Reds Meadow Road Reconstruction Project

road, trucks, signs, trees

Reds Meadow Road is being reconstructed to greatly improve public access and traffic safety for all who visit the area, reduce likelihood of vehicular accidents and shorten emergency response times. The U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service (Devils Postpile National Monument - DEPO) appreciates your patience and understanding as the contractor works to reconstruct the road and stabilize the hillside over the next couple of years.

Currently, Red’s Meadow Road is closed to wheeled vehicles for the regular winter season with an anticipated seasonal opening date of June 7, 2024, depending on weather. The mandatory ESTA Shuttle Bus is still required to access Reds Meadow between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

Please keep in mind, the schedules below are subject to change. This can depend on issues that come with the general nature of road construction work. A Forest Closure Order will be forthcoming, solidifying the schedule below.

Schedule from June 7 – September 15, 2024:

  • OPEN Friday at 9:00 AM until Sunday at 11:00 PM. However, the last ESTA Shuttle Bus is at 7:00 PM.
    ​Exception: opening day of June 7, the road will open at 12:00 PM.

    • ​Be prepared for 30 minute delays due to long-bed trucks removing trees from the area.

    • Please be aware, the road could also close unexpectedly due to rain impacts, rock slides or other safety concerns.

    • Holiday weekends:
      • Independence Day Weekend:
        • OPEN Wednesday July 3 at 12:00 PM - Sunday July 7 at 7:00 PM.  
      • Labor Day Weekend:
        • OPEN Friday August 30 at 9:00 AM - Monday September 2 at 7:00 PM
           
  • CLOSED 24 hours/day Sunday at 11:00 PM through Friday at 9:00 AM, except for emergency or administrative vehicles and equipment.
     
  • Campgrounds:
    • Reds Meadow Campground will be open Friday and Saturday nights only, first-come first-serve, from June 7 – September 15, 2024.
    • Other campgrounds in the Reds Meadow Valley area will be closed for the 2024 season (including Agnew Meadows, Minaret Falls, Pumice Flat, Upper Soda Springs, and all group campgrounds).
    • Devils Postpile National Monument's Campground will remain closed. However, the Monument will continue to provide interpretive and educational programs: www.nps.gov/depo
       
  • Wilderness permits:
    • Entry permits will only be available Friday - Sunday for the following trailheads:
      • Beck Lake, Fern Lake, Fish Creek, High Trail, John Muir Trail North of Devil’s Postpile, John Muir Trail South of Devil’s Postpile, Minaret Lake, River Trail and Shadow Creek.
    • Leaving your personal vehicle:
      • You can leave your vehicle at a trailhead overnight if you obtain a valid wilderness entry permit.
        • For example, you may enter on a Sunday and exit on a Friday, after 9:00 AM.
      • No matter what trailhead you are entering from (including any National Park Service lands), remember that neither you (on foot) nor any vehicle will be allowed to exit via Reds Meadow Road, Sundays at 11:00 PM – Friday morning at 9:00 AM.
    • Please print a copy of your permit and leave on the dashboard of your vehicle.
  • For information about visiting Reds Meadow Resort and Pack Station, please check their website: https://www.redsmeadow.com

Schedule from September 15 - Winter Closure

​

  • OPEN Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, with up to 30 minute delays.
    • CLOSED at night, from 7:00 PM – 9:00 AM, except emergency/agency/maintenance vehicles and equipment.
       
  • CLOSED Monday – Friday 24 hours per day, except emergency or administrative vehicles and equipment.
     
  • Wilderness permits:
    • Available Saturdays and Sundays only until the winter shutdown.
    • You cannot drive on Reds Meadow Road at night from 7 PM – 9 AM.
    • No matter what trailhead you are entering from (including any National Park Service lands), remember that neither you (on foot) nor any vehicle will not be allowed to exit via Reds Meadow Road while it is closed.
    • Please print a copy of your permit and leave on the dashboard of your vehicle.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Why is the road being reconstructed?

  • Reds Meadow Road is being reconstructed to improve public access and traffic safety for all who visit the area.
    • Reds Meadow Road currently has insufficient width, structurally deficient pavement, poor settlement and drainage, and substandard sight distances coupled with narrow shoulders and roadside hazards.
    • Reconstructing Reds Meadow Road will greatly improve user experiences, operations and access for recreation and emergency services to the Reds Meadow area by reducing likelihood of accidents and shortening emergency response and evacuation times.
    • Due to the constant need for repair on this heavily-used, and deteriorating road, flooding and other weather events, along with the small windows of time in which to repair it, the forest has struggled to maintain it. Reconstruction will provide a more permanent solution for public safety and future maintenance.
    • Without proper rehabilitation of the road, it will continue to deteriorate leading to further and longer closures.

Background on management of the road

  • Since 2014, efforts among stakeholders have advanced through scoping and environmental planning to inform their decision making, ensuring the most practical design possible for Reds Meadow Road, and long-term sustainable maintenance.
    • The final design of Reds Meadow Road is a result of several years of stakeholder meetings, a Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) study, NEPA process including public meetings and Environmental Assessment, and the securing of a Federal Lands Access Grant (FLAP).
    • Finalized in 2021, the design plan includes the widening of the upper 2.5 mile portion of the road from the Minaret Entrance Station down to Agnew Meadows Corral, while the lower 5.8 miles will be rehabilitated due to riparian impacts, inventoried roadless considerations, constructability, and cost.
    • Parking improvements are excluded from this project, as it was determined in the NEPA process that it would alter management of the recreation in the valley and pose additional environmental impacts.
    • Upon completion of the project, the Town of Mammoth Lakes (TOML) will be issued a Highway Easement Deed that authorizes maintenance responsibility for transportation purposes of the road. This action will provide the TOML jurisdiction for transportation purposes only, as ownership of the road will remain with the Inyo National Forest.
    • The Inyo National Forest and Town of Mammoth Lakes will work together in the future to ensure maintenance and transportation use objectives are met.

heavy equipment on a road, rocks, trees, sky

Questions?
Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center (760) 924-5500
INF Wilderness Permit Office (760) 873-2483
Or feel free to direct message us on Facebook @InyoNF