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Mono Basin open but Reds Meadow, Lakes Basin, will open late due to snow

April 26, 2011

Although the Mono Basin Visitor Center will open this week, Reds Meadow and the Lakes Basin are still under heavy snow and will open later than usual, according to the Inyo National Forest. The Lakes Basin is projected to be open by Memorial Day and Reds is projected to be open in late June, although conditions could change those dates.

Here's a summary of the conditions and opening dates, as projected by the forest service today:

MONO BASIN SCENIC AREA VISITOR CENTER OPEN

The Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center is now open for the season. The Center is open Thursday through Monday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Days of operation will increase to seven days a week beginning Thursday, May 19th.

Installation of new photovoltaic solar panels at the Visitor Center will help meet up to 60% of future energy demands of the facility. The solar panels are scheduled to be installed by early June.

Drop by to take advantage of new trails and interpretive panels around the Visitor Center and down to Old Marina. For the latest information on road, trail and campground openings, go to the Inyo National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/inyo.

For more information, contact the Scenic Area Visitor Center at 760-647-3044.

MAMMOTH LAKES BASIN ROAD WILL OPEN LATER THAN NORMAL

Due to heavy winter snowfall, roads accessing the Mammoth Lakes Basin are projected to open later than normal this year. The US Forest Service and Town of Mammoth Lakes will be working cooperatively to provide vehicle access to the Lakes Basin and open recreation facilities as quickly as possible, with a targeted opening date of May 25th, prior to the Memorial Day weekend.

Further assessments on snow conditions and facility repair needs will be made beginning May 10th and a more detailed opening schedule will be developed.

Until road plowing begins, the Mammoth Lakes Basin is open to winter recreational use. When enjoying the Lakes Basin using a snowmobile, please remember to travel at a safe and controllable speed and be respectful of non-motorized users. Many hazards exist and riding near buildings or structures is not recommended. The area of the Lakes Basin open to snowmobile use is limited and users should be aware of posted closures.

For more information, please call the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center at (760) 924-5500 or visit the Welcome Center at 2510 Hwy 203 next to the Mammoth Ranger Station.

REDS MEADOW ROAD TO OPEN LATER THAN NORMAL

Due to record snowfall reported by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Reds Meadow road is projected to open later than normal this year. The US Forest Service, Caltrans, National Park Service, and Town of Mammoth Lakes will be working cooperatively to open the road and valley facilities as quickly as possible. The Reds Meadow Road to Devils Postpile National Monument and the Reds Meadow Valley is tentatively scheduled to open June 24th.

Shuttle Bus service into the Reds Meadow Valley is scheduled to begin on Saturday June 25th. From June 25th through Labor Day use of the Shuttle Bus is required for day-use into the Reds Meadow Valley from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM at a cost of $7 per adult and $4 per child.

Interagency Passes are now accepted for exception vehicles. The cost is $10 per vehicle for those camping in the valley, or for those that are exempted from riding the shuttle.

A special note for hikers:
Pacific Crest and John Muir trail thru-hikers who are planning food drops or resupplies via Reds Meadow Valley should be advised that June 24th is a tentative opening date and there is a possibility the road opening could be further delayed. Vehicle access to pick up hikers or drop off supplies is not allowed until the road is open to the public. Hikers with these needs may want to consider using Mammoth Pass to Horseshoe Lake for alternative resupply staging.

For more information, please call the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center at (760) 924-5500 or visit the Welcome Center at 2510 Hwy 203 next to the Mammoth Ranger Station.

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