According to today’s most recent update from the National Park Service, Tioga Pass will indeed open tomorrow, May 11. While the road opening will cut hours off travel time from the Eastern Sierra to Yosemite, visitors should be prepared for very few amenities and services on the road to Yosemite Valley. Read the (more…)
‘Seasonal Update’ Category
The Mono Lake Committee recently received the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s (DWP) forecast for Mono Lake levels for the 2013 runoff year (April 1, 2013–March 31, 2014). The lake level forecast is primarily based on the preliminary April 1 runoff forecast of 66%, which makes this year officially “dry.”
Median levels of precipitation and evaporation are assumed, so after September the accuracy depends on how wet next fall and winter will be. The elevations in the table below are in feet above mean sea level. (more…)
The combination of spring’s arrival and the opening of fishing season on April 27 is prompting many visitors to ask when campgrounds and business will begin to open in the Mono Basin. Now that Sonora Pass (Highway 108) is open as of April 24, with the possibility that Tioga Pass may open before Memorial Day weekend, Lee Vining will again be swarming with activity in no time! Here are recent updates (more…)
Looking to land the big one? Or just looking for another big fish tale? As spring’s rejuvenating sunshine melts the ice in the Eastern Sierra’s many beautiful alpine lakes, another great fishing season begins this Saturday, April 27. Mono County’s lakes and reservoirs are fully stocked with Alpers Trout from our neighbors at Conway Ranch, located just north of Mono Lake.
Angling has long held a special place in our hearts here at the Mono Lake Committee. In 1984, long after the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) diverted four of Mono Lake’s tributaries to the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a local fly fisherman (more…)
As I passed the turnoff to Highway 120 west, Tioga Pass, on my way in to work this morning, the message on the lighted sign had changed to “Road closed 12 miles ahead.” That means the lower gate, which is three miles west of Highway 395, has been opened, allowing visitors to access the area around Tioga Pass.
The road is still closed at the entrance to Yosemite National Park, but we’ve recently heard from our Mono County Supervisors that Tioga Pass may open on May 11 instead of Memorial Day weekend, as we had heard recently!
With the lower gate open, the Tioga Pass area’s backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking opportunities are available. Visitors can also access Ellery Lake and Tioga Lake for next weekend’s fishing season opener. As always, watch for falling rocks, stay clear of any road crews still working, and be safe if you’re heading into the backcountry.
Last week Highway 270, the road to Bodie State Historic Park was opened after being closed all winter! Definitely plan a visit to Bodie this spring or summer—it’s a fascinating place full of stories, history, and buildings preserved to help visitors imagine 1880s life in this once-booming mining town. Bodie’s hours are currently 9:00am–3:00pm.
The Mono Basin Forest Service Scenic Area Visitor Center will reopen for the year on Thursday, March 14. The Visitor Center is located north of Lee Vining out on the bluff overlooking Mono Lake and Lee Vining Creek. It’s the place to get permits, see the video Of Ice & Fire, and enjoy the view of Mono Lake from the back patio. The Visitor Center is open Thursday–Monday from 9:00am until 4:30pm.
As sequester cuts start to take effect, people everywhere are starting to translate what it all actually means, including here at Mono Lake. It is well known that cycles of life, tourism, and thus, the economy, in the Eastern Sierra are intertwined with the opening and closing of the Tioga road which connects us to the rest of California through Yosemite. We will be watching closely as events unfold and will keep you posted (more…)
It’s a sunny morning as I park by Old Marina and strap on my skis. Do I have my binoculars around my neck? Check. Pen and paper in pocket? Check. Dog treats for my housemate’s puppy, who is ready to go? Check. We’re off on my weekly assignment to monitor Mono Lake’s level.
This task was a quick one in the autumn—just a look at the gauge at Old Marina and then a quick drive southeast to the old DWP dock to check the second gauge. Once we got snow (more…)