A snow plow driver enjoys a view of snowy Lassen Peak near the Devastated Area
2014 Snow Clearing Operator Log
Mother Nature has delivered a surprise spring snowstorm overnight. At the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, approximately 8 inches of new snow fell, and the road remains closed at the Visitor Center.
Currently, the park road at the northwest entrance is closed at the Loomis Ranger Station, 1 mile inside the park. Our plows will need to re-clear the roadway to the Devastated Area (10 miles), and it may be several days for the road to reopen to traffic. Road clearing operations will resume April 28th.
Despite this small setback, the main park road is expected to open before Memorial Day weekend, weather permitting. As the snow disappears, visitors interested in traveling the main park road by foot or bicycle should expect significant rock rubble and icy patches on the road surface. You may call the Visitor Center at 530-595-4480 for updated conditions.
With low snow depths and additional help from Cal-trans, road clearing has commenced rather quick. Clearing operations began from Manzanita Lake on March 24 with an opening to Devastated Area shortly after. Road clearing beyond Devastated Area is continuing and plows have reached Kings Creek. From the southwest entrance, road clearing began April 2, after a storm brought 3 feet of much needed fresh snow. In just a week's time, plows have reached Lake Helen; the 10 to 12 feet of snow there will slow the plows somewhat. There is not yet an anticipated road opening date; many more preparations will need to be accomplished prior to road opening.
If you will be walking or bike riding the plowed sections, plese keep in mind a few safety notes:
Watch for plow operators, make sure they see you before approaching
Watch for falling rocks; as snow melts from the slopes, rocks come loose and tumble nto the road.
Stay clear of berms created by the plows, they can be unstable.
Ice on the cleared road can be present especially in the morning.
Road opening started smooth from the southwest entrance. We have begun with two dozers, working to push the snow off to the sides in order to get the depth down to a working level for the blower. This year, Cal-Trans will help us with their more powerful blowers. Good progress was made in the last two days; about 2.5 miles of one-lane road has been cleared, however not yet open for traffic. It will be several weeks before the entire road is cleared and safe for vehicle traffic. Also, April storms can create delays in progress. Stay tuned for weekly updates.