Spring Road Clearing
Road Clearing Process
Clearing the park highway is no quick or easy undertaking! Snow accumulates on the 30-mile park highway throughout the winter season (typically November through April). Snow depth can reach up to 30 feet at the highest elevations, with drifts occasionally reach as high as 40 feet. The highway may open in sections as conditions allow and as clearing operations continue. It will open to through traffic once it is safe for vehicles, not just only when it is cleared of snow. The road clearing process can take up to three months due to numerous factors including:
When Will the Highway Open to Through Traffic?
Road clearing operations began on March 28, 2019. Sections of the park highway will open when it is safe and there is sufficient parking for vehicle traffic.
Snow removal from the park highway usually begins in April and continues for about two months before the road opens to through traffic. Predicting when the road will open is not possible, even in late spring, because weather in April and May can affect plowing progress significantly. See the chart below for opening and closing dates since 1980.
2019 Road Clearing Operator LogLog updates are posted when reports are received from operators in the field. The latest update may not reflect the current status. The road crew works Monday through Thursday, 10 hours per day.
April 22 - The road crew reached Sulphur Works parking area at the end of the shift today. We will begin clearing the park area on Tuesday, April 23, but it will take awhile to clear the restroom of snow.
April 18 - The highway opened to vehicles between Loomis Plaza and Devastated Area (10 miles). There is 4-6 feet of snow at the Devastated Area. Road clearing began today at the Southwest entrance! The snow is much deeper (~12 feet) than it is at Manzanita Lake to Devastated Area, so more machines are needed and the process of clearing will take much longer. Please stay clear of equipment. Operators may not be able to see you.
April 11 - The highway is cleared for approximately ten miles between the Loomis parking area and the Devestated Area parking lot. The highway remains closed to vehicles beyond the Loomis parking area.
April 2 - The highway is cleared approximately three miles from the Loomis Museum parking area. The highway remains closed to vehicles at the Loomis parking area.
March 28 - Snow clearing operations began on the park highway. Snow has been cleared from the Manzanita Lake Campground road and campground loops. The road remains closed to vehicles.
Spring Road Opening Dates - 1980 to Present
Last updated: April 23, 2019