Cleanup is under way at Devils Postpile National Monument, where a fall storm blew down thousands of trees in the Reds Meadow Valley.
Monument officials haven't given any specific date for when they expect to be able to fully open the monument to visitors, saying only that "(T)he closure will be in effect for the entire Reds Meadow Road and all developed recreation areas and campgrounds accessed by the road."
The windstorm blew across the monument last November 30, toppling trees throughout the Reds Meadow Valley. Some of the threes measured 2-3 feet in diameter, some were as large as 4 feet across, according to monument officials.
Crews began clearing snow from the Reds Meadow/Devils Postpile road a week ago. CalTrans opened a single lane along Highway 203 from Mammoth Mountain Inn to Minaret Vista for administrative access to Reds Meadow Valley to facilitate the cleanup and repair efforts from the windstorm.
Pedestrian and bicycle access on the plowed road will be allowed up to Minaret Vista, however all motor vehicles will be prohibited until the road is completely plowed and opened.
The Town of Mammoth Lakes, with assistance from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, began removing snow, debris and trees from the Reds Meadow Road on April 25. U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, contractor and other crews will resume cleanup and repair efforts in the Valley as soon as the road is cleared.
Due to the complications and hazards associated with roadside cleanup, falling of trees, removal of loose rock and the repair of the road, pedestrian and bicycle access down the Reds Meadow road past the Minaret Vista Station is prohibited. The closure will be in effect for the entire Reds Meadow Road and all developed recreation areas and campgrounds accessed by the road.
The temporary closure will be lifted or modified upon the completion of cleanup and repair efforts. Hikers attempting to exit the Reds Meadow Valley should also be aware of this closure and make alternative plans.
The Forest Service is asking that the public cooperate and respect this necessary closure to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of the crews working in the area. Anyone entering the closed area may be issued a citation. The closure is in effect to allow completion of cleanup and repair work so that the area can be opened as quickly as possible for normal summer recreation activitie