But I cannot plan for such a tour as yet— the issue is the massive snow pack, which makes it an outlier year on that basis alone, along with very cold weather, and still ongoing snowstorms in May. I miss January, which was warm and pleasant.
In 1998, Tioga Pass opened July 1st. Snowpack at present is 178% of normal— not a record, but close to it. And when cold weather persists, that snowpack takes a long time to melt.
I am rethinking what I might do, but at this point I must defer scheduling any Yosemite trip until at least early June. The White Mountains and the bristlecone pines might be an option, but they too will have a lot of snow, and it’s a much longer drive to get there (for me) without Tioga Pass open.
Dennis Mattinson, who operations the EasternSierraForecast.com, states:
No new updates on Tioga Pass. We are still having snow over here, Mammoth Mountain picked up about a foot over the weekend (giving them 650 inches for season!) I expect more snow this week. Tioga Pass may not open until mid July or later.
No one is really sure but thats the best guess right now. Many things can happen. But, its been 20 degrees cooler here than normal and still snowing in the Sierra (Winter Storm Warning for today thru Wednesday for heavy snow in the mountains).