Snow Conditions - Mt Pinos Ranger District

Image of sledding hill on Mt Pinos 4/4/2019 Image of path to Chula Vista Campground 4/4/2019

Pictures as of 4/4/2019

  More pictures

Conditions as of 4/22/2019

We are getting to the end of the snow season on Mt Pinos.

This past Saturday there was still snow at the Nordic Ski Base and above, though it was patchy and hard/icy.  Boots are still needed to walk to the campground and away from the parking lot.  There were still some places for sledding.

Below the Chula Vista Trailhead parking lot, there is little or no snow on the ground.  The road is mostly dry, with icy patches possible in the shade and where melt has refrozen overnight.

There is no snow on the ground in Frazier Park or at the lower elevation snow play areas.

The forecast says it will be sunny and warm for this next week.  Expect further snow melt and fewer patches of snow left for sledding.

Please carry chains in case they are needed.  Check the weather and road conditions before coming to the area (links are below.)

A Forest Adventure Pass or an Interagency Pass is required to park anywhere along Cuddy Valley Road, and in the parking lots at the Nordic Ski Base (Chula Vista Trailhead) and at the "Y" (junction of Cuddy Valley Road and Mil Potrero Highway.)  You can get the Adventure Pass at the Ranger Station, Monday - Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm.  You may be able to get them at sporting goods stores before coming up the mountain.  Some convenience stores in the area may also have the passes.  The cost is $5.00 for a daily pass.

Chains may be required at any time and should be in your vehicle, if not on your tires.  4WD and AWD vehicles are required to carry chains in the vehicle at all times.  The CHP (California Highway Patrol) may set up chain control stations when conditions require.  Each vehicle will be stopped and traffic will be slowed or blocked.  When the parking lots become full or if the roads become impassable, the roads may be closed without notice.

As always, no matter what the forecast, be ready for quick changes in weather in the mountains.  Be prepared.  Always carry chains, water, food, and supplies in case you get stuck.

Know Before You Go.....

  • Check the weather at the Chuchupate Ranger Station, elevation 5,280'.  The Nordic Ski Base/Chula Vista Trailhead elevation is higher at 8,340'.
  • Check road conditions by calling CalTrans at 1-800.427.7623 or on the web at Caltrans Road Conditions for Rt 5 and the Grapevine, Highway 166, and Highway 33.  Check Kern County Road Closures for the Cuddy Valley Road up to Mt Pinos and the Hudson Ranch Road.
  • Always carry chains, even if your vehicle has 4WD, traveling in the mountains between November and April. Expect delays and be prepared. Carry plenty of water for all passengers, food, warm clothing and blankets, a shovel, and a tarp.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when to expect your return. Be sure to inform them when you get back. Do not expect your cell phone to work in all areas!
  • Sledding hills can be very icy and caution should be used.  Helmets are suggested.
  • Carry your trash home. It is often difficult for a large garbage truck to get into snowy areas. Take a trash bag with you and take it all home to be disposed of with your other household trash.
  • Expect large numbers of people and slow traffic.  Be patient with Forest Service, CHP, and Kern Roads personnel who are working to keep traffic flowing.

Call the Ranger Station at 661-245-3731 x0, Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm for the most current conditions

Pack it in, then pack it out

To maintain the natural surroundings and beauty of the Forest, please do not leave trash.  If you take your trash home (and a little bit more if you are able), the Forest will remain a wonderful place to visit and enjoy.  Use the provided trash dumpsters at the "Y" and the parking lot at the top of the mountain.  Even better, take everything home and dispose of it with your household trash.  Clean up after yourselves, so our firefighters and the local community don't have to.

Snowplay trash 1/29/2019 Sledding trash 1/30/2019
Cleanup on Mt Pinos 1/30/2019