Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Friday, April 20th, 2018
Today: Sunny, breezy. Not as cool. Highs 57 to 65 at 5000 feet...50 to 58 at 8000 feet. Northeast winds around 25 mph with gusts to around 40 mph in the morning.
Tonight: Clear. Lows 34 to 44 at 5000 feet...25 to 35 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Sunny, warmer. Highs 65 to 71 at 5000 feet...57 to 65 at 8000 feet.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
Power Outages Today
The following locations in the El Portal Trailer Court are expected to experience power outages on Friday, April 20th from 10am to 4pm:
Government Trailer Park SP 19,
G1,2,3,6,8,11,12,13, 20, 22, 28 (S. Gaynor)
Earth Day Saturday
All park employees, friends, and families are cordially invited to attend the Earth Day Festival this Saturday, April 21st, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in front of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. All activities are free and fun for all ages. There will be over 20 booths operated by park staff and park partners. Join a special Junior Ranger walk. Learn about wildlife, connect with a Yosemite firefighter, learn about forestry from Cal Fire, learn how to be a Zero Landfill hero, meet with a UC Master Gardener, connect with the Bureau of Reclamation, the Sierra Club, YARTS, and more.
Visit the YC Art and Nature Center at Happy Isles for artistic fun.
There will be a propane canister exchange at the Yosemite Zero Landfill Booth. Bring an empty, single-use camp propane canister and trade it in for a full, reusable one.
Experience one of UC Merced and the University of Warwick’s special performances of “Shakespeare in Yosemite: A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and help support Park Ranger Jessica Rivas and a troupe of Shakespearean actors.
Shakespeare in Yosemite Schedule:
Friday, April 20 2:00 pm at Lower River Amphitheater
5:30 pm at Half Dome Village Amphitheater
Saturday, April 21 2:00 pm at Lower River Amphitheater
5:30 pm at Half Dome Village Amphitheater
Sunday, April 22 2:00 pm at Lower River Amphitheater
Earth Day Stage Schedule:
10:00 am Ranger Guided Junior Ranger Walk with Ranger Kira
Walk lasts approximately 1 hour, families welcome
10:30 am Meet and Greet with Smokey Bear
11:00 am Yosemite Valley Photo Walk
Join a local photographer from The Ansel Adams Gallery
11:10 am Junior Ranger Swearing In Ceremony
11:15 am Bio Blitz Dance
Join a dance to help celebrate the great outdoors
11:45 am “Shakespeare in Yosemite – A Sneak Peak”
12:15 pm Story Time with Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Hosted by NatureBridge
12:30 pm Music and Fun with Ranger Kate
1:00 pm Ranger Guided Junior Ranger Walk with Ranger Kira
Walk lasts approximately 1 hour, families welcome
1:10 pm Volunteers-In-Parks – Volunteer Recognition
Help us honor and recognize Yosemite Volunteers
1:30 pm Guided Walk to “Shakespeare in Yosemite”
Join a Park Ranger for a guided walk to the Lower River Amphitheater
1:45 pm Music and Fun with Ranger Kate (J. Richards)
Yosemite Valley Road Work Moved Up One Day
Final paving on Northside Drive between Bank 3-Way (Sentinel Dr.) and Camp 4 is planned for Monday April 23rd through Wednesday April 25th. The road segment will close and there will be temporary 2-way detours on Northside and Southside Drives. Shuttle bus routes from Yosemite Lodge will evolve throughout the 3 days. On Monday, shuttle buses will not be able to run east from the Yosemite Valley Lodge to Yosemite Village (instead they will head west to Pohono Bridge and circle back on Southside Drive). There may be short windows on Tuesday and Wednesday when shuttle buses may be able to travel east from the lodge. The next week, April 26th through April 30th, there will be two-way traffic through the area with short delays to finalize utility access points.
Contractors will pave the Yosemite Falls Parking area from April 26th through May 4th. Contractors will pave the Camp 4 Parking area May 7th and 8th.
Visitors may park at the Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Village parking lots. In addition, parking at Camp 4 and Yosemite Falls Parking areas will open in selected parking bays this Friday at the close of the work day through Wednesday, May 2nd. This parking is for day use only with the exception of Camp 4 campers. (L. Acree)
Yosemite National Park Launches Pilot Program to Address Traffic Congestion - Yosemite News Release April 19, 2018
Program aimed to improve visitor access on the Highway 140 corridor
Yosemite National Park is launching a pilot program to address traffic congestion. The program will be tested on the Highway 140 corridor on Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, April 29 and on Thursday, May 3 to Sunday, May 6, 2018. This pilot is an initiative to test a new way to pace and send vehicles to the Arch Rock Entrance Station, improving visitor safety and access while enhancing the overall visitor experience on busy traffic days.
