Most of Yosemite National Park closed until next week

The Yosemite area is bracing for flooding, and rangers have closed much of the famous park to visitors for the next few days. 

"It’s pretty unfortunate because we planned way ahead of time," said one tourist. "Got our campsite, and now we have to quickly change plans. But if it is a danger then I understand."

The closure brings disappointment for people hoping to explore the giant waterfalls, towering sequoias, and breathtaking scenery of Yosemite National Park. 

Rising temperatures are melting the snowpack and flooding is expected in the valley this weekend. There are still several feet of snow on the peaks after a winter that brought several large storms. 


Wet and cooler days expected throughout the Bay next week

There's cooler weather over the Bay Area Friday afternoon, at least for most of us, and as we get into your weekend, that trend is going to continue.

"It was definitely an anomalous year for Yosemite National Park," said meteorologist Jessica Chiari with the National Weather Service. "They got hit by system after system. What we refer to as atmospheric rivers. And that just kind of increased the snowpack up to about 250%."

Chiari said since then, temperatures have climbed to the '90s and the snow is melting. They issued a flood watch for most of the park and a flood warning for the Pahono Bridge area, an area expected to reach flood stage Saturday morning.  

"We are expecting some type of flooding to occur in the Yosemite Valley area. Which is why Yosemite National Park did preemptively go ahead and close down those lower elevations," said Chiari.

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The rivers are running high and fast. Floodwaters are expected to cover roads, impact campgrounds, and infiltrate buildings. 

There are some areas of the park that will remain open. Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Hetch Hetchy, and Western Yosemite Valley will remain open, but any visitors trying to access those areas should expect road closures and limited parking.