It’s open. It’s closed. It’s open again. It’s closed again.
No more. After a series of October snowstorms have triggered opening and closing the Reds Meadow and Lakes Basin roads several times in two weeks, both roads closed Wednesday for the season in advance of forecasts for severa feet of snow by week’s end.
The Inyo National Forest and Devils Postpile National Monument announced that the Reds Meadow Road at Minaret Vista has closed for the season and the Inyo National Forest is also closing the Lakes Basin Road and the Old Mammoth Road to the Lakes Basin for the season, the agencies said Wednesday in a joint news release.
A series of early winter storms continues to keep these roads in conditions unsafe for travel including ice and drifting snow. A significant winter storm is in the forecast with substantial snow expected starting Saturday night, they said.
Typically, starting Oct. 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.
The Inyo National Forest has made every reasonable and safe effort to keep the road open through these series of early storms since the Reds Meadow Valley, Devils Postpile, and the Lakes Basin are popular fall destinations.
"I was hopeful that we could open the roads for a few more days before the storm on Saturday,” said Acting District Ranger Leeann Murphy. “However, Mother Nature has not been cooperative with that goal. The snow is very welcome, though.”
When the roads are closed, visitors may still access destinations along the roads using nearby trail networks. These areas are popular for winter recreation such as skiing and snowshoeing. However, visitors should know that no services are available in these locations.