One of the most exciting happenings in Yosemite National Park in 2018 was the reopening of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The largest of Yosemite’s three groves of giant sequoias, the Mariposa Grove had been closed for restoration since 2015. According to the Yosemite Conservancy “Those magnificent trees helped inspire the 1864 act that protected the grove and Yosemite Valley, sowing the seeds for the National Park idea.” It seems only fitting that the Park return the favor and make sure these iconic giants can continue to grow. The restoration project included removing asphalt from the original parking lot and creating new walking paths and improving the sequoia habitat. The Mariposa Grove closes to automobile traffic on November 30th for the winter, but visitors can use the South Entrance Parking Area and walk, snowshoe or ski into the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.
Another massive restoration project largely underwritten by the Yosemite Conservancy was the Legendary Valley Trails improvement project that restored and improved “..more than 30 miles of the John Muir Trail, from Tuolumne Meadows through Little Yosemite Valley to Yosemite Valley.” The work included construction of “…new stone walls and rock staircases as well as drainage structures and habitat restoration to improve safety and protect areas bordering the trail.” Trailheads along Tioga Road were also included in this restoration project.
As of November 29th, 2018 the Tioga Pass and the Glacier Point roads in Yosemite National Park are closed for the season. These roads usually re-open to vehicle traffic in the late spring.