You are here

Yosemite National Park Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Thursday, April 20th, 2017
Today: Sunny, breezy. Highs 54 to 60 at 5000 feet...46 to 53 at 8000 feet. Over higher elevations, southwest winds around 25 mph in the morning. Gusts up to 45 mph over higher elevations.
Tonight: Clear. Lows 35 to 43 at 5000 feet...27 to 37 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Sunny, warmer. Highs 63 to 71 at 5000 feet...55 to 65 at 8000 feet.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
Delays On The El Portal Road
Culvert installation will begin on the El Portal Road at “the Narrows” (between the intersection with the Big Oak Flat Road and Pohono Bridge) at 6am on Monday, April 24th. The park is allowing the early start to reduce the number of days required to complete the work. Work will last for up to two weeks. There will be one (alternating) lane open with up to 30-minute delays.  (L. Acree)
Admin Traffic Only Only on Glacier Point Road
The Glacier Point Road is now open for Admin Access only out to Glacier Point. 
Roads. Forestry is still working in the area so vehicles need to watch for their activities. Yosemite Hospitality will start having work crews going out to Glacier Point as well. Be advised there will likely be some snow and definitely ice and running water on the roadway, so please slow down. Because of the high snow banks, there are few pullouts on the roadsides. The gate at Chinquapin will need to remain closed and locked at all times.  Bicycles are still not allowed on the road.  (E. Scott)
El Portal Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation – Phase 1
(Foresta Rd closure starting on April 24th)
Apr 17 to Apr 24: The Contractor will continue the installation of the sewerline on Foresta Road in front of Structure Fire Station. One-way traffic control is expected on Foresta Road this week.
The Foresta Road closure will occur on April 24th. The road closure will occur in small sections. The first section to be closed (4/24- 4/28) starts at the Fire Station and ends at the Community Hall. Traffic will be detoured down El Portal Road, then left to Highway 140, then exit at the El Portal Market/Gas Station and continue west on the gravel road behind the Motor Inn Cabins to access East Foresta Road. West Foresta Rd will be open to provide access to the Community Hall and the Post Office. Please watch for workers on the road and stopped traffic. Traffic control signs and pedestrian detours will be posted. This schedule is subject to changes.
For additional information please visit the Construction Update Boards located at the Post Office and El Portal Market. For any questions or concerns contact Jamie Richards at  (J. Richards/G.Chun/Y.Lugo)
Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update for April 19, 2017    
New snow: 22 inches
Total settled snow depth: 100 inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 49°F (April 16)
Low temperature: -1°F (April 14)
Season Totals November 1-April 18
Total Snowfall:  491 inches
Total Water:  51.02 inches*
*The most in recorded history    
Ski Conditions and Weather: It was another wet week in the central Sierra Nevada. The latest round of moisture was mostly rain here in Tuolumne Meadows, so although the new snow amounts were low, almost two inches of water was added to the already saturated and deep snowpack. Above the snow line (9,000 feet) between one and two feet of new snow has fallen. Visitors should expect difficult, and initially hazardous, travel conditions at the higher elevations until the snow settles and has a chance to go through several melt freeze cycles.  This will occur more rapidly at the middle elevations as long as there are good freezes overnight.
Avalanche and Snowpack Condition: Please refer to the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center for the avalanche advisory for this part of the Sierra Nevada.
Initial avalanche concerns will be from storm slabs and wind slabs at the higher elevations. The most recent storm was warm and wet which should allow the new snow to bond well to the old snow surface.
Wilderness travelers should pay attention to overnight temperatures when venturing into the mountains this time of year. On any night when there is not a good freeze of the snow surface, the avalanche hazard from wet slides will increase. This typically means that the skiing and travel conditions will be pretty marginal as well.
Conditions on the Tioga Road are still hazardous on the east side of Tioga Pass between the Warren Fork and the Green Bridge. There is a steep side-hill above cliffs in this section, the most hazardous section being about 200 yards long. Visitors entering Yosemite from the east should be prepared with good route finding skills and the appropriate gear to safely travel on steep, potentially hard snow. Remember, forecasts aren’t always accurate and can make travel different than expected. Some visitors have been taking an alternate route from the Poole Power Plant directly up Lee Vining Canyon. This route comes out on the Tioga Road just below the Ellery Dam and avoids the steep side-hill section. This route is certainly not without its own hazards. 
Caution is advised traveling over lakes and waterways at mid elevations as the ice and snow bridges are rapidly melting.
Wildlife: Before the snow and rain returned to Tuolumne Meadows, there was a short teaser of sunshine. Brewer’s blackbirds, mountain bluebirds, and red-naped sapsuckers all returned to re-stake their claim to the most prime mountain real estate: Soda Springs. The painted-lady butterflies have also been braving the winds, traveling from east to west. Hang in there buddies! Winter is not over.  
