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#49621 - 04/20/17 11:44 PM Sierra entry roads mid May?
britonwhit(ney) Offline

Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 68
Loc: UK
I've got a couple of spare days in California 19/20 May. I'm comfortable with snow travel, so the snowpack doesn't bother me from a hiking perspective, but I'm wondering about which roads might be usable at that point. Tioga clearly not, but what about the portal road, horseshoe meadows, onion valley, cedar grove etc? Anyone got any views or historic data (e.g. 2010) on opening dates?

If not I might be resigned to San Gorgonio or jacinto which aren't bad fallbacks, but if I can get into the snowy backcountry that would be best.


#49623 - 04/21/17 07:15 AM Re: Sierra entry roads mid May? [Re: britonwhit(ney)]
Bob West Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 812
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Here are current trailhead road conditions here in Bishop in the Eastern Sierra:

This is the most snow we have ever seen over here. No news yet on when we can get to the trails. My feet are itching! The road to Lake Sabrina, which is the trailhead for the Bishop Pass, Bishop Creek, Lamarck Col, and Piute Pass might be open by this weekend, but the trails are still covered in heavy snow.

Onion Valley road, near Independence, is still closed.

Pine Creek trailhead, north of Bishop, is open, but the trail to Pine Creek Pass is under heavy snow. Rock Creek road, north of Bishop, is still closed. Again, mucho snow.

The Bishop Pass snow sensor, at 11,200 feet, is still showing 180 inches of snow: This is reflective of conditions at the high passes in the Eastern Sierra.

It is looking like local day hikes on snow-free trails might not happen until June! More news to follow as the snow melts.

Edited by Bob West (04/21/17 07:23 AM)

#49624 - 04/21/17 08:16 AM Re: Sierra entry roads mid May? [Re: Bob West]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7386
Loc: Fresno, CA
Here's Inyo N.F's info on FB:

Posted April 20

Current Road Conditions for Inyo County Mountain Roads:

1) Upper Rock Creek, above Tom’s place – CLOSED- Mono County is expected to begin snow removal operations the week of April 17th (weather permitting). Inyo Road Dept. will not be able to access or estimate the snow removal timeline for the last mile of Rock Creek Rd. in Inyo County until the week of May 1st.

2) Pine Creek Rd. – OPEN- No restrictions

3) Sabrina Rd. - CLOSED- Inyo section, one lane clearing operations to the (unplowed) USFS parking lot, 0-5’ of snow on roadway. Due to avalanche concerns, snow removal operations have been suspended until this storm cycle ends (approximately May 1st). The lake is currently covered in 2-6’ of snow. Caltrans section, unknown timeline to opening.

4) North Lake Rd. – CLOSED- Currently 0-5’ of snow on road way, due to the narrow and hazardous sections of road, there are no immediate plans to open North Lake Rd. conditions will be monitored and reassessed May 1st.

5) South Lake Rd. – CLOSED- Closure is at the Bishop Creek Lodge, one lane clearing operations to the Pack Station, 2’-6’of snow, operations dependent on weather and avalanche conditions.

6) Glacier Lodge Rd. -OPEN- No restrictions

7) Onion Valley Rd. – CLOSED- Closure is at Seven Pines Rd., Currently clearing as weather and conditions permit, anticipated opening May 1st.

8) Whitney Portal Rd. – CLOSED- Closure is just above Hogback Rd., snow/rock removal operation is in process, anticipated opening May 1st to the USFS parking lot.

9) Horseshoe Meadows Rd. – CLOSED- Due to road structural damage and rockslides; Inyo County is currently working with partner agencies on repair options. Anticipated opening June/July.

10) Nine Mile Rd. – OPEN – No restrictions.

*The large quantity of snow this winter, and the weather patterns, is hampering the spring road opening operations. As storms continue, expect and be prepared for, changes to road conditions.

#49625 - 04/21/17 08:58 AM Re: Sierra entry roads mid May? [Re: Steve C]
britonwhit(ney) Offline

Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 68
Loc: UK
Thanks. Maybe Kearsarge or the Portal will be my only options.

...or it could be the year to look at rim-to-rim!

#49627 - 04/21/17 12:18 PM Re: Sierra entry roads mid May? [Re: britonwhit(ney)]
SoCal Jim Offline

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 23
Loc: Santee, CA
Recent reports of still a lot of snow above 8500' in the SG Wilderness. Crampons/iceaxe said to be mandatory to attempt SG summit. It's been very warm, but I'd still expect a good amount of snow on the ground there in another month.

#49655 - 04/24/17 06:01 AM Re: Sierra entry roads mid May? [Re: SoCal Jim]
britonwhit(ney) Offline

Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 68
Loc: UK
Thanks. I consider snow a good thing, so a bit left on SG in May would be nice.