Inyo National Forest Prepares For Winter But Still Remains Active Fall Recreation Area
Inyo NF Campground updates, Road updates and visitor center updates below for some of the regions favorite recreational visits.
Sierra Rec Magazine, October 12, 2017 – As fall color explodes on the Eastern Sierra Range. The team in Inyo National forest are busy preparing for a long fun winter. But the fall recreation season is full of opportunity so they are sending out updates to help you find available rec areas while you explore the Eastern Sierra this fall. Campground updates, Road updates and visitor center updates below for some of the regions favorite recreational visits.
The State of the Inyo National Forest
Mono Lake Ranger District
- Roads open: Monitor Pass (Hwy 89), Sonora Pass (Hwy 108), Tioga Pass (Hwy 120 W), Saddlebag Lake Rd., Bodie (Hwy 270), Lundy Canyon, Panum Crater, Hwy 120 E (Benton), June Lake Loop (Hwy 158), Parker Lake Rd.
- Campgrounds open: Lundy Canyon (county), Lower Lee Vining (est. closing 10/15), Aerie Crag (est. closing 10/22), Gull Lake (est. closing 10/22), June Lake (est. closing 10/22), Oh Ridge (est. closing 10/22), Reversed Creek (est. closing 10/22), Silver Lake (est. closing 11/5), Glass Creek (est. closing 10/31.
- Campgrounds closed: Moraine, Aspen Grove, Big Bend, Ellery Lake, Tioga Lake, Junction, Sawmill Walk-in, Saddlebag Lake, Saddlebag Lake Group Camp, Big Springs, Hartley Springs, Obsidian Flat, Upper and Lower Deadman.
- The Mono Basin Visitor Center is open seven days a week, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Starting 10/15, it will be open 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, Thursday – Monday. Estimated closing is 12/1.
Mammoth Ranger District
- Roads open: Convict Lake, Hot Creek Hatchery, Inyo Craters, Lakes Basin, Old Mammoth Rd. to Lakes Basin, Reds Meadow Rd. (no overnight parking starting 10/15, est. closing 10/29), Mammoth Creek, Mammoth Scenic Loop, Laurel Canyon.
- Campgrounds open: Crowley Lake (BLM), Convict Lake (est. closing 10/31), Mammoth Mtn. RV Park (private, year round), New Shady Rest (est. closing 11/5), Twin Lakes (est. closing 10/22).
- Campgrounds closed: Brown’s Owens River, Coldwater, Old Shady Rest, Sherwin Creek, Pine City, Lake George, Lake Mary, Agnew Horse, Agnew Group, Upper Soda, Pine Glen Family/Group, Pumice Flat, Pumice Flat Group, Devils Postpile (NPS), Minaret Falls, Reds Meadow.
- The Mammoth Welcome Center is open 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. Starting 11/27/17, it will open daily 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
- Devils Postpile Ranger Station is closed for the season. No potable water at DEPO starting 10/9.
White Mountain Ranger District
CARMA restoration area closure. The main entrance gate on road 8S40 (east gate) to the restoration site is locked. The western entrance of 8S40 is open, allowing access to the roads 8S40B and 35E306. At road 35E306, road 8S40 is gated and closed to motorized vehicle travel. Respect the restoration efforts being made and not travel w/motorized vehicles beyond closed gates or park off of established roadways where vegetative seeding has occurred.
- Roads open: McGee Creek Rd., Rock Creek Rd., Buttermilk Rd. (storm damage), North Lake Rd., Hwy 168 to Lake Sabrina, South Lake Rd., Big Pine Canyon (Glacier Lodge) Rd., White Mt. Rd to the Barcroft Gate Silver Canyon Rd., Wyman Canyon Rd. (expect difficult conditions).
- Campgrounds open: McGee Creek (est. closing 10/31), Iris Meadow (est. closing 10/23), Big Meadow (est. closing 10/23), East Fork (est. closing 10/15), Mosquito Flat Backpacker, Tuff (est. closing 10/31), French Camp (est. closing 10/31), Aspen Group Camp, Bitterbrush (winter ops starting 10/30), Bishop Park (est. closing 10/16), Big Trees (est. closing 10/16), Forks (est. closing 10/30), Four Jeffrey (est. closing 10/30), Intake 2 (est. closing 10/16), Willow (est. closing 10/30), Big Pine Creek (no water, est. closing 10/24), Sage Flat (est. closing 10/24), Goodale (no water, BLM), Grandview (no water, no trash service, firewood is limited), Cedar Flat Group Camp, Horton Creek (BLM), Pleasant Valley Pit (BLM), Pleasant Valley (County).
- Campground closed: Holiday, Pine Grove, Rock Creek, Bishop Park Group, Mountain Glen, Table Mountain Group, Sabrina, North Lake, Upper Sage Flat, Clyde Glacier Group Camp, Palisade Glacier Group Camp.
- The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitor Center is open, seven days a week, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Starting 10/10, the BCVC will be open Friday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The last day of BCVC operation will be Sunday, October 29th, weather permitting.
- The White Mountain Ranger Station Visitor Center is open seven days a week, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Mt Whitney Ranger District:
- Roads open: Foothill Rd., Division Creek Rd., Haiwee Canyon Rd., Mazourka Canyon Rd., Movie Rd., Sage Flat Rd., Whitney Portal Rd, Horseshoe Meadow Rd., Onion Valley Rd.
- Campgrounds open: Boulder Creek RV Resort, Diaz Lake (County), Upper and Lower Grays Meadow (est. closing 10/31), Lone Pine Campground (winter ops starting 10/31), Independence Creek (County), Onion Valley (no water, est. closing 10/31), Kennedy Meadows, Portagee Joe (County), Tuttle Creek (BLM) Whitney Portal (no water, est. closing 10/31), Whitney Portal Trailhead (no water), Cottonwood Lakes/ Pass Trailhead (est. closing 10/31), Horseshoe Meadow Equestrian (est. closing 10/31).
- The Eastern Sierra Visitor Center in Lone Pine is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Inyo National Forest is NOT in Fire Restrictions for fire hazard.
Mammouth Basin Additional Info:
Mammoth Lakes Basin:
Restrooms with water will be cleaned and locked on October 12th. The Town of Mammoth Lakes will place portable toilets and dumpsters at Horseshoe, Overlook, and Coldwater/Duck Pass Trailhead on October 12th .
Preparing for winter along the Reds Meadow Road
The Inyo National Forest and Devils Postpile National Monument are planning for winter on the Reds Meadow Road.
Devils Postpile National Monument has winterized their water systems so there is no potable water at the monument. Vault toilets are available. If the parking lot at Devils Postpile fills, visitors are advised to park at the overnight hiking parking lot, or go to another destination such as the Rainbow Falls Trailhead parking lot.
With the closure of the Reds Meadow Campground after this weekend, there are no campgrounds open in the valley. Water will be available at the Agnew Meadow and Rainbow Falls trailheads until the freezing temperatures necessitate the winterization of the water system. Visitors are advised to bring their own water since this fall has been unseasonably cool.
Starting October 15, there is no overnight parking in the Reds Meadow Valley and the road is not plowed during or after winter storms. Depending on the nature and extent of the snowfall, the road may re-open if conditions allow. The Inyo National Forest makes every reasonable and safe effort to keep the road open until the winter closure.
The road will close for the winter at the Minaret Vista Gate on Sunday, October 29 at noon. The Reds Meadow area is popular with winter recreationists and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area provides a variety of winter recreation activities under their permit with the Inyo National Forest.