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Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

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Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

With the mild weather experienced recently will it be possible to drive thru the Tioga pass via Mammouth lakes to Stovepipe Wells or will it still be blocked? What is the best alternate route?

Thanks

Tony

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tiogaopen.htm With Tioga Pass closed easiest will be to drive south of the Sierra via Bakersfield.

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2. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

Cal-Trans targets the Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend as the opening of Tioga Pass. This year that will be Saturday, May 25, 2013.

Some years it opens earlier, depending on the snowpack and the road repairs and avalanche control and repairs needed.

They start plowing April 15.

Edited: 05 March 2013, 16:53
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3. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

It has been mild, but winter is not over. Starting tomorrow we are expecting a lot of snow. The prediction is for a foot of new snow at high elevations. When is your planned trip?

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4. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

I think last year that CalTrans was done with their section of Hwy 120 (east of the Tioga Pass Entrance) long before the NPS had cleared their section (west of Tioga Pass ~ Tioga Road thru Tuolumne Meadows.) Who knows what will happen this year with funding, road clearing, late season storms, spring temperatures, and more?

Last I checked the snowpack is about 68% of normal. Looking at the opening data, there were two years with similar snowpack (as of April 1.)

2001 67%, Tioga Road opened May 12

2003 65%, Tioga Road opened May 31

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5. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

Sorry should have said we leave Friday morning 8th.

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6. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

Friday in a few days? No way will Tioga Pass be open.

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7. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

Ok so what should my alternate route be? What will driving conditions be like out of the park on highway 41? We will be entering the park on 140.

Edited: 05 March 2013, 17:31
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8. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

The answer is in the first post by Tet14

Or you can look on the park website:

nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tiogaclosed.htm

Read the Death Valley directions and do them in the reverse order.

And you will not be going by Mammoth, so if you have reservations there you will have an additional couple of hours of driving.

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9. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

You won't go via Mammoth unless you go up to, or almost to, Tahoe and then down Hwy. 395, and that highway has the risk of snow.

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10. Re: Travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley

>>What will driving conditions be like out of the park on highway 41?<<

Call the park road info number. 209-372-0200 That's for both Road and Weather.

Hwy 41 / Wawona Road from Yosemite Valley (4,000') climbs to 6,000' (Chinquapin - turn off to Badger Pass Ski Area), descends to 4,000' (Wawona), climbs up to 5,000' (South Entrance), and then heads down to the flat Central Valley & Fresno. All that elevation change means the road is winding through numerous curves.

The current forecast is a 60% chance of snow in Yosemite Valley on Thursday & Friday. I wouldn't be surprised for there to be chain restrictions on Hwy 41 / Wawona Road on Friday.

You might want to take the longer route via Hwy 140 out of the Valley. It will probably be faster since you may not need chains.

Follow the directions in this article for the Southern Route: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g61000-c158581 I think your route will be Hwy 140 - Hwy 99 - Hwy 58 - Hwy 14 - Hwy 395 - Hwy 190 - Death Valley You might choose 99 - 178 - 395, but I don't know about road conditions in the winter on Hwy 178. These aren't really questions about Yosemite NP, so you might want a California state forum thread to glean useful replies for your driving itinerary.

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