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What’s open, what’s not

May 23, 2013

The top of White Mountain is above 14,000 feet and was still covered with snow in mid-May. The trail to the top, and the road to the Bristlecone Pine Forest’s Patriarch Grove, is expected to open in the next few weeks. Photo/Wendilyn Grasseschi

Most attractions open for Memorial Day


The Inyo National Forest plans to open several popular high-country destinations for the Memorial Day Weekend due to the unusually dry winter and spring this year.

Normally, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Reds Meadow, and the upper Mammoth Lakes Basin areas are covered in snow until June.

This year, they will all be opening for the weekend.

Mammoth Lakes Basin:The Mammoth Lakes Basin Road and all other Lakes Basin roads and campgrounds will be open for the weekend. These are popular destinations for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and fishing. Visitors should still anticipate seeing snow and ice on the trails and the lakes just above 10,000 feet in elevation, especially on the north-facing slopes.

 Reds Meadow:The Reds Meadow Road will open on Saturday May 25 at 7:30 a.m. The mandatory shuttle bus will be running for Memorial Day weekend. Only “exception vehicles” will be allowed to drive into the Reds Meadow Valley. 

 After Memorial Day Weekend, the mandatory shuttle bus will not resume operation until June 22. From May 28 through June 21, the public may access the valley with their personal vehicles.

New this year, when the mandatory shuttle bus is not in operation, the Eastern Sierra Transit Authority will be providing a free “inter-valley” shuttle bus that will run on weekends between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., providing transportation between Reds Meadow Resort and the Devils Postpile National Monument.

Bristlecone Pine Forest:The road to Shulman Grove is open and the new visitor center will be open for the weekend, then open seven days a week starting in early June.

Hiking within the popular Shulman Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is essentially free of snow.

The road remains closed to the Patriarch Grove due to snow. This segment of the road and the trail to the top of White Mountain should be accessible in early June.

While a light snow pack means early access to these locations, it also indicates a very dry year and therefore, an early fire season.

Visitors are advised to use caution with campfires, get a campfire permit, and make sure the fire is dead out.

For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/inyo for current conditions and the status of campgrounds at higher elevations.

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