Questions: The Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut is open. There is firewood and 10 bunks that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Power has been intermittent and there is NO phone service in Tuolumne Meadows this winter. We can be contacted via email, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol.  Contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Come prepared, and please make good decisions while travelling in the wilderness this spring. Follow our blog: - Laura and Rob Pilewski - Tuolumne Winter Rangers (R. and L. Pilewski)
Yosemite National Park Developmental Opportunity - Engineering Equipment Operator
This is a temporary developmental assignment NTE 120 days
Start Date: 4/17/2017 End Date: 4/21/2017
For more information contact John Barton at 375-9510.  (K. Lewis)
Research Library Closed April 19-21
The Research Library will be closed from April 18th to 20th for training. For information on library services, please consult this webpage: To contact the Museum or Archives, please consult this webpage:  (V. Sanchez)
Yosemite National Park Continues to Repair Big Oak Flat Road - 
Yosemite News Release 
April 18, 2017 4:30 pm
Repair work on Big Oak Flat Road continues to progress   
Yosemite National Park reports that progress continues to be made on repairs to the Big Oak Flat road. In early April, road crews dug down 65 feet to the bottom of an underground spring that caused soils to erode. The slope has been stabilized and soil and rock have been brought into the park to rebuild the roadbed. As of today, the roadbed has been built up 26 feet, which is about half way to the surface of the road. The park pledges to announce an opening date for the Big Oak Flat road as soon as it becomes available.
Severe winter storms that have given new life to an underground spring caused saturated, heavy soils under the road to slide downhill. Over 200 feet of roadway has been impacted. As a result of the slide, the Big Oak Flat road from Crane Flat to Foresta Junction has been unsafe for vehicular travel and closed for repairs since late February. Until the road reopens, visitors cannot drive from Crane Flat to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road.
Visitors are encouraged to visit Yosemite National Park via the Big Oak Flat entrance. The park has waived the entrance fee for all vehicles entering via the Big Oak Flat Entrance. Visitors entering the park via Highway 120 can enjoy camping at Hodgdon Meadow Campground, snowshoeing and Nordic Skiing from Crane Flat and hiking in the Merced and Tuolumne Groves of Giant Sequoias. Park entrance fees still apply to all visitors entering the park via Hetch Hetchy, the Arch Rock and South Entrance Stations.    
Highway 140 (El Portal Road) and Highway 41 (Wawona Road) are open and clear for all vehicular traffic to access Yosemite Valley and Wawona. Visitors traveling to and from Yosemite National Park are urged to drive with caution, follow posted speed limits, and be aware of rocks and debris on the roadway.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again.  (J. Richards)
Rental - Shared House in Midpines Area
Large upper level living area of 2000' square ft A-Frame house near YARTS stop in Midpines area. Furnished, with private bath, wifi, covered porch, shared kitchen and laundry.Prefer quiet, non-smoker, working female, no pets. $700 per month. Please contact (707) 800-5155 for additional information.  (C.Baker)
Updated Hetch Hetchy Hours

The Hetch Hetchy Road  Day Use Hours are 8 am to 7 pm through April 30th. The entrance station will be collecting park entrance fees to enter Hetch Hetchy.  (C. Flores)

RT-130 Wildland Fire Refresher Training
The time of the year is here again for all "Redcarded" employees to start signing up for the annual fire refresher courses. Yosemite Fire staff will be hosting a number of RT-130 Fire Refresher trainings this year. As always there is limited space in each training. Refresher dates are listed on the Fire and Aviation Redcard page on Sharepoint on the upper right-hand part of the page. The dates and locations are listed in order of the date with contact info for each instructor. Please don't hesitate. Sign ups will be first-come-first-served with about 20-25 student slots available per class (this may be different depending on class location). On the day of the training do your best to bring basic wildland PPE if you currently have any. There will also be a strict cut-off date for Redcard applications this year of June 30th. Dispatch will not process any applications beyond that date so get refreshed and get all your paperwork processed before the season gets too busy.  (P. Bevington)
Free Paint Only Recycling Event For Mariposa County June 17
This free paint drop-off event will be held Saturday, June 17th, 9 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds - 5007 Fairgrounds Road Mariposa, CA 95338. It will be open to all households and businesses. 
What’s accepted: containers must have original labels; house paint and primers (latex or oil-based); stains; deck and concrete sealers; and clear finishes (e.g., varnishes and shellac). Volunteers will even unload for you!
