Yosemite Announcement - Pohono Trail Closures

Published 2018-08-17
We have an important message to share in regards to all Yosemite reservations between August 18th and August 25th.  Please read through the questions carefully.  In summary, the Pohono Trail will remain closed until at least August 22nd.  However, 99% of Yosemite has re-opened and many areas are smoke-free.  We are recommending all visitors prior to August 25th to take a different trail than the Pohono Trail.
Unfortunately, the fire jumped a border on the Northeast boundary of the containment line.  Crews have been working tirelessly to contain this area, but they recently announced that they will be extending the containment date to August 22nd.
What does this mean?
That is what we are trying to figure out too.  From what we understand and have gathered, the Glacier Point Rd and the Pohono Trail will re-open shortly after the containment date.  The park does not like to make time estimates for openings in fear of disappointing the public.  We also don’t want to disappoint anyone, but understand that decisions need to be made for upcoming trips.  All dates within this letter are subject to change.
What should you do?
For this reason, we are now recommending that all customers prior to August 25th should plan to re-route their trip to Tuolumne Meadows within Yosemite where the smoke is minimal.

What about permits?
Wilderness permits in Yosemite function by allowing a certain amount of park visitors onto a trail every day if the hiker/backpacker plans to stay overnight on the trail.  That’s you.  These permits are divided.  Part of the permits are for visitors that reserved permits prior to their arrival (what we obtained for the Pohono Trail) and the other part of the permits are only obtainable for those visitors that are physically in the park (a.k.a. ‘walk-in’ or ‘first-come, first-serve’).  Upon arrival to the park, we recommend that you obtain a walk-in wilderness permit for one of the following areas in Yosemite to avoid the smoke. . .

·         Twenty Lakes Basin (Beginner Difficulty)
·         Young Lakes (Intermediate Difficulty)
·         Lower Cathedral Lakes (Intermediate Difficulty – Open permits are rare)
·         Yosemite Falls to North Dome to Snow Creek (Expert Difficulty)

How do I access the park? (Attn Fresno Arrivals!)
Currently, all roads within Yosemite National Park are open except for Highway 41 from Fresno to Yosemite Valley, which is closed and impassible.  The road is open from Fresno to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Wawona.  Stopping to see the Mariposa Grove though will add a few hours of driving to your trip.  It is advised to re-route using the directions below and visit the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias as an alternative.  Visitors coming from Fresno should re-route to take Highway 140 using the following directions.

What if my scheduled dates are after August 25th?
All visitors arriving the week of August 26th should check with us before their departure or visit the following link for up to date information.  It is likely you will get to continue your trip on the Phono Trail, but should be prepared to adjust your route as others will do in the coming week.