ANY EASTERN SIERRA MAVEN... knows that summer can arrive, officially, on the books and on your nearest calendar, but roadways into the mountains might still be shuttered to vehicular traffic (and even pedestrian and bikes) due to snow-clearing efforts and road work. For it matters not that the hottest of seasons is here; if the previous winter was intense enough, and a copious amount of flakes hit the ground over many months, some time will be required to make sure that the thoroughfares are clear and the asphalt is in tip-top shape. The famous, into-Yosemite Tioga Pass opened near the end of June in 2017, but it still surpassed Reds Meadow Valley Road, the winding road that takes visitors to both Reds Meadow and Devils Postpile National Monument. If you've ever called upon Mammoth, you know this road, and you know that a June opening is typical, usually, but as the winter of 2016-2017 most assuredly was not typical, the road to Reds Meadow, once cleared of snow, needed some TLC.
FANS OF THE NATURE-MAZING AREA... received social media updates as to what the hard-working crew was facing as June melted into July, in terms of trying to assess and fix the road. But then the happy word arrived on July 19, from the Inyo National Forest and Devils Postpile National Monument, with the high-five-able news: The re-opening work had been completed, and Reds Meadow Road would debut for the season on Friday, July 21 at 8 in the morning, as well as a number of campgrounds including Upper Soda Springs and Pumice Flat Campgrounds. Note that there is a "mandatory" shuttle service via the Reds Meadow Shuttle Bus, which will also start up on July 21, so read all before making for Mammoth for some tree-terrific, waterfalls-a-gushin' R&R. It's the "last of the major arteries into the Eastern Sierra around Mammoth Lakes to open," so, hike-seeking explorers of the Golden State? Your mountain-major, top-of-summer adventure starts now. But it won't last forever; Devils Postpile typically closes again around the end of October, depending on storms, and the shuttle's last day is Sept. 6, two days after Labor Day.