Yosemite’s Tioga Road, the only route in the area over the Sierra Nevada, opened to the public on Monday with no restrictions. The late-opening of the crucial roadway indicates the difficulty of mitigating the obstacles left by the crazy winter of 2019, along with the hard work that went into clearing the road by CalTrans.
Other than 2017, this year’s Tioga Pass opening was the latest since 2005. The clearing of the road indicates an unofficial summer opening of the landmarks in Yosemite National Park, one of the most popular national parks in America.
Although snow is still prevalent on the park’s peaks, Tioga Road will enable travelers to access destinations like Tuolumne Meadows, North Dome and Olmstead Point. The road is known for its fantastic views of the Eastern Sierra, with motorists traveling over freshly thawed high-alpine lakes and providing views of some of the park’s most pristine peaks.
The enormous job that CalTrans takes on every spring to open Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park is incredible. On top of massive walls of snow that need to be removed, once the snow melts, officials are typically met with car-sized boulders sitting on the roadway that fell from the cliffs above.
That’s where explosives come into play.
With no other way to remove the massive boulders, CalTrans simply makes them smaller by exploding them into thousands of pieces. See the video below to watch the massive undertaking of clearing the road after a busy winter: