Apparently, the visitor centers on the East side of the Sierra are reporting that both Highway 120 (Tioga Pass through Yosemite National Park) and Highway 108 (Sonora Pass through Carson-Iceberg and Emigrant Wildernesses) are going to be open for traffic by this weekend.
That's the middle of April. There have been years when these passes didn't open until mid-June or later.
Ebbetts Pass, on Highway 4, is still closed but it can't be far behind.
What this means for hikers is complicated. Yes, we now have early access to some of the greatest hiking in the world, and that's great. But bear in mind that we are still in April. Cold temperatures are still very possible this time of year, as are snowstorms. So please bear that in mind if you head up into the mountains.
And then, of course, we'll have to deal with the rest of the summer. There will be less water in the creeks, dry sections of trail, and a very real danger of major fires. Plan accordingly, and stay safe, whatever you do and wherever you go.
And if you do make an early season trip ( as we did two weeks ago) we'd love to hear about it---and see your photos.