Planning a trip in June, will Tioga Pass be open?

In Travel

A reader writes in to ask:

I am planning a road trip this summer with my family and we plan on driving from Las Vegas and entering Yosemite from the east through Tioga Pass. (We will go through Death Valley and spend a night in Mammoth Lake). We will dirve through Tioga Pass on June 20th. Now I am worried that it won’t be open because there are some years, including 2005 that it was not open until late June. Given the weather, snow fall amounts etc. you have seen so far this winter, what are the chances you think it will be open by June 20th?

Until this last storm the odds were pretty good the pass would be open in time. Unfortunately this last storm brought with it a bunch of snow at the higher elevations. The crews that work the roads work hard and try to get the roads open as soon as logistically possible.

If, for some reason, they’re still working on clearing Tioga Pass you might alternatively consider driving up and over Sonora Pass (HWY 108) and circling around. This will add about 134 miles to your trip but you’ll go through some of the most beautiful alpine country you’re likely to see.

Good luck and have a great trip.

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3 commentsOn Planning a trip in June, will Tioga Pass be open?

  • The following link shows opening dates for Tioga Pass road since 1980, which should give you a decent idea of the odds for June. (Hint: the road usually opens by June, but you cannot count on it.)

    http://www.nps.gov/yose/trip/tioga.htm#dates

    Dan

  • I would like to mention that Sonora Pass is very close in elevation to Tioga pass and they usually open around the same day so I would not recommend travelling over Sonora pass if Tioga is closed. It is my suggestion to check with the department of transportation prior to traveling to Yosemite to check to see if the passes are open. If it is closed, the person travelling from Nevada should drive into Bakersfield, Fresno, and then up Highway 41, the south entrance of the park.

  • I don’t know anything about Yosemite.
    I am not fond of driving on mountainous
    roads with sheer drop-offs. If this is
    what the Tioga Road is like, then I will
    go in the southern entrance.Can you give me
    any info?
    Thanks!!

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