For details visit http://www.nps.gov/depo/planyourvisit/hours.htm
PLOWING UPDATE 2011
Plows have made it all the way down the Reds Meadow/Devils Postpile Road. Engineering and fire crews are currently working to clear the road of debris, rockfall and other hazards. Due to excessive snow, water, and other hazards, the opening date has been postponed to June 29, 2011
Monument opening date has been postponed to June 29, 2011. You can also check for updates on our Facebook page or Twitter feeds.
HOURS OF OPERATION
The monument is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the operating season which is typically mid-June through mid-October. The Ranger Station is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
REDS MEADOW SHUTTLE BUS
The Reds Meadow Shuttle bus will begin operations June 29, 2011.
Visitors not meeting one of the exceptions must ride the shuttle bus. The tentative schedule for the 2011 season is as follows:
•7:15am – 8:15am once an hour
•9:00am – 5:00pm every 15 – 20 minutes
•5:00pm – 7:00pm every 30 minutes.
SEASONS AT DEVILS POSTPILE
Spring is not generally a long season in the Sierra. At Devils Postpile, it is the time that the meadows flood, the rivers swell, and everyone waits for roads to clear. Depending on the year, winter can hold on into June, dropping snow on nearby Mammoth Mountain until Fourth of July. But other years, the shooting stars start to bloom in early June, just as the water recedes from the meadows. Visitors in early June should check conditions often as road closures due to weather are not uncommon and typically opening dates are uncertain.
When the monument opens in mid-June, visitors can expect a relatively quiet experience with uncrowded trails, maybe a snow patch or two, and amazing water flows at both Rainbow Falls and Minaret Falls until Fourth of July weekend. After that, although the waterfalls are still full, so, too are park trails, overlooks, and shuttle buses. The mandatory Devils Postpile/Reds Meadow shuttle bus typically begins operations the second week in June (weather permitting) and runs through the Wednesday after Labor Day, which is considered the end of the summer season. In August, crowds peak, campgrounds are typically full during the weekends, and stream flows in the waterfalls diminish significantly. Although Rainbow Falls flows year round, it is most impressive in June and July. August, however, is typically the warmest month and the odds of good weather are in your favor. In 2010, however, it snowed at Devils Postpile the last week in August, so be prepared!
Fall is a beautiful time to be in the monument, but the weather can be a bit unpredictable. Generally, days are warm and nights are cold through early October. Blue skies prevail, but winter storms are not far away. Visitors in September and October will enjoy relatively uncrowded trails and facilities and fall color that typically peaks in early October. Be prepared for rapidly changing weather, particularly if visiting in October. The ranger station and campground are usually open through Columbus Day weekend, weather permitting. The monument is scheduled to be open every year until October 31, however, winter storms tend to move this closing date up most years. Temporary closures due to weather are not uncommon in the fall. If you catch it on the right day, however, there is nothing better than a cool fall breeze rustling the aspen and cottonwood trees along the San Joaquin River.
This may seem an odd time of year to visit Devils Postpile since the road is closed and the only access is by ski or snowshoe. But winter use is growing and the Reds Meadow Valley is a beautiful and wild place in this season. Trips into the Reds Meadow Valley are not for novice backcountry travelers. No facilities exist in the winter and the only way out of the valley is to climb the 1500+ feet back to the Minaret Vista. For the experienced backcountry traveler, however, many great adventures await. Make sure you have a solid knowledge of winter travel and basic avalanche safety equipment before journeying into the valley. Check with the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center for current avalanche conditions, plan ahead, and it is best to not travel alone.
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June 17, 2011
By George Shirk, Times Senior Writer
Ready to have 50,000 people land on your front porch?
Under plans announced this week, Mammoth’s airport next winter will handle four flights a day, seven days a week. It will also handle seven flights a day on the busy Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday weekends.
Moreover, the airport will serve travelers from San Diego and Orange County for the first time, fulfilling the wishes of Mammoth-loving SoCals who found the trip to Los Angeles International as irritating as the six-eight-hour drive up here.
“We pretty much have all the contracts in place,” said Mammoth Mountain Ski Area’s Howard Pickett, the director of marketing.
Pickett made his announcement at the Mammoth Lakes Town Council meeting on Wednesday. He was at the meeting to protect the new semi-permanent visitor structure at the airport from the brutal budget cuts in which the council was engaged.
“Certainly by next winter it will be mandatory that we have that structure,” he said.
“We’ll have 50,000 visitors going through the airport, and the airport will be the first impression and last impression they’ll have of Mammoth.”
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June 15, 2011
Tioga Road to Open in Yosemite National Park
Visitors urged to take safety precautions while traveling on road.
Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher announced today that the Tioga Road will open for the season on Saturday, June 18, 2011, at 8:00 a.m. for all vehicle traffic. The Tioga Road, bounded on both sides by State Highway 120, is the popular east-west crossing of the Sierra Nevada. Vault toilets are available in several locations along the road.
There are several no-stopping zones along the road, which are clearly marked with road signs.
Due to the heavy snowpack this past winter (199% of normal) and a cool spring, there is still several feet of snow in the Tuolumne Meadows area. Hiking opportunities are extremely limited and visitors are urged to use extreme caution in the area. Additionally, ice is prevalent throughout the area and stream crossings are treacherous.
All campgrounds along the Tioga Road are closed. All commercial services, including the gas station, store, and village grill, are also closed. There are no anticipated opening dates for any of these facilities at this time.
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Story by Stacy Corless
There’s often talk of Mammoth being the next Aspen or Vail. How about Vikersund?
That’s in Norway, where the Nordic sport of biathlon originated. Biathlon is a big deal in its birthplace, where tens of thousands of fans flock to races that combine high-speed cross-country skiing with precision target-shooting.
Mammoth’s winter biathlon might eventually be that kind of draw. In its first two years, the still-budding biathlon has already attracted more competitors and spectators than any other Nordic skiing event in Mammoth’s history.
“I think we’ll get 200 racers this year—four times the turnout for a typical Nordic race,” says Mike Karch, the local shoot/ski movement’s catalyst.
If anyone can convince the snow-loving visitors to, and citizenry of, Mammoth to pick up a .22-caliber rifle and take aim, it’s Karch. The energetic, engaging 40-year-old orthopedic surgeon and Nordic skiing enthusiast has an Olympic vision.
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