What You Need to Know About Yosemite Reopening After Fire Closures

A smokey sky from the El Portal Fire allows for warm-looking skies as the sun lowers in the west on July 28, 2014 in Yosemite National Park, California. More than 500 fire personnel have been battling the fire which has spread across 2,600 acres and threatening nearby homes and roads.
Don Smith/Getty Images

Following a dangerous spate of wildfires in the area, parts of Yosemite National Park will reopen for visitors on Tuesday, August 14.

Yosemite Valley is one of the areas that will be open again to visitors after being closed since July 25 due to the effects of the Ferguson Fire, according to the National Park Service. Visitors will be able to get into the Yosemite Valley area from the El Portal Road (Highway 140), the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120), or the Tioga Road (Highway 120).



Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias has also been reopened to visitors as of Monday, August 13. While those areas are mostly out of danger, there are other parts that remain closed, including Glacier Point Road and the Hetch Hetchy Area, which are closed off to visitors due to smoke issues from the fire.

“This is truly a historic and unprecedented event in park history, and we are thrilled to welcome back visitors to Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove,” said park superintendent Michael Reynolds in a press release. “We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to the firefighters and incident command teams for their great efforts in suppressing the Ferguson Fire. We’d also like to express our gratitude and thanks to our gateway communities who tirelessly helped visitors to the area while they were being impacted by the fire.”

Even though some areas have opened, it doesn’t mean all danger is gone from those areas of Yosemite. If you’re planning on taking a trip to the park, the National Park Service warns visitors to expect smoky conditions as well as “poor air quality and visibility.” The NPS recommends that if you are visiting the area, try and “limit activity” during those periods of poor air quality.

Of course, make sure you’re hydrating enough to keep up your energy levels, especially if there’s still some issues from the smoke coming from the fires in the area.

Apart from Yosemite, other areas in California have been suffering due to the wildfires. North of Yosemite in the Stanislaus National Forest, a 2,000-year-old tree is in danger of being damaged or destroyed, since it’s “in the path of the Donnell Fire in California’s Sierra Nevada,” according to the Mercury News. The report says that firefighters have been working to contain the fire before it hits the historic tree.

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