Working with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP), vehicles entering the park via Highway 140 will be queued approximately 5 miles east of the Ferguson Slide Bridges, in El Portal. Vehicles will be incrementally sent to the entrance station to allow for minimal delays at the Arch Rock Entrance Station. This will greatly reduce the number of vehicles stopped in a rockfall zone along El Portal Road, enhancing visitor safety and access to the park. The anticipated times of operation are from approximately 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, the busiest window of vehicles entering the park.
Over the past few years, Yosemite National Park has implemented several pilot programs designed to improve access to parking and traffic flow inside the park. For example, this past February, the park implemented a pilot program at Horsetail Fall to manage parking and provide improved visitor access to better manage hundreds of vehicles in Yosemite Valley. Over the past two summers, the park has implemented a pilot program to offer reserved parking reservations in Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite National Park continues to gather data from these programs to better understand traffic patterns with the overall goal of reducing traffic congestion and improving the visitor experience. Knowledge gained from these programs will be integrated into changes the park will implement in the near future.
Yosemite National Park would like to extend sincere gratitude to Caltrans, CHP and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance and support in implementing this project.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again. Updated information is also available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose. (J. Richards)
Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update for April 18, 2018
New snow: 18 inches
Total settled snow depth: 22 inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 51°F (April 14)
Low temperature: 2°F (April 17)
Ski Conditions and Weather: This is our final post of the winter of 2018. Several storms came through the central Sierra Nevada this week leaving fresh snow and cold temperatures in their wake. This time of year the new snow generally melts pretty fast and the base depth continues to shrink. Snow coverage is still good in the Tuolumne Meadows area with 1 ½ - 3 feet on the ground. Above 9,000 feet the snow depth is 3–5 feet. The Tuolumne River has mostly melted out and is still running high and fast. All stream crossings should be approached with caution. Most lakes even above 10,000 feet are only superficially frozen. The ski conditions this week fluctuated between spring corn and mid-winter powder.
Caltrans continued their snow removal efforts on the east side of Tioga Pass this week and reached Tioga Pass before this last storm. Visitors approaching from the east should anticipate dry pavement (except any new snow that falls) east of Tioga Pass. The park will be working on the road from west to east now. Stay tuned for progress/closures and for historical opening dates. 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. However, in the alpine zone, pockets of wind slab exist, especially right after these quick moving storms as the new snow doesn’t bond well with the old, firm snow surfaces. Spring skiers should always keep this in mind when ascending narrow couloirs. 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.
Wildlife: Bears have been active for some time this spring as evidenced by their tracks in the snow. Coyotes in the park can also become habituated to humans. Please remember to store your food properly from these and all critters day and night while traveling in the park.
General Information: The Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut is open. There is firewood and 8 bunks that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no phone service in Tuolumne Meadows at this time. For permit information visit https://www.nps.gov/
Flags At Half Staff For Mrs. Bush
On this solemn day we mourn the loss of Barbara Bush, an outstanding and memorable woman of character. As a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family. Mrs. Bush lived a life that reminds us always to cherish our relationships with friends, family, and all acquaintances. In the spirit of the memory of Mrs. Bush, may we always remember to be kind to one another and to put the care of others first.
As a mark of respect for the memory of Barbara Bush, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on the day of interment. (M. Roubal)
Lunchtime Yoga in Yosemite Valley
Join in every Wednesday at 12 noon in the Yosemite Valley Auditorium for lunchtime yoga. These yoga practices are appropriate for all skill levels, and folks that have never done yoga before are encouraged to attend.
Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility, work out sore or tight muscles, and recenter in the midst of stressful days. All you need to bring is a yoga mat or two (it's a hard floor) and comfortable clothes to move around in. If you do not have a yoga mat, a soft foam sleeping pad or a few towels are good substitutes.
