Yosemite National Park Closed Indefinitely Over Extreme Weather

Yosemite National Park in California will be closed indefinitely due to significant snowfall, according to a National Park Service update.

“Yosemite has experienced significant snowfall in all areas of the park, resulting in snow depths up to 15 feet in some areas. Park crews are working to restore critical services so visitors can safely return,” NPS wrote in a late February statement on their official website. “There is no estimated date for reopening.”

The park was initially supposed to be closed until March 1, but this has been extended indefinitely due to extreme weather conditions.

Back-to-back extreme weather events have hit California since the start of 2023, many of them bringing significant precipitation, including record-breaking snowfall and the first blizzard to strike Los Angeles in more than 30 years. The serious weather conditions have made it incredibly dangerous, if not impossible, to visit Yosemite

Visitors frequently descend on the park during February and March to ski, enjoy the views and see the famous “Firefall” where waterfalls throughout the area glow bright orange at sunset, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Winter storms have continued to batter the state, often leaving over 100,000 Californians without power or the ability to travel from their homes. Though the storms started some months ago and have already claimed multiple lives, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom only declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, according to Fox News. 

Significant atmospheric rivers could hit the state within the coming month, bringing warmer weather that may lead to rapid snowmelt, raising questions about how the state might handle a sudden flood of meltwaters.

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