Yosemite National Park was closed to the public on February 25 when snowstorms blanketed California mountain regions. Officials had originally planned to open the park on Thursday, March 2, but a record-setting 40 inches of snow in a single day just prior forced an extension on the closure with no planned end date. Up to 15 feet of snow had covered the park in a short span, an event park officials called “once in a generation.”
“We’re committed to opening as soon as we can do it in a safe manner,” Scott Gediman, a park spokesperson, told the San Francisco Chronicle at the time. “While we certainly welcome the snow, it’s created a lot of challenges.”
Crews had to clear roads, buildings, manage debris flows, and the park reportedly experienced 22 rock slides and other hazards along park roads. On Friday, park officials announced Yosemite will finally be reopened to the public with limited services during daylight hours only over the weekend.
The “limited services” clarification is important, with park officials saying only one main road will be accessible, all hiking trails are still covered in snow, and campgrounds will not be open immediately because they are still buried. All of this comes as more winter weather is in the forecast for the coming week, but park officials are saying they hope to have the park fully reopened by Monday with limited overnight lodging.
For those planning to take advantage of the park’s limited opening over the weekend, Yosemite officials have advised to “wear waterproof boots and traction devices as even plowed paths can be icy.”