If you have any questions, please email Ryan at email@example.com. Hope to see you out there! (R. Kirtland)
Yosemite Conservancy Job Announcement
Multiple openings for seasonal, full time work based in Wawona, CA. Sales Information Assistants are responsible for orienting visitors to Yosemite National Park and connecting them with informative and enriching books, maps, and other merchandise. Housing available. Visit http://www.yosemiteconse
Scheduled Power Outage April 24 & 26
PG&E will be performing scheduled maintenance in the Wawona area. There will be 2 temporary short outages:
Tuesday April, 24th, 8:30am-9am
Thursday April 26th, 4pm-4:30pm
For more information contact Heather Gonzales, PG&E Outage Coordinator, at 726-5588. (K. Bablitch)
Yosemite National Park to Celebrate Earth Day on Saturday April 21, 2018 - News Release April 16, 2018
Public invited to celebrate Earth Day, National Junior Ranger Day, National Park Week, Park Rx Day, and John Muir’s Birthday in Yosemite Valley
Yosemite National Park will be hosting an Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in front of the Valley Visitor Center. All activities are free for all ages and entrance to the park is free on Saturday.
Join Park Rangers and our partners and learn how we are working to preserve and protect natural and cultural resources in Yosemite National Park. The park will also be celebrating National Junior Ranger Day, National Park Week, Park Rx Day, and John Muir’s Birthday.
Some of the day’s highlights include:
- Enjoy a fun and interactive musical performance with Ranger Kate
- Visit informative and interactive booths in Yosemite Village. Enjoy face painting and traditional tool demonstrations.
- Learn how you can reduce waste at the Yosemite Zero Landfill booth. Bring an empty single-use camp propane canister and trade it in for a refillable propane canister.
- Join a litter clean-up project at the Volunteers in Parks Booth
- Junior Rangers of all ages are welcome to explore the park on a special Ranger-guided Walk at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.
- Connect with a Park Ranger and learn about bears and other wildlife that call Yosemite home.
- Visit the Happy Isles Art and Nature Center and share your love of Yosemite with an art project sponsored by Yosemite Conservancy
- Join a photo walk and explore Yosemite Valley through your camera’s lens with photographers from The Ansel Adams Gallery
- Experience how Shakespeare and Yosemite National Park come together through a free performance of UC Merced’s Shakespeare in Yosemite, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For more information, visit https://
- And much more!
The weekend of April 21 and 22, 2018 will be very busy in Yosemite National Park. Visitors planning to join us are encouraged to plan their trips in advance. Parking areas throughout the park are expected to fill early in the day.
Visitor parking will be available at the Yosemite Village Parking Area and at Half Dome Village. Visitors are encouraged to park and utilize the free park shuttle to get to the Yosemite Valley Village and Visitor Center.
Public transportation is a wonderful way to visit Yosemite Valley. YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) buses run multiple times daily and provide visitors with a safe and convenient way to visit the park. YARTS buses will be Free on April 21 and April 22, 2018. For more information, visit https://yarts.com/news/
For more information on Earth Day in Yosemite and helpful travel tips, visit the park’s website: www.nps.gov/yose (J. Richards)
Annual Fireline Safety Refresher Trainings: Multiple Dates
It's that time of year again to maintain your currency as a wildland firefighter by signing up for one of the annual fireline safety refreshers being offered throughout the Park. These wildland fire refreshers are intended to provide participants the opportunity to maintain currency as a wildland firefighter and are required annually. Each refresher will be limited to 20 people so sign up soon. Dates include April 24th, April 27th, May 3rd, May 9th, May 16th, June 4th, and June 19th in various locations.
Please sign up using the following Google Sheet: https://goo.gl/gYhn1y
For more information contact Parker Bevington at 375-9515. (J. Peach)
2019 YC Grant Proposal Writers Workshop April 24
Join Heather Boothe and Schuyler Greenleaf for an eye-opening and fun(d) exploration of the YC grant process. Secrets revealed! Baked goods provided! Grant Success chances improved! All are welcome, though priority will go to grant authors whose exec summaries have been approved for 2019 grants. Tuesday, April 24, 1-3:30pm, El Portal Large Break Room. Please RSVP to Heather Boothe so she has an idea how many to expect. (H. Boothe)
Yosemite National Park Changes Entrance Fee to Address Infrastructure Needs & Improve Visitor Experience - News Release April 13, 2018
The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Yosemite National Park will modify its entrance fees beginning June 2018 to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs that enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 2018 the park entrance fee will be $35 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle. An annual park pass will cost $70.
The NPS last October proposed a plan to adopt seasonal pricing at Yosemite and 16 other national parks to raise additional revenue for infrastructure and maintenance needs. The fee structure announced today addresses many concerns and ideas provided by the public on how best to address fee revenue for parks.
Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. Here in Yosemite National Park, 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor. We share the other 20 percent of entry fee income with other national parks for their projects.
