YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (AP) — A road leading to spectacular views of California’s Yosemite National Park opened to drivers on Saturday, marking the earliest date for the occasion in at least 20 years.
Glacier Point Road takes drivers to a lookout perched at 3, 214 feet above the valley floor, where visitors can view spectacles such as the Half Dome rock, Yosemite Falls and Yosemite’s high country. The road closes each winter blocked by snowfall, and last year the park reported an April 14 opening. In other years, the road remained closed until late-May.
This year’s March 28 opening is the earliest listed in records dating back to 1995 published on the park’s website. California is struggling through its fourth consecutive year of drought, with a mountain snowpack at a fraction of normal.
Rangers say that the park’s Tioga Road remains closed for now. The popular east-west passage takes drivers across the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Rangers urged drivers on Glacier Point Road to travel slowly so they don’t hit or kill any wildlife.