Mariposa & Yosemite

Winter's heavy snow may delay spring openings at Yosemite

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG
Waterfalls a plenty, inside Yosemite National Park and on the outside as well on Highway 140.
SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG Waterfalls a plenty, inside Yosemite National Park and on the outside as well on Highway 140.

Yosemite's waterfalls may last longer into the summer season than normal thanks to heavy snow in the high Sierra, park officials said. Winter snows, the heaviest in recent memory according to park officials, could delay planned roadwork and the placement of cables on Half Dome's summit.

The May 1 snow survey, conducted by the California Department of Water Resources, said the Merced River drainage was at 199 percent of normal, and the Tuolumne River drainage was at 184 percent. The heavy winter snow and wet spring has presented challenges to Yosemite's road crews, who are working to clear Glacier Point Road and the Tioga Road. Both roads will open later than normal, the park said.

The cables on Half Dome, used by hikers to ascend the summit of the granite monolith, have not been placed for the season. The cables will be erected when trail crews have safe access to Half Dome and can perform the work. There is too much snow on Half Dome for the cables to be put in place and they likely won't be in place in time for Memorial Day weekend, the park said.

Yosemite’s waterfalls are nearing peak conditions.

Park officials say visitors should be aware of high water level and fast moving water in the Merced River and other streams. With the increasingly warm weather, snow in the high-country continues to melt and fill the Merced River.

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