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A record snowfall and resulting damage has delayed the opening of the Reds Meadow Road to Wednesday, June 29. The target date of June 24 was not met due to the time required to remove hazards and debris, and to make repairs along the roadway as a result of winter avalanches and harsh conditions. The road, with access to the Devils Postpile National Monument, will open at 8:00 am on June 29 with shuttle bus services beginning immediately.
Mandatory shuttle service will commence on Wednesday, June 29, and operate through Wednesday, September 7, 2011. Shuttles will depart from the base of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Main Lodge â€śAdventure Centerâ€ť every 15-20 minutes during peak times (10:00am - 4:00pm) and 45 minutes during off-peak times (7:30am - 9:45am; 4:45pm â€“ 7:00pm). The first shuttle will depart the Adventure Center daily at 7:30 a.m. Shuttles depart from The Village at Mammoth Lakes daily at 7:15, 8:00, 8:45, 9:15, and then every 30 minutes or less from 9:30 to 4:00.
Motorists traveling as exception vehicles are urged to use caution, drive slowly, and watch for wildlife!
The snowpack in the valley is variable and is preventing the opening of several campgrounds and trails. Facilities that will be open on June 29th include Reds Meadow Resort, Devils Postpile National Monument (including trails to the Postpile and Rainbow Falls), and Reds Meadow Campground. Devils Postpile Campground will open on July 1st, but may have snow patches. Additional facilities, campgrounds and trails should open before the July 4th holiday weekend, depending on weather conditions.
Backcountry travelers must take extra precautions and understand the many hazards that exist with the late spring conditions. Stream crossings are deep, swift, and dangerous. Many trails are covered with deep snow and large drifts. Passes are covered in snow and ice. Most lakes above 9000 feet are covered with snow and ice and unsafe for travel. Snow-free hiking opportunities are limited above 8500 feet.
For information on the road opening and shuttle fees, or if planning a trip to the Reds Meadow Valley, please contact the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center at 760-924-5500 extension 0, or visit www.fs.usda.gov/r5/inyo or www.twitter.com/mammothinfo .