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Yosemite National Park Friday, April 13th, 2018

April 13, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park

Friday, April 13th, 2018


Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast

Today: Sunny, breezy. Not as cool. Highs 53 to 61 at 5000 feet...47 to 53 at 8000 feet. Gusts up to 40 mph in the morning. Over higher elevations, northwest winds 25 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph in the morning.

Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 32 to 42 at 5000 feet...23 to 31 at 8000 feet.

Tomorrow: Sunny. Highs 60 to 66 at 5000 feet...51 to 57 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





Northside Drive Traffic Pilot, Beginning April 13th

Beginning late Friday morning April 13 Northside Drive will be reconfigured as a one way two lane road at the Lower Falls intersection for westbound traffic. Traffic from Camp 4 and the Yosemite Falls Parking area will use Lodge Drive to head back to the Lower Falls intersection. There a right turn heads east on Northside Drive toward Yosemite Village. As a reminder, Lodge Drive is signed with a speed limit of 15 MPH. The goal of this pilot is to improve pedestrian safety and the overall efficiency of the Lower Falls intersection. (J. Hoeflich)



Yosemite Lodge YARTS Stop Change

The YARTS stop at the Yosemite Lodge has been relocated to the tour bus loading/unloading zone near Shuttle Bus Stop #7. Notification signage has been placed at the old stop near the Yosemite Lodge lobby, redirecting visitors. (J. Hoeflich)



YARTS Information Meetings

We have exciting news! YARTS is a vendor for the Mass Transit for Yosemite Employees and they will be in the Park next week! YARTS would like to share new changes that will benefit current and new riders. YARTS transit managers will be present to summarize service schedule changes that begin on May 15, 2018. These meetings aren't just for current riders. If you are currently use mass transit, or are interested in possibly participating in mass transit to commute to and from work, please join us on:


Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 2:00 PM- 3:30 PM

in El Portal, Large Break Room. 


Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 3:00 PM 4:30 PM

in Yosemite Valley, Auditorium.


As a Federal Employee if you participate in mass transit to commute from home to work, work to home you are eligible to receive a Federal Subsidy Benefit (TRANServe) to use towards your transit costs. This would cover the whole cost or a portion of your transit costs. If you are interested in becoming a TRANServe Participate please contact your Local Transit Coordinator: Denise Buskeness, denise_buskeness@nps.gov, 379-1024 (D. Buskeness)


Hetch Hetchy Road Hours

The Hetch Hetchy Road is open 8am to 7pm. Wilderness Permits and bear canisters are available at the entrance station from 8:00am to 5:00pm. (C. Flores)




Recent News


Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update for April 11, 2018   



New snow: None
Total settled snow depth: 21inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 60°F (April 9)
Low temperature: 15°F (April 8)

Ski Conditions and Weather: Although it did not snow in Tuolumne Meadows this week, we did receive 2.11 inches of water in the form of rain. This was a significant weather event in that the rain fell on deep snow over a short period of time and caused the Tuolumne River to flood its banks in numerous places. Just as the rains abated, we observed an ice jam real-time that spanned the width of the river above the bridge on Highway 120. This snow and ice backed up just above the bridge and caused the river to divert into an entirely new channel adjacent to the road. A similar event happened just above the bridge near Soda Spring and Parson’s Lodge.  This was an impressive hydrologic event that will probably continue until the snow and ice jams melt out.  It remains to be seen if these are new changes in the river course or just isolated until the water levels continue to drop.  

As for the skiing…..even though the area has lost significant snow depth with the rain and warm temperatures this week, the rain soaked snow that remains is set up for good spring travel. The snowline was near 13,000 feet for this late season atmospheric river and only on the highest reaches of Mt. Dana did we observe new snow. It has been freezing just enough at night and warming during the days to make for a good spring ski cycle. In the alpine zone, we would recommend ice axe and crampons. For those traveling through mid-elevations, traction devices for shoes are advised.


Wilderness travelers should be aware that river and stream crossings are extremely hazardous at this time, and that snow bridges may be impossible to find. Not only did the Tuolumne River flood, but all water courses (even un-named ones) are now deep channels with high snowbanks on either side. If one is planning travel in the backcountry, we would recommend trying to find crossings near the headwaters of any drainage. Be advised that lakes at 10,000 feet and possibly above have thawed out and may have only thin ice with a dusting of snow on top. Even human made bridges in the backcountry may have been compromised during this atmospheric river event so if traveling in these zones, have contingency plans! We have not observed any flooding over the Tioga Road yet, and so far this appears to be a safe travel corridor (However, we haven’t been back to where Murphy Creek has met Tenaya Lake since last week).


Caltrans continued their snow removal efforts on the east side of Tioga Pass this week.  They were at the Saddlebag Road on Monday, and projected to be near the pass by Friday. Visitors approaching from the east should anticipate dry pavement (except any new snow that falls) east of Tioga Pass. Please stay clear of any machinery to ensure your safety and the safety of the equipment operators.

Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: Please refer to the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (ESAC) for the avalanche advisory for this part of the Sierra Nevada. 

The avalanche hazard in the Tuolumne Meadows area is presently low. The warm temperatures and overnight freezes have stabilized the snowpack at all aspects and elevations.  Wet slides are still possible during the heat of the day especially on steep granite domes and around rock bands.  The forecast calls for a few fast moving storms to come thru over the next week so visitors should be prepared for changing conditions.


Wildlife: The resident killdeer has moved back to stake its claim to Soda Springs. All of the other “tweety” birds seem to be singing a bit louder to compete with the roar of the river. One of those singing birds, initially appeared to be female…until we did some research and realized it was a first year male Cassin’s finch.


General Information: There is no phone service in Tuolumne Meadows at this time. We can be contacted regarding winter travel to Tuolumne Meadows via email, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol. For permit information: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm. or you may contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740. Come prepared, and please make good decisions while traveling in the wilderness this spring! Follow our blog: https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/tmconditions.htm. Happy spring skiing! Laura and Rob Pilewski - Tuolumne Winter Rangers (L. Pilewski)  



YARTS Subscription-based Alerts

YARTS announces the inauguration of a subscription-based service for reporting service alerts. When a bus is delayed, subscribers will receive a text message (depending


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