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Lower Yosemite Falls is just one of the landmark vistas obscured by smoke from the Ferguson Fire in Yosemite National Park on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
Ron Holman

For those still hoping to see the wonders of Yosemite National Park before summer is over, you're in luck. 

Yosemite Valley, which has been closed since July 25 because of a wildfire burning west of the park, will reopen at 9 a.m. PT Tuesday, park officials said Friday afternoon. 

The park was closed to visitors more than two weeks ago — at the height of vacation season because of poor air quality and operations to fight the Ferguson Fire. Smoke filled the park, making it hard to see. 

"We'd like to express our sincere gratitude to the firefighters and, Incident command teams for their great efforts in suppressing the Ferguson Fire," said Michael Reynolds, Yosemite superintendent. "This is truly a historic and unprecedented event in park history, and we are thrilled to welcome back visitors to Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove."

► Aug. 10: Bizarre court appearance for Holy Fire arson suspect
► Aug. 8: Ferguson Fire hurts Yosemite-area merchants
► July 29: Second firefighter dies in Ferguson Fire

One route into the park, California 41 and Wawona Road, will remain closed from Wawona, California, to Yosemite Valley for at least another week because of the wildfire and ongoing firefighting, park officials said. Travel delays elsewhere in the area are possible as well.

The Ferguson Fire, which began around 8:30 p.m. July 13, is still active and can flare up near roads. Visitors should drive with extreme caution, park officials said.

This slider shows Yosemite Falls before the Ferguson Fire, and how the landmark appeared on July 24, obscured by smoke.

Park facilities will have limited hours and limited visitor services as Yosemite returns to normal operations. 

Once opened, Yosemite Valley can be accessed via El Portal Road (California 140) and Big Oak Flat Road (California 120) from the west or Tioga Road (California 120) from the east.

Mariposa Grove, in the park south of Yosemite Valley, also will reopen to visitors next week. Visitors will be allowed to return at 9 a.m. Monday, park officials said. 

Access to the grove will be available via California 41. 

► July 27: Yosemite-area blaze grows as crews work to protect landmarks
► July 26: Are national parks being affected by Yosemite closures?

The Glacier Point Road, closer to Yosemite Valley, remains closed and is expected to open when California 41 completely reopens. The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir area, north of Yosemite Valley, remains closed because of smoke but is expected to reopen soon, park officials said. 

As of Friday morning, the blaze has destroyed nearly 150 square miles, burning an area almost as large as the city of Denver, and is 80 percent contained. Annually, about 5.2 million people visit Yosemite National Park, located northeast of Fresno.

Follow Calley Cederlof on Twitter: @calleyc_vtd

Related

► July 25: Thousands evacuate Yosemite as firefighters battle encroaching blaze
► July 25: Yosemite behind a 'smokescreen': Scenes from the Ferguson Fire
► July 24: Smoke from wildfire fills Yosemite Valley as officials urge people to 'get out'
► July 24: Wildfire smoke ruining vacation, business for thousands at Yosemite
► July 23: 3,500 structures at risk as wildfire rages near Yosemite National Park

► July 22: Forest fires near Sequoia, Yosemite national parks grow
► July 18: Hot, dry weather hampers crews battling wildfire near Yosemite
► July 17: Ferguson Fire roars near Yosemite; some residents ordered to evacuate
► July 16: Yosemite wildfire doubles in size, could 'become a major threat'
► July 14: California firefighter dies while battling blaze near Yosemite National Park

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