For details on what products are accepted (and not accepted), visit  (N. Dorr)
FBMS/EMIS Operating Issues
Several NPS EMIS users in multiple locations are reporting issues with EMIS, including white-screens, spinning and non-responsiveness. The DOI/BIO is aware of the performance issues and they are currently researching them. Additionally, the DOI/BIO is working on updating Asset and Charge Card data in EMIS, which was not updated as of this AM. At this point there is no estimated resolution time. Updates will be provided as available.  (L. Schafer)
Room For Rent
Looking for someone to take over lease for one large room in a house with 3 other roommates at 5608 Lakeside Rd. Common areas are shared, each has a private bedroom. Rent is $400/month, utilities are split based on the size of your bedroom. Dog friendly (currently 2 dogs at the house). House would be available within 30 days after accepting lease. Please call Chris at 209-379-1008 during the workday or 209-617-7956 after 7pm and on weekends.  (C. Kugler)
Join Yosemite National Park for the 2017 Earth Day Festival
Saturday, April 22, 2017 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Yosemite Valley Visitor Center
Yosemite National Park will be celebrating Earth Day, National Junior Ranger Day, Park Rx Day, and National Park Week on Saturday, April 22, 2017.  There will be booths and activities free for all ages located outside on the Yosemite Village Mall, near the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center.
Activities Include:
10:00 am - 2:00 pm:
Connect with a Park Ranger and other resource specialists to learn about Yosemite's Zero Landfill program, Emergency Services, Bears, Wilderness, and more.
Join Yosemite Conservancy for an art project, open for all ages
10 am:  Junior Ranger Walk - Meet near the Stage 
            Volunteer Litter Clean-Up Project - Meet near the Stage       
            Composting Demonstration - Zero Landfill Booth
            Youth Photo Walk - Join a photographer with the Ansel Adams
            Gallery for a 1-hour photo walk for kids. - Meet near the Stage 
                Limited to 15 youth and accompanying parents/guardians. Sign
                up in advance with the Ansel Adams Galley, reservations begin
                on Wednesday, April 19. Call 209-372-4211 to sign up.
10:15 am:  Music with Ranger Kate - Stage
10:45 am:  Shakespeare in Yosemite Preview Performance - Stage
11:30 am:  Reading of the Lorax - Stage
                Toy Making from Recycled Materials - Zero Landfill Booth
12:30 pm:  Volunteer Litter Clean-Up Project - Meet near the Stage
12:30 pm:  Music with Ranger Kate - Stage
1:00 pm:    Junior Ranger Walk
1:30 pm: Gather near Stage for a guided walk to Lower River Amphitheater for UC Merced's "Shakespeare in Yosemite."
UC Merced's "Shakespeare in Yosemite"
On April 22 and 23, Yosemite National Park is proud to partner with UC Merced for four very special performances of an original play, “Shakespeare in Yosemite.” This production brings together work by William Shakespeare, John Muir, and Yosemite National Park. For details on performance dates and times, visit
Yosemite Medical Clinic - "Walk in the Park with the Doc and Nurses" Sunday morning, April 23 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
The "Walk in the Park with the Doc and Nurses" is ON for Sunday morning, April 23from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, in observance of National Park Rx Day.  We'll be leading everyone who wants to join on a free, fun, family-friendly and health-focused walk in our beautiful Yosemite Valley.  The Clinic staff looks forward to meeting you!  
What:  Health-focused, family-friendly walk in the Valley with Yosemite Medical Clinic's staff.  We'll have fun and discuss the health benefits of being outdoors, in Nature.
Where and When:  Meet at the Front Entrance of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center at 9:00 AM on Sunday, April 23.  
How to Join the Walk:  Two Options - (1)  Anyone interested can sign up the morning of the Walk in front of Visitor Center between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM on Sunday, April 23, or, (2) Sign up at our booth on the Mall near the Visitors Center (look for the ambulance display) during Yosemite National Park's Earth Day Celebration from10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 22.
More Details:  The Walk will follow a fairly flat course in the Valley.  Additionally, depending on the level of interest, a more challenging Walk may be offered - to be determined the morning of the Walk.  Participants should dress appropriately for the weather, bring drinking water, sunscreen and wear closed-toe shoes suitable for hiking. For more information, call the Clinic at 209-372-4637.
Where to Park
The weekend of April 22 and 23, 2017 will be very busy in Yosemite National Park. Visitors planning to join us are encouraged to plan their trips in advance and arrive to the park before 9:00 am. Parking areas throughout the park are expected to fill early in the day. Visitor parking will be available at the Yosemite Falls Day Parking Area, located near Yosemite Lodge and Camp 4, and at Half Dome Village. Visitors are encouraged to park and utilize the free park shuttle to get to the Yosemite Valley Village and Visitor Center.
Public transportation is a wonderful way to visit Yosemite Valley. YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) buses run multiple times daily and provide visitors with a safe and convenient way to visit the park.  (J. Richards)
March for Science - Guidelines for NPS Employees
On Saturday, April 22, 2017, there is a permitted first amendment activity scheduled for Yosemite Valley, the "March for Science."
