The Reds Meadow Road is now closed for the season due to the amount of snow received in the most recent storm. Logging operations remain in progress, removing down trees from the wind event of Nov. 30, 2011. Due to the tree removal operations the Reds Meadow Road has been plowed, and will continue to be cleared of snow to facilitate the removal of the trees. However, because of hazards associated with hauling the trees out of the valley on potentially slippery roads, for safety reasons the road will be closed to all public use, including bicycle, skier, snowmobile and pedestrian traffic, and access to Reds Meadow Valley will be prohibited when logging operations are in progress.
Normal road closure procedures state that after Oct. 15, the Reds Meadow Valley Road is closed to the public after the first accumulating snowfall. The most recent storm dropped over a foot of snow at Minaret Vista and on the Reds Meadow Road, thus bringing about the seasonal closure.
The Forest Service will post “Area Closed” signs at the point of closure when restrictions are in place. Generally, the area closure will be in place Monday through Saturday from pre-dawn to sunset, but may also include some Sundays. The closure will be posted at the gate beyond Minaret Vista or at the road to the Vista just beyond Mammoth Mountain Inn, depending on Ski Area Operations. Access to the Minaret Vista and beyond along the San Joaquin Ridge will not be allowed via Hwy 203 when the closure point is near the Mammoth Mountain Inn.
The Forest Service is continuing its clean-up efforts from the November 30 wind event that toppled thousands of trees in the Reds Meadow Valley, surrounding area and throughout the Inyo National Forest. A logging contractor is in the process of removing 3.5 million board feet of timber from the Reds Meadow Valley to help reduce the risk of wildfire and threat of insect or disease infestation.
The Forest Service is asking that the public cooperate and respect this necessary closure to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of the crews working in the area. Anyone entering the closed area may be issued a citation.
For more information, please call the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center at 760.924.5500 or visit the Welcome Center at 2510 Hwy 203 next to the Mammoth Ranger Station. –FS