Even when snowbound and inaccessible to vehicles, the rustic Tioga Pass Resort on the crest of the Sierra Nevada range offered homemade pie, a wood-burning stove and plump sofas to relax on after a day of backcountry skiing.
But the winter of 2017 was more than the log cabin lodge, just two miles east of Yosemite National Park, could bear.
Trails, roads and campgrounds throughout the Sierra high country were hit hard by snow and runoff from one of the largest snowpacks in recorded history, leaving public agencies scrambling and summer visitors feeling lost. At Tioga Pass Lodge, established in 1914, loyalists’ hopes of kicking back on a sunny afternoon have taken a particularly tough wallop.
Entombed in 20 feet of hard pack known as “Sierra cement,” the lodge “suffered severe crunch injuries,” said Dave Levy, manager of the resort, which is owned by a consortium of investors.