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Above average temperatures and a below average snowpack are allowing road plowing efforts to begin earlier than normal this spring.
The Town of Mammoth Lakes will begin plowing roads in the Mammoth Lakes Basin on Monday, April 23. Opening of the Lakes Basin to vehicles will be dependent upon snow, ice and road conditions.
The Lakes Basin will be open to pedestrian use while the gates are still closed. Visitors should avoid areas where equipment is removing snow or making road repairs. Visitors should also be aware of hazards in the area, such as wind damaged trees and lake ice that is particularly dangerous during the spring thaw.
CalTrans will begin plowing Highway 203 from Mammoth Mountain Inn to Minaret Vista on Monday, April 23. A single lane will be plowed for administrative access to Reds Meadow Valley to facilitate the cleanup and repair efforts from the November 30 wind event that blew over thousands of trees in the Reds Meadow Valley.
Pedestrian and bicycle access on the plowed road will be allowed up to Minaret Vista, However all motor vehicles will be prohibited until the road is completely plowed and opened.
The Town of Mammoth Lakes, with assistance from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, will begin removing snow, debris and trees from the Reds Meadow Road as soon as April 25. Forest Service, National Park Service, contractor and other crews will resume cleanup and repair efforts in the Valley as soon as the road is cleared.
Due to the complications and hazards associated with roadside cleanup, felling of trees, removal of loose rock and the repair of the road, pedestrian and bicycle access down the Reds Meadow road past the Minaret Vista Station will be prohibited beginning Monday, April 23.
The closure will be in effect for the entire Reds Meadow Road and all developed recreation areas and campgrounds accessed by the road. The temporary closure will be lifted or modified upon the completion of cleanup and repair efforts. Hikers attempting to exit the Reds Meadow Valley should also be aware of this closure and make alternative plans.
The Forest Service is asking that the public cooperate and respect this necessary closure to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of the crews working in the area. Anyone entering the closed area may be issued a citation. The closure is in effect to allow completion of cleanup and repair work so that the area can be opened as quickly as possible for normal summer recreation activities.
For more information, please call the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center at (760) 924-5500 or visit the Welcome Center next to the Mammoth Ranger Station, or call District Recreation Officer Jon Kazmierski at (760) 924-5503.