Updated Mar 2, 2024 on evacuations


Yosemite National Park, one of California’s most beloved natural wonders, has been forced to shut down due to a powerful winter storm that swept through the region in March 2024. The park closure comes after heavy snowfall, high winds, and power outages made conditions unsafe for visitors. Here’s what you need to know if you had plans to visit Yosemite during this time.

Why Was Yosemite Closed?

On March 1, 2024, Yosemite National Park announced its temporary closure due to severe winter weather. A powerful storm brought significant snowfall, with accumulations reaching up to 8 feet in some areas, making roads impassable and causing hazardous conditions throughout the park. Additionally, high winds knocked down trees and power lines, resulting in widespread power outages.

Park officials took necessary precautions to ensure visitor safety by closing the park until further notice. This decision allowed crews to clear roads, restore power, and assess any potential damage caused by the storm.

What Does the Closure Mean for Visitors?

If you were planning to visit Yosemite during the closure period, here are a few things to consider:

  • All park entrances are closed, and visitors will not be able to enter the park until it reopens.
  • Any reservations for accommodations, camping, or tours within the park have been cancelled.
  • Refunds will be issued for affected reservations, and guests are encouraged to contact their tour operators or lodging providers directly for more information.
  • Visitors who were already inside the park when the closure was announced should leave immediately, following the recommended evacuation routes.

Alternative Plans

While Yosemite may be off-limits for now, there are still plenty of amazing experiences to be had in the surrounding area:

  • Head to nearby Bass Lake, where you can enjoy skiing, snowplay, and ice skating.
  • Explore the charming town of Oakhurst, filled with cozy restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
  • Drive to Glacier Point, offering breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding mountains. Just note that accessibility may depend on road conditions.
  • Spend a day in Merced Grove, a lesser-known gem featuring towering sequoia trees and tranquil hiking trails.

When Will Yosemite Reopen?

At present, there is no set date for Yosemite’s reopening. Park rangers and maintenance teams are working hard to clear roads, repair damaged infrastructure, and ensure visitor safety. Once the park is deemed safe for visitors, it will reopen. In the meantime, check the park’s website or social media accounts for updates on the status of the closure.

While the closure of Yosemite National Park may come as a disappointment to those planning to visit, remember that safety is the top priority. By taking necessary precautions, park officials can guarantee a secure and enjoyable experience for everyone once the park reopens. Keep an eye on announcements and plan your visit for a later date – Yosemite’s natural beauty will wait patiently for your arrival.

For road conditions, please call the road recording at 209/372-0200 (then 1, 1).