Yosemite anticipates opening Tioga Pass on May 11, For fans of Yosemite and the Sierra, a much anticipated rite of spring each year involves the annual opening of Tioga Road, a highway that reaches almost 10,000 feet in elevation and traverses the spectacular scenery of Yosemite’s high country.

Depending on the snowpack, the opening and closing dates of Tioga Pass fluctuate each year. Since records have been kept in 1933, the road has opened earlier only nine times, and on the same date in 2007. For California, it’s been another dry year with the results of the last snow survey in March showing the level at 52% of normal.

Businesses on the Eastern Sierra are preparing for the increased tourist traffic the road opening will bring. Tioga Gas Mart in Lee Vining, home to the popular Whoa Nellie Deli, announced today, “Whoa Nellie Deli is open, come get some fish tacos and enjoy the beautiful views of Mono Lake.”

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