A Construction Guide to the Eastern Sierra, Current as of 8/28/15
There are a lot construction projects on or near the Inyo National Forest this summer that require visitors to plan carefully. Some are overseen by the forest, some are overseen by Mono County and the Federal Highway Administration, and others by Cal Trans. Be sure to pack your patience and remember, while it still construction, you are in beautiful Eastern Sierra. From north to south:
Lee Vining Rock Fall Safety Project (CalTrans): Work is completed for 2015 and there are no closures and no delays. Project will resume next summer. The project is designed improve safety by minimizing rocks falling from the steep adjacent slopes onto US Hwy 395.
June Lake Streets Rehabilitation (Mono County): Underway. June Lake Beach Parking Lots are completed as are most town roads. Striping is underway. Expect temporary delays. The work began in late June and is expected to last two months. While the roads are expected to remain open to traffic throughout the project, visitors may experience delays. When roadside parking, ensure that your vehicle is entirely off pavement and obey “No Parking” signs.
Convict Lake Road Rehabilitation (Mono County and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Accessible Trail Reconstruction (Inyo National Forest and FHWA): The work will begin in July and is expected to last for four months. The roadway will be reconstructed and widened with a uphill bicycle lane from the intersection with Highway 395 to the day-use parking area at the end of the road on the east side of the lake. While the road will remain open to traffic throughout the project, expect delays of up to 30 minutes. In late September, the road will be closed for a longer period of time (up to four hours, for a few days). Longer closures will be planned approximately two weeks in advance. Parking areas may be limited at times while construction work is completed. Construction will be suspended over all weekends and for Memorial Day, the Independence Day holiday, and Labor Day.
The paved path around the east side of the lake will be reconstructed to be fully accessible with hardened access points down to the lake edge. The paved trail will be closed for the duration of the project, but alternative pedestrian access will be provided around the construction.
Rock Creek Road Reconstruction (Mono County and FHWA), second (and last) year: Underway. The project will improve the road, widen it, and provide a bicycle climbing lane along a nine-mile stretch between the Rock Creek Pack Station and Crowley Lake Drive. While the road will remain open to traffic throughout the project, visitors may experience delays of up to 30 minutes. Parking will be extremely limited within the construction zone, including trailhead parking areas for the Hilton Lake trailhead. Please carpool if possible. When roadside parking, ensure that your vehicle is entirely off pavement and obey “No Parking” signs. Construction will be suspended over all weekends and for Memorial Day weekend, the Independence Day holiday, and Labor Day weekend.
South Lake Parking Lot Repaving (Inyo National Forest): The South Lake parking lots will be closed from September 8, 2015 until October 30, 2015 (7 weeks). Boat ramp and trailer parking will not be available during the closure. Recreational vehicles and vehicles with trailers will not be permitted use of the South Lake Road beyond Bishop Creek Lodge during this construction closure. Roadside parking will be authorized along South Lake Road, down canyon from Parchers Resort. Please do not park at Parchers Resort or at Rainbow Pack Station unless you are a customer. Hiking access to South Lake, Bishop Pass Trail, and Treasure Lakes will be via Parchers Resort and the Rainbow Pack Station. It is approximately one mile to connect to the Bishop Pass Trail at South Lake from this location.
Thinking ahead to 2016?
Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction: (Inyo County and FHWA): A major reconstruction of the Whitney Portal Road is planned for the 2016 season (that’s next year, not this year). Hikers, backpackers, campers, and other users should plan for road closures (up to three hours), limited parking, carpooling, and a lot of patience. More information will become available as the project approaches.
Silver Lake Campground Repaving: (Inyo National Forest): Resurfacing of the Silver Lake Campground in the June Lake Loop is planned for the 2016 season. Recreationalists should plan for the campground to be closed during this construction project. The time frame has not been established; however it is anticipated that it will be later in the summer.