Snow and Road Conditions - Mt Pinos Ranger District

Snow Mt. Pinos 2022

Know Before You Go....

Page information updated on February 21, 2024

Contact the ranger station for information: (661) 245-3731 ext. 0, Tuesday - Saturday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm for the most current conditions. Closed on Sundays and federal holidays.

The Cuddy Valley Rd/Mt. Pinos Rd is only open to the first snow gate. Closed from the first snow gate up to the top of Mt. Pinos and Nordic Base Parking Lot. Closure due to snow and ice. Check the Kern County Roads webiste for updates.

  • 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 the I-5 Freeway, Hwy 166, and Hwy 33.
  • 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.

Road Conditions

Please drive carefully!

  • I-5 through the Grapevine - Open. Check CalTrans.
  • Frazier Mountain Park Road - Open. Be prepared for winter driving conditions. Chains/4WD.
  • Cuddy Valley Rd/Mt. Pinos Rd - Is open to the top of Mt. Pinos and the Nordic Base Parking Lot. Chains may be required. Check Kern County Roads website.
  • Lockwood Valley Road -  Closed from Chico Larsen Rd and Hwy 33 due to storm damage to road.
  • Hudson Ranch Rd from Hwy 166 to Mil Potrero Hwy - Open, be prepared for winter driving conditions. Chains may be required.
  • Mil Potrero Hwy -  from "Y" to PMC -Open, be prepared for winter driving conditions. Chains/4WD may be required.
  • Mt. Abel/Cerro Noroeste - Closed for the winter season.
  • Hwy 33 closed due to emergency road repairs from recent storms - Check CalTrans.

Snow conditions and weather

Current Snow Level -  6,500'

General Weather and Snow Conditions: A chance of rain and snow today, mostly sunny tomorrow. High today in the mid 40s, low temperatures in the upper 20s.

Mt. Pinos (~8200' to ~8800') - 12-18" inches of snow

Pine Mountain Club (~5000' to ~ 6500') -  0-2" inches of snow

Pinon Pines (~5000' to ~ 5500') - 0" inches of snow

Cuddy Valley (~5500' to ~6000')- 0" inches of snow

Gorman, Lebec (~3500' to ~4500') - 0" inches of snow

Frazier Park, Lake of the Woods (~4500' to ~5000') -  0" inches of snow

Lockwood Valley (~5000' to ~5500') - 0" inches of snow

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.

Adventure Pass Information

A Forest Adventure Pass or an Interagency Pass is required to park anywhere along Cuddy Valley Road, and in the Snowbunny Hill area on the eastside of Cuddy Valley approx. one mile west of Lake of the Woods and in the parking lots at the Chula Vista Parking Lot (Chula Vista Trailhead) and at the "Y" (junction of Cuddy Valley Road and Mil Potrero Highway.)  You can purchase the Adventure Pass at Big 5 Sporting Goods stores in Southern California before coming up the mountain. Some convenience stores in the area also sell the passes. The cost is $5.00 for a daily pass. 

The Forest Service tickets vehicles that are not displaying the passes so be prepared by purchasing an Adventure Pass.

Snow Chains Information

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.  

Parking Lot Information

When the parking lots become full or if the roads become impassable, the roads may be closed without notice.

Winter Road Safety Guidelines Mt. Pinos Ranger District November 2022

Snow Play Map Mt. Pinos Ranger District November 2022

 

How to properly dispose of hot coals

Hot Coal PSA

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.

Leave No Trace Winter

Cleanup on Mt Pinos 1/30/2019

Snowplay trash 1/29/2019