Mammoth trails open to limited traffic

Mammoth trails open to limited trafficInyo National Forest and Devils Postpile National Monument announced that they will open the Reds Meadow Road to limited traffic today, June 26. The area is popular with anglers, hunters, hikers and campers — including many from the Indian Wells Valley

But in response to California social-distancing requirements in conjunction with efforts to reduce spread of COVID-19, the access will be restricted this season.

“We appreciate your patience this year while we provide access to the area under a significantly changed operation,” said Gordon Martin, district ranger for Mammoth and Mono Lakes districts. “We want to provide a quality visitor experience that avoids crowding, traffic jams and gridlock.”

Access will cost $10 per vehicle. Interagency pass-holders will be accepted as well.

The Reds Meadow Shuttle Bus that typically brings visitors into the valley will not operate this year. Instead, entry will be limited to accommodate travelers on the narrow, winding road to the limited parking available. Rangers will be monitoring traffic in real time and restrict entry once lots are full.

Visitors with wilderness permits will need to plan carefully, since the pass does not necessarily permit entrance if parking is unavailable. Rangers noted that wilderness permit holders for the Ansel Adams Wilderness — including Fish Creek, Minaret Lake, John Muir, Shadow Creek, River and High trails — could be impacted.

Permit holders may have to park elsewhere and be prepared to hike additional miles or have coordinated drop-off and pick-up points. Those vehicles will be allowed entry, but will not be allowed to park longterm.

Devils Postpile National Monument, along with all the other trails on the Reds Meadow line, will also be open, but campgrounds will be closed.

There will be a public contact station outside the Ranger Station where visitors can obtain information. Parking at the station will be very limited.

For additional details visit www.nps.gov/dpo/index.htm.

Pictured: Hikers approach the Devils Postpile National Monument near Mammoth Lakes. — Photo by Rebecca Neipp

Story First Published: 2020-06-26