The State of the Inyoas of 11/22/19 Report confirms Winter Storms Will Alter Plans of Holiday Travelers and Late Fall Recreation Plans

Eastern Sierra, Nov. 22, 2019 – There are lots of changes this week with the first round of snow and more is in the forecast for next week. This is the time of year when conditions can change rapidly, so please check with Caltrans for road conditions: and travel with tire chains, food and water, and blankets for safety.

Of note, the Rock Creek Road is closing (at the Sno Park) on 11/25 and  the Lakes Basin (Lake Mary Road and the Old Mammoth Rd to Lake Mary) will close 11/26.

The White Mt. Ranger Station will be closed on Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas. Please plan your Christmas Tree permits accordingly.

Mono Lake Ranger District

Roads closed: Sonora Pass (Hwy 108), Ebbetts Pass (Hwy 4), Tioga Pass (Hwy 120 W), Saddlebag Road.

Roads open: Monitor Pass (Hwy 89), Bodie Road (SR270), Lundy Canyon Road Hwy 120 E (Benton), June Lake Loop (Hwy 158).

Campgrounds closed: Lundy Canyon (county),Tioga Lake, Junction, Sawmill Walk-in, Saddlebag Lake, Saddlebag Lake Group, Ellery Lake, Big Bend, Aspen, Moraine, Lower Lee Vining, Aerie Crag, Silver Lake, Reversed Creek, Gull Lake, June Lake, Oh Ridge, Hartley, Obsidian Flat Group, Glass Creek, Big Springs, Upper Deadman, Lower Deadman.

The Mono Basin Visitor Center is open Thursday – Monday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. It closes for the season on 12/ 2.

Mammoth Ranger District

Roads closed: Hwy. 203 (continuing to the Reds Meadow Rd.) at Mammoth Mountain Inn.

Roads closing: On 11/26, the Lake Mary Rd. and the Old Mammoth Rd. to Lake Mary Rd. will close in anticipation winter weather.

Roads open: Mammoth Scenic Loop.

Campgrounds open: Mammoth Mtn. RV Park (private, year-round).

Campgrounds closed: Upper Soda Springs, Pumice Flat, Pumice Flat Group, Reds Meadow, Agnew Meadows Horse, Agnew Meadows Group, Agnew Meadows Family, Minaret Falls, Old Shady Rest, New Shady Rest Pine Glen Family/Group, Sherwin Creek, Twin Lakes, Lake Mary, Lake George, Pine City, Coldwater, Convict Lake, Crowley (BLM), Brown’s Owens River (private).

The Mammoth Welcome Center is open daily 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The Devils Postpile Ranger Station is closed for the season.

White Mountain Ranger District

Roads Closed: Hwy 168 from Aspendell to Sabrina Lake, North Lake Rd., South Lake Road after Bishop Creek Lodge, White Mountain Rd.

Road Closing: On 11/25, the Rock Creek Road at the Sno Park in anticipation of winter weather.

Roads open: McGee Creek Rd., Rock Creek Road, Buttermilk Rd., Hwy 168 to Aspendell, South Lake Rd. to Bishop Creek Lodge, Silver Canyon Rd. (4×4-high clearance), Wyman Canyon Rd. (4×4-high clearance), White Mountain Road (4×4, high clearance vehicle recommended beyond Schulman Grove), Big Pine Canyon (Glacier Lodge) Road.

Campgrounds open: Holiday, Pleasant Valley (County), Pleasant Valley Pit (BLM – no water), Bitterbrush (winter ops,) Grandview (no water, no trash service, firewood is limited).

Campgrounds closed: McGee Creek, Tuff, French Camp,  Aspen Group, Palisade Group, Rock Creek, Rock Creek Group, Iris Meadow, Big Meadow, East Fork, Mosquito Flat Backpacker, Pine Grove, Upper Pine Grove, Horton (BLM), Big Trees, Forks, Intake 2,  Bishop Park, Sabrina, North Lake, Four Jeffrey, Table Mountain Group, Mtn. Glen, Bishop Park Group, Willow, Cedar Flat Group, Sage Flat, Upper Sage Flat, Big Pine Creek, Clyde Glacier Group, Palisade Glacier Group.

The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center is closed for the season.

The White Mountain Ranger Station Visitor Center is open Monday-Friday 8:00 am-4:30 pm, closed for lunch noon-1:00 pm. Closed Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas.


Mt Whitney Ranger District

Roads closed: Onion Valley, Horseshoe Meadow.

Roads open: Foothill Road, Division Creek, Whitney Portal Road, Sherman Pass Road.

Campgrounds open: Independence Creek (County), Lower Grays Meadow (winter ops), Lone Pine (winter ops), Tuttle Creek (BLM, no water), Portagee Joe (County), Boulder Creek RV Resort, Diaz Lake (County), Kennedy Meadows (no water).

Campgrounds closed: Upper Grays Meadow, Onion Valley, Whitney Portal, Whitney Portal Group, Whitney Portal Trailhead, Cottonwood Lakes, Cottonwood Pass, Horseshoe Meadows Equestrian.

The Eastern Sierra Visitor Center in Lone Pine is open daily open daily 8:30 am-to 4:30 pm.

The Inyo National Forest and Bishop BLM are not in Fire Restrictions.

Temporary closures of Tioga Road
Tioga Road (continuation of Highway 120 through the park) is temporarily closed due to snowy and icy conditions. There is no estimated date for potential reopening.

The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park, from Crane Flat to Tioga Pass) is usually closed from November through late May or early June. (View a list of opening and closing dates.)

When the Tioga Road is closed, alternate routes are available to get to various destinations.

  • Lee Vining/Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes
    Distance: 390 miles/624 km, 410 miles/656 km
    Time: 8 hours
    Travel north on US 395 to Minden; take Highway 757 west to Highway 206 south to Highway 207 north to US 50 west to Highway 49 south to Highway 120 east to Yosemite. National Park
  • Death Valley
    Distance: 450 mi/720 km
    Time: 9 hours
    Take Highway 190 west to US 395; take US 395 south to its junction with Highway 14. Take Highway 14 south to Mojave. In Mojave, take Highway 58 to Bakersfield. From Bakersfield, head north on Highway 99 to Fresno. In Fresno, take Highway 41 north into Yosemite National Park.
  • Las Vegas
    Distance: 495 mi/797 km
    Time: 8-10 hours
    Take I-15 south to Barstow; Highway 58 west to Bakersfield; take Highway 99 north to Fresno. In Fresno, take Highway 41 north into Yosemite National Park.
  • Lake Tahoe and Reno
    Distance: 315 mi/507 km (Reno)
    Time: 8 hours
    Take I-80 or I-50 west to Sacramento; take Highway 99 south to Highway 120 east (Manteca) or Highway 140 east (Merced) into Yosemite National Park.

Additional information:

About the author

Charlie REC magazine - Charlie Pankey ~ Publisher

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