Tioga Pass (State Highway 120) could open as soon as the beginning of May, Supervisor Byng Hunt reported at the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 15. Last week, Hunt met with Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher, who suggested the road’s opening based on low snowpack and anticipated weather patterns in April, “almost guarantees an early opening— probably May 2nd or May 9th,” Hunt said.
Yosemite National Park begins plowing Tioga Pass around April 16th each year, which can take up to two months to complete. In 2013 the road opened May 11th after a low snowfall year. It opened June 18th in 2011 and as late as July 1st in 1998.
Also at the Board meeting on Tuesday, Jeff Walters of Public Works asked the Supervisors to pass a resolution allowing Mono County to provide snow removal assistance, should Yosemite National Park request it as they have in past years. “I want to be able to scramble [sic] our troops and help out,” Walters said in the event of some late season storms. “It’s looking very good for an early opener.” The Board passed the resolution unanimously.
The bad news— the Park will start reconstruction on Highway 120 from Crane Flat to White Wolf, creating 15-30 minute delays during the day for most of the summer. “They hope not to impede visitor traffic,” Hunt said. “But the falls are full, the flowers are blossoming.”