Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Tioga Pass opening times (

sharone Jan 29th, 2014 03:11 AM

Tioga Pass opening times
We will be travelling from Yosemite to Death Valley on 23rd May this year and obviously would like to go over the Tioga Pass. However, when I've looked at the data for opening dates over the last 20 years its only been open by the date we want 9 times so the odds don't look good.
Is there any way of knowing how likely it is to open early, i.e. amount of snowfall over the winter?
Otherwise what would be our best option?
Thanks for any help

Tomsd Jan 29th, 2014 04:17 AM

This year is one of the lightest so far on snowfall - so unless we get another huge March - it should be open.

Otherwise - check other posts in here - but heading down 5 and then over/east at say Bakersfield would probably work best.

Michael Jan 29th, 2014 08:10 AM

We still have two months of potential winter rains so I would not count on Tioga Pass being open. Figure on going around the Sierra and count yourself lucky if the pass happens to be open when you are there.

janisj Jan 29th, 2014 08:48 AM

>>so unless we get another huge March - it should be open.<<

We have three months left when major storms are possible there could also be Feb storm(s) or April storm(s).

No way of telling what your chances are til maybe early-mid April

>>Otherwise what would be our best option?<<

Unfortunately you really have only one other (practical) option. The long/boring/(mostly) ugly route down through Bakersfield.

sharone Jan 29th, 2014 09:24 AM

Oh dear, I didn't think our chances were that great. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed there's no more snow or storms.

janisj Jan 29th, 2014 09:37 AM

>>I'll be keeping my fingers crossed there's no more snow or storms.<<

Sorry -- but we NEED a <B>LOT</B> more snow. We are on the cusp of a really major drought - most of our water year round comes from the Sierra snow pack. We have serious problems.

We really won't be sympathetic if a few tourists are inconvenienced by some much needed snow.

wekewoody Jan 29th, 2014 03:32 PM

Actually, we Californians wish you would uncross your fingers. We really need the rain and snow. It goes way beyond not just having enough water to keep our lawns green. It could an environmental and economic disaster. Your inconvenience might be our salvation.

There is going to be some snow this week in the high elevations above 8500'. So you never know. There will be more snow in the coming months, it is just a matter of HOW much.

As janis said, I would not count on it being open by May 23. As you mentioned, that would be betting against the odds. Even if there isn't a lot of snow, it might not be feasible from a logistic standpoint to open it that early.

tomfuller Jan 29th, 2014 03:48 PM

If you're driving a rental car anyway, plan on turning it in at the Fresno airport (FAT) and flying on one of two Allegiant air flights to Las Vegas. Flight 517 leaves at 2:50PM and flight 515 leaves at 7:51PM. Both flights take 1.25 hours and are less than $100 per person. Rental cars are cheaper in LV than in California.

sharone Jan 29th, 2014 11:30 PM

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset anyone with my comments about wishing for less snow. It's just that this is a trip of a lifetime for us and obviously we want it to go as well as possible.
I would gladly give you some of our rain if I could, we have been under 2 feet of water here in the UK since Xmas day, the thought of some warmth and sunshine in 3 months time is what's keeping us going.
Thanks to all for your help anyway.

janisj Jan 30th, 2014 06:01 AM

Yes - isn't fair is it :)

I read a coupe of UK newspapers every day and know about your extremely wet weather -- troops into Somerset for flood relief.

Jean Jan 30th, 2014 10:30 AM

It's snowing in the Sierra today!! Yay!

wekewoody Jan 30th, 2014 11:37 AM

Looks like we might get two feet of snow!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:44 AM.