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April 2021 Snow Survey. Tioga Rd & Glacier Point Rd info

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
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89,347 posts
188 reviews
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April 2021 Snow Survey. Tioga Rd & Glacier Point Rd info
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"April 1 Snow Survey Results

Park staff have completed the April 1 snow surveys. Water content for the Tuolumne drainage is at 63% of average, and at 64% of average for the Merced drainage."

Now begins the wait for Glacier Point Road and Tioga Road to open.

Historic data: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/seasonal.htm

You can look for years when the snowpack was similar and make a guess as to when each road will open, but also consider....

-> Spring weather. If more snow falls or if the temperatures are cool, the snowpack will not get smaller. Warm weather at high elevation helps to melt snow.

-> Avalanche danger. The safety of the road crew is more important than any road opening date.

-> Road repairs needed. As Glacier Point Road will be closed all of 2022 to rehabilitate and improve the road, my guess is that the NPS won't make extensive repairs to the road this year. Tioga Road currently has 3-6 feet of snow; who knows what the road is like under all that snow.

.

Here is the plowing website, but updates have not yet begun for the season. Check back after April 15th as the updates sometimes include cool videos or great photos.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm

This map shows the closed roads in red. Note that the first part of Glacier Point Road (from Chinquapin to Badger Pass) is currently closed to vehicles and open to personal bikes.

https://goo.gl/images/Mxcnq7

4 replies to this topic
Fresno, California
Level Contributor
2,776 posts
1. Re: April 2021 Snow Survey. Tioga Rd & Glacier Point Rd info
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>>-> Avalanche danger. The safety of the road crew is more important than any road opening date.<<

The danger of opening the road cannot be emphasized enough to those not familiar with the work and conditions.

26 years ago a veteran park employee was killed while clearing snow from Tioga Road. An avalanche hit the bulldozer he was operating, knocked the bulldozer onto its side, then completely covered it in snow and ice. Yosemite still memorializes Barry Hance every year.

As much as all of us want Tioga reopened as early as possible, the unknown conditions and dangers make it hard to forecast.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
89,347 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
2. Re: April 2021 Snow Survey. Tioga Rd & Glacier Point Rd info
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The concessionaire has tentatively scheduled the opening of the Glacier Point Store for May 7th. So I guess they think that the road will be open at least a few days before then (allowing time to stock the store.)

Incline Village...
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1 review
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3. Re: April 2021 Snow Survey. Tioga Rd & Glacier Point Rd info
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Fresno Facts: How does Yosemite memorialize Barry Hance?

It's through his work and the people like him who do that unrecognized dangerous work to make the road safe that I have enjoyed so many Yosemite summers in the high country.

Fresno, California
Level Contributor
2,776 posts
4. Re: April 2021 Snow Survey. Tioga Rd & Glacier Point Rd info
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Pareo. Yosemite's highest recognition award is called the Barry Hance Memorial Award.

The annual award is given to a NPS employee at Yosemite who best exemplifies Hance's qualities and attitudes including "team work, a positive attitude, concern for the public and fellow employees, public service, and a deep love for Yosemite National Park."

Each year. NPS employees in Yosemite nominate their peers for the award. A park committee then selects the recipient.

I have never attended the ceremony but several hundred people each year do attend. In attendance are usually current and retired employees, along with others with ties to the park. Besides the award presentation, I understand from some who have attended that those who worked with Barry Hance talk about him at the ceremony.

This is the information on last year's recipient. She is the daughter of someone who worked at Yosemite and first began working in the park herself as a teen.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/news/ansley-singer-receives-the-2019-barry-hance-memorial-award-at-yosemite-national-park.htm

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