Please be aware that this event is being planned and organized independently from our NPS Earth Day Festival.
Many of you have been asked to deliver remarks for the March for Science. This is fine, but please be aware that there are clear parameters for NPS employee participation. 
Each of you, and/or your colleagues, will need to deliver your remarks and represent yourself as a private citizen. For example, you can say "I'm ________, and I am a wildlife biologist" or something to that effect. Employees speaking at the March for Science cannot identify themselves as NPS or DOI employees. 
If any employees choose to participate in the march, or speak at the March for Science, employees are not permitted to wear the NPS uniform.  While participating in any March for Science activities, you must represent yourself as a private citizen. This separation is critical and awareness that these are two separate events is critical as well.
Also, please be sure that you or your employees are not on government time during participation in the March or during the delivery of any remarks. 
It is fine if you are working an Earth Day booth on government time. However, if participating in the March, please be "off the clock" and change out of your uniform.
Finally, if you, or any of your employees, are participating in the March, please be sure that no NPS uniforms, or anything representing you as an NPS employee, is not visible during the March. There is a possibility that news media will be covering the March and/or Earth Day and this separation is critical.
If there are any questions or concerns, please call Scott Gediman at 209-372-0248 (S. Gediman)

Tenaya Way Closed 3/28-4/20

Tenaya way, between the Courthouse and Valley Electric Substation in Yosemite Valley, will be closed from March 28th to April 20th to all vehicle traffic. Courthouse vehicle access and parking will not be affected. This closure is necessary to stage equipment for the upcoming power outage in Yosemite Valley. For more information call Josiah Brown, High Voltage Shop Supervisor at 379-1236.  (J. Brown)
El Portal Well Rehabilitation
Construction of a new booster pump station in El Portal began on Monday, April 3rd.  Initial efforts will include demolition of the existing booster pump station and construction of a new pump house. Interruptions to water service in El Portal are not planned at this time.  (R. Hall)
Wawona Road Curb Repairs
Crews will be completing spot repairs with asphalt grinding and curb replacement along Wawona Road between Chinquapin and the Rostrum. Crews will be working from 7AM to 5PM (Monday thru Friday) with single lane traffic control and up to 15 minute traffic delays. This project is expected to finish by May 3rd.  (M. Pieper)


Emergency Services Complex
Construction continues. Insulation is nearly complete and wall and ceiling finishes are being applied; electrical and telecom cables are being pulled; mechanical control systems are being installed. Siding and roofing is being installed as weather allows. Completion is expected in the spring.  (K. White)
One-lane traffic between Yosemite Lodge and Camp 4 
Northside Drive between Yosemite Lodge and Camp 4 will be reduced to one-lane traffic for two weeks starting Monday, 4/10/17. There may be short delays, with occasional 15-minute delays. Contractors will install two sewer lines and one culvert. 
A hard closure is in place between Half Dome Village and Yosemite Village on Northside Drive. Northside Drive is closed to all vehicles and pedestrians from Stoneman Bridge to Camp 6 through Ahwahnee Meadow. Sentinel Drive is configured as a one-way road running south to north. Access to Half Dome Village from Yosemite Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge is via El Cap Cross. A detour map is available at  (L. Acree)
Treacy Stone will be acting BRM Division Chief until April 20. He can be reached at 372-0662.
Rob Grasso will be acting Branch Chief of Wildlife until April 21. He can be reached at 379-1438.
Heather Huppe will be acting Branch Chief of VUSS until April 21. She can be reached at 379-1434.
Heather Boothe will be acting Hetch Hetchy Program Manager and Yosemite Conservancy Liaison until May 15. She can be reached at 372-0238.
Sally Kintner will be acting Volunteer Program Manager until May 15. She can be reached at 379-1850.
Kristin Kirschner will be acting SAR Coordinator until mid June.  She can be reached at 372-0216. 
Chrissy Mitchell will be the acting Yosemite Emergency Communications Center Manager until further notice. She can be reached at 379-1191 or
Don Pasley​ will be acting ​Wawona B&G Supervisor​​ until further notice. He can be reached at 3​75-​9508​ or
Joe Meyer will be acting Division Chief for Resources Management and Science until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1185.
Josh Keyes will be acting Utilities Branch Chief until further notice. He can be reached at 379-1077.
Garrett Dickman will be acting Park Botanist until further notice. He can be reached at 379-3282.
John Barton will be acting Wawona Utilities Supervisor until further notice. He can be reached at 375-9510 or
Shawn Zumbrunnen will be acting Valley Utilities Supervisor until further notice. He can be reached at 372-0560 or