Yosemite National Park will remain closed indefinitely after a series of powerful winter storms slammed northern California over the past week.
Yosemite valley, which is about 7 miles long and surrounded by the summits of Half Dome and El Capitan, recorded 40 inches of snowfall Tuesday, inching out the previous record of 36 inches there 54 years ago.
Elsewhere, snow drifts piled up to 15 feet tall.
Yosemite has experienced significant snowfall in all areas of the park, with snow up to 15 feet deep in some areas and the park’s closure on Feb. 25. Park crews are working to restore critical services so visitors can safely return. There is no estimated date for reopening. pic.twitter.com/JE7E4SKWuq— Yosemite National Park (@YosemiteNPS) March 1, 2023
The park initially closed last Saturday through March 1st, but officials decided to delay reopening as crews work to restore services.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state of emergency Wednesday for 13 counties, including Mariposa County — where Yosemite is located.
Newsom said the state was deploying more snow plows and crews to help clear and repair roads. He also authorized mobilization of the California National Guard to prepare for disaster response if needed.
The siege of heavy snowfall at Yosemite has subsided but park officials are still unsure when it will be deemed safe for visitors to return.
A date has not yet been set for when the park will reopen.