Sierra Rec Magazine – Forest Service Announcement – August 30, 2018 – The Inyo National Forest and Devils Postpile National Monument are planning for winter on the Reds Meadow Road. The road will close at the Minaret Vista Gate on October 9,
The Inyo National Forest’s engineering staff has had to complete numerous repairs along the road in recent years. However, more extensive repairs are needed to prepare the road for the winter.
Typically, starting October 15, there is no overnight parking in the Reds Meadow Valley and the road is not plowed during or after winter storms. The road historically closes sometime between October 15 and the end of October due to winter storms.
“Over the past several years, we have seen more severe damage on the road due to the instability of the substructure. Our staff is committed to maintaining this road for our visitors’ access and enjoyment,” said Nora Gamino, Forest Engineer. “This work must be completed prior to the first winter weather. We appreciate your patience while important maintenance is done.”
The forest’s engineering crew will focus on improving the drainage structures along the road to help divert the significant water flows that undermine the road as well as paving the segment of road recently repaired for potholes. Additionally, the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) will be completing geotechnical drilling to better evaluate the subsurface material composition along the road corridor. This work is needed to plan for the Reds Meadow Road Reconstruction in 2022, funded under the Federal Lands Access Program.
While the road is closed, visitors may still access destinations along the road using nearby trail networks (see map). However, pedestrians should avoid walking along the steep and narrow road, where heavy equipment will be operating.
Devils Postpile National Monument will winterize their water systems on October 10, so there will be no potable water at the monument after this date. Vault toilets will be available. Beginning September 11 through October 8, the Ranger Station/Visitor Center will be open Thursdays to Mondays from 10 am to 4 pm. The Devils Postpile Ranger/Station Visitor Center will close for the season on October 9.
Water will be available at the Agnew Meadow and Rainbow Falls trailheads until mid-October when freezing temperatures necessitate the winterization of the water system. Visitors are advised to bring their own water.
The Reds Meadow Road accesses popular recreation destinations such as Minaret Vista, Devils Postpile National Monument, Reds Meadow, and Sotcher Lake. The area is popular with anglers, hunters, hikers, campers, and others.