management and Science until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1185.


Josh Keyes will be acting Utilities Branch Chief until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1077.


Garrett Dickman will be acting Park Botanist until further notice. He can be reached at 379-3282.


John Barton will be acting Wawona Utilities Supervisor until further notice. He can be reached at 375-9510 or john_barton@nps.gov


Shawn Zumbrunnen will be acting Valley Utilities Supervisor until further notice. He can be reached at 372-0560 or shawn_zumbrunnen@nps.gov


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