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Current conditions in the Inyo National Forest for fishing season opener

April 27th, 2017 by Gabrielle, Project Specialist
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Spring has arrived in the Mono Basin, but at the higher elevations roads and lakes are still covered in snow and ice. We know it can be frustrating trying to figure out what is open and what is not at this time of year, so here is a list of current conditions throughout the Inyo National Forest:

Opening day for the fishing season in Mono and Inyo counties is this Saturday, April 29, 2017.

● All lakes below 7,500 feet in elevation and free of ice will be open.
● Lundy Lake is extremely low and there will be no access for boat launching.
● All anglers 16 years or older must have a 2017 California Fishing License which may be purchased online, by clicking here, or by visiting most local tackle shops.

A member of the the Caltrans District 9 Team stands in front of a massive snowbank on Tioga Pass. Photo courtesy of Caltrans District 9.

Visitor centers, roads, and campgrounds:

● The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore is open 9:00am–5:00pm every day.
● The Mono Basin Visitor Center is currently open 9:00am–4:00pm, Thursday through Monday.
● Highway 120 East (to Benton) and Highway 158 (June Lake Loop) are open and Lundy Canyon Road is open to the resort.
● Tioga Pass (Highway 120 West) is closed at the lower gate, so there is no access to Ellery, Tioga, or Saddlebag lakes for fishing season opener.
● The Parker Lake Road, Sonora Pass (Highway 108), and Monitor Pass (Highway 89) remain closed.
● Bodie State Historic Park remains closed, though Highway 270 to the park is open.
● Campgrounds: Lundy Canyon, Aerie Crag, Gull Lake, June Lake, Oh Ridge, and Silver Lake campgrounds are open as of April 26. Reversed Creek Campground is expected to open May 12. No estimated opening dates for all other Mono Basin campgrounds.

In the Mammoth Ranger District:

● The Mammoth Welcome Center is open seven days a week, 9:00am–5:00pm.
● The Convict Lake, Hot Creek Hatchery, Inyo Craters, Laurel Canyon, and Mammoth Creek roads are open as well as the Mammoth Scenic Loop.
● The Lakes Basin and Reds Meadow Valley roads remain closed.
● Campgrounds: Mammoth Mountain RV Park and Crowley Lake campground are open. Convict Lake and New Shady Rest campgrounds are expected to open May 5, and Sherwin Creek campground is expected to open May 15. All other campgrounds aren’t expected to open until June or July.
● Devils Postpile is still closed due to snow.

In the White Mountain Ranger District:

● The White Mountain Visitor Center is open 9:00am–12:00pm and 1:00pm–5:00pm, Monday through Friday. It will be open seven days a week, 9:00am–5:00pm beginning May 1.
● Buttermilk Road, Big Pine Canyon Road, and Highway 168 to Aspendell are open. Rock Creek Road is open to the snow park gate and South Lake Road is open to Bishop Creek Lodge.
● White Mountain Road is closed at the Sierra View gate. McGee Creek Road, North Lake Road, Silver Canyon Road, and Wyman Canyon Road are also closed.
● Campgrounds: Grandview, Holiday, Pleasant Valley Pit, Horton Creek, Goodale, Pleasant Valley campgrounds are open as of April 27. All other campgrounds are closed and do not have estimated opening dates.

In the Mt. Whitney Ranger District:

● The Eastern Sierra Visitor Center in Lone Pine is open seven days a week, 9:00am–5:00pm, and will be open 8:00am–5:00pm beginning May 1.
● Foothill Road, Division Creek Road, Haiwee Canyon Road, Mazourka Canyon Road, Movie Road, and Sage Flat Road are open.
● Whitney Portal Road and Onion Valley Road are estimated to open April 28. Horseshoe Meadow Road is damaged and isn’t expected to open until June or July.
● Campgrounds: Diaz Lake, Upper and Lower  Grays Meadow, Lone Pine, Independence Creek, Portagee Joe, and Tuttle Creek campgrounds are open, as well as Boulder Creek RV Resort. The Onion Valley, Whitney Portal, Whitney Portal Trailhead, Cottonwood Lakes/Pass Trailhead, and Horseshoe Meadow Equestrian campgrounds are closed with no estimated opening date.

Intense storms caused this rock fall on Whitney Portal Road. Photo courtesy of KIBS-FM.

For the most up-to-date highway conditions call (209) 372-0200 (press 1, then 1) for roads inside Yosemite National Park and visit the Caltrans website for all other highways. You can also view historic opening and closing dates for Tioga Pass here.

As always, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore is open 9:00am–5:00pm daily. Stop by or give us a call at (760) 647-6595 with any questions—we’d love to hear from you!

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