[Update: Tioga Road will be open to bicycles on April 19 and 20. Details here.]
Californians might be familiar with a growing trend of car-free events where big city streets are closed to vehicles to allow for pedestrians and cyclists to take over. Think CicLAvia in Los Angeles, Sunday Streets in San Francisco, or CicloSDias in San Diego. Add to that Yosemite National Park, where a variation on that concept has been happening for years.
Each spring, between snow removal and the opening of two key park roads to traffic, officials have been letting cyclists take over for a few days. Such an opportunity was announced today with the opening of Glacier Point Road to vehicles pegged for Monday at noon. That means from today through Monday morning, the curvy 17-mile road up to one of the park's most famous views can be considered one big bicycle path.
Because the snow plowing schedule is mostly dictated by Mother Nature -- the drought this year certainly pushed up the date from its usual late-May opening -- taking advantage last-minute is not easy. Luckily, there should be another announcement soon: when plowing operations on Tioga Road, with access to Yosemite's high country and its only eastern entrance, are complete. Get ready.
Getting There: Glacier Point Road is south of Yosemite Valley. Take Wawona Road (called Highway 41 outside the park) to Glacier Point Road at Chinquapin Junction.