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Contact: Nancy Upham (Inyo National Forest), 760-873-2427
Contact: Maureen Finnerty (National Park Service), 760-934-2289
*This press release is courtesy of our partners on the Inyo National Forest. All press releases and information for information pertaining to the wind event and conditions in the Reds Meadow Valley can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/Inyo/Blowdown.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Reds Meadow Valley Road is now scheduled to open to the public on Friday, June 29, providing public access to Devils Postpile National Monument, Rainbow Falls, Reds Meadow Resort and recreation sites, trailheads, and campgrounds in the Reds Meadow Valley. All regular rules, fees and restrictions will be in place upon opening of the road, including mandatory use of the shuttle bus. Information on fees, the mandatory shuttle bus and exception vehicles can be obtained on the Inyo National Forest website, www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/inyo/specialplaces. The Forest Service plans to open the road to exception vehicles at 9:00 a.m. on Friday. The first bus into the Valley will leave the Mammoth Adventure Center at 8:45 a.m.
The US Forest Service, National Park Service and several partners have been working hard to remove fallen trees, hazards and debris and make repairs to infrastructure damaged in the November 30 wind event that toppled tens of thousands of trees in the Reds Meadow Valley, surrounding area and throughout the Inyo National Forest. Invaluable assistance has come from other partners such as the Pacific Crest Trail Association, Student Conservation Association, Youth Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps, American Conservation Experience, Friends of the Inyo and Backcountry Horsemen of California.
Reds Meadow and Devils Postpile Campgrounds will be open on a first come-first served basis at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 29. The Forest Service is planning to open Pumice Flat and portions of Minaret Falls Campground in subsequent days. Campsite availability will be tracked by staff at the Minaret Vista Ranger Station and campers will be informed of availability upon arrival at the Station, beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Friday. Group campgrounds remain closed and reservations are not being accepted at this time.
Most of the area trails have been cleared and are open to the public, including access to the primary destinations of the Valley, Devils Postpile and Rainbow Falls. The Forest Service estimates that nearly 2000 trees have been cleared from trails in and around the Reds Meadow Valley. Maps that display information on the status of all area trails and identify remaining problem areas are available on the Inyo National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/Inyo/Blowdown.
The Forest Service is making every effort to clear recognizable and identifiable hazards from developed recreation sites (roads, non-wilderness trails, campgrounds, trailheads, etc.). Hazards continue to be present in the general forest areas and in a small number of developed recreation sites. Hazards have not been cleared in Agnew Meadows and Upper Soda Springs Campgrounds and these areas are closed to all public entry. Numerous and varied hazards exist in wilderness and other undeveloped forest areas. Visitors to these areas should understand the risks and know how to identify and avoid potential hazards.
Road work, repairs and removal of logs from the Valley will continue throughout the summer. Visitors may experience unexpected delays. Temporary road closures may be necessary and will be scheduled in an effort to minimally disrupt public use and enjoyment of the area.
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. For information pertaining to Devils Postpile National Monument, please call 760-934-2289.