Saturday, May 29, 2010
Summer Rolls In
One of the coolest Mays on record finishes up on a warm note this weekend with temperatures going from 50's-60's up to near 80. The Merced has been running at about 2/3 of average flow all week, but that's likely to change in a big way over the next few days. We'll have this late spike in river volume, and a delayed runoff that will keep the waterfalls healthy for weeks to come.
A couple inches of snow and ice on Thursday night kept the Glacier Point Road closed and had Hwy. 41 at R2 conditions yesterday. Glacier Point should open this morning for weekend crowds. Re-opening is likely for the Mariposa Grove Road, too. Tioga Road is open 4 miles up from Crane Flat, for those who want a look at the Gin Flat snowpack. Cyclists are allowed to pedal car-free between tall snowbanks and lots of fresh runoff as far east as Olmsted Point - the world's best bike trail.
Half Dome cables won't be installed for at least two more weeks; it's still too snowy to access this part of the Wilderness safely.
Snowplant and groundsel are blooming in the Valley, Wawona is full of lupine, and El Portal has nice stretches of Clarkia right at the park boundary. It's a very flowery time of this cool, wet season.