“Your recreation fee dollars support critical programs and services that directly benefit visitors to Yosemite National Park,” stated Yosemite Superintendent Michael Reynolds. “Visitors to Yosemite deserve to experience world class campgrounds and other facilities in a world class park. This fee increase will help the park address many important maintenance and infrastructure needs.”
The additional revenue from entrance fees at Yosemite National Park will help the park update aging restrooms and water treatment plants, support restoration needs at Bridalveil Fall, address maintenance needs in the Upper and Lower Pines Campgrounds, improve hiking trails, and improve visitor parking areas.
National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Throughout the country, the combination of aging infrastructure and increased visitation affects park roads, bridges, buildings, campgrounds, water systems, bathrooms, and other facilities. Maintenance deferred on these facilities amounts to $11.6 billion nationwide backlog.
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.
Yosemite National Park has had an entrance fee since 1913. The current rate of $30 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle has been in effect since 2015. The park is one of 117 in the National Park System that charges an entrance fee. The remaining 300 sites are free to enter.
The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.
For more information go to https://www.nps.gov/yose/pl
Midpines House for Rent
3+ bedrooms, 2 full baths, laundry with W/D seasonal creek, close to YARTS bus stop. Charming custom crafted mountain cottage on 7 acres. Adjacent to BLM, National forest. Completely refurbished with new local pine floors, carpet in 2 bedrooms, new fixtures and paint. Also a library or office and 3 lofts in this unique home. One wing of the house has a bedroom, office, full bath, laundry and a separate entrance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org wit
House For Rent in El Portal
House for rent in El Portal. 2 bedroom. Swamp cooler and wood stove. Fenced yard. $1000 per month. Call 769-3748 for more information. (K. Kari)
CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
Southside Drive Delays April 23-27
From Monday April 23rd thru Friday April 27th crews will be completing geotechnical borings at Pohono Bridge and Happy Isles Bridge as part of a bridge preservation project in Yosemite Valley. There will be single lane traffic control with flaggers so please use caution when traveling through the construction zone. This work is scheduled to be complete in one week, by Friday, April 27th. The following delays should be anticipated while traveling across these two bridges next week:
Monday thru Friday
6am to 5:30pm – Traffic delays up to 15 minutes (M. Pieper)
Caltrans Construction Update For SR 49 and Surrounding Area
Caltrans advises that damage to State Routes (SR) 49 and 132, sustained after heavy rains on March 22nd, resulted in long term closures. SR 49 is closed for 36 miles between SR 120 and Bear Valley Road. SR 132 is closed for one half mile between Granite Springs and Piney Creek Roads. Completion dates are unknown at this time. Additionally, a Caltrans contractor has begun repaving 34 miles of SR 108 and SR 120 in Tuolumne County. Work began on April 2nd and is expected to continue into October. Motorists can expect lane closures and one-way traffic control, with flaggers and 10-minute delays. (J. Donovan)
Northside Drive Traffic Pilot Beginning April 13th
Beginning late Friday morning, April 13th, 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)
Glacier Point Road
Road crews have begun snow removal operations on the Glacier Point Road beyond Badger Pass. The gate at Chinquapin is now closed and locked. There is no public access. Administrative Access will be authorized only between Chinquapin and Badger. Recreational activities such as bicycling will not be allowed on the road during this time. (E. Scott)
El Portal Road Delays Update 3/28
Crews have re-mobilized to finish working on the storm damage repairs from last year. Delays will continue up to Memorial Day weekend. Crews will be working on the El Portal Road between the western Park boundary (Yosemite View Lodge) and the Big Oak Flat Intersection. There will be single lane traffic control with flaggers and pilot car operations, so please use caution when traveling thru the construction zone. This work is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day weekend. The following delays should be anticipated while traveling the El Portal Road between the western park boundary and the Big Oak Flat Intersection:
Monday thru Friday
6am to 8am – Traffic delays up to 15 minutes
8am to 3:30pm -- Traffic delays up to 30 minutes
3:30pm to 5:30pm -- Traffic delays up to 15 minutes (M. Pieper)
Museum/District Building Electrical Rehab Project
This project will rehabilitate the electrical system in the Museum/District Building by installing grounding in the existing electrical circuits. The Contractor mobilized on Monday, December 18th and the project is expected to run for 6 months. The 8 parking stalls to the west of the building between the sidewalk on the south and the south end of the fence to the north will become the Contractor's staging areas. (K. White)