Caltrans to Close Mountain Passes Ahead of Winter Storm | From Fires to Rain and Snow!

Press Release

MONO, INYO, & EASTERN KERN COUNTIES – After a dry summer and fall, wet weather is in the forecast for Mono, Inyo, and Eastern Kern counties. In the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, several inches of snow are expected to fall this weekend. As a precautionary measure, Caltrans District 9 is closing all three of its mountain passes before the storm is scheduled to arrive.

  • Tioga Pass will close at 5:30 pm on November 5. This is to coincide with Yosemite National Park’s closure of Tioga Road at 6:00 pm.
  • Monitor Pass and Sonora Pass will close at 10:00 am on November 6.

Tioga Pass will be closed by Caltrans as a precaution

With snow in the forecast, drivers are reminded to keep a set of snow chains in their vehicles. Even vehicles equipped with snow tires need to keep these on hand as certain chain requirement levels will necessitate their use. Motorists should also keep a snow duster readily available and use it to dust off any snow that may have accumulated on their vehicle since they last drove it. Snow and ice dropping off the top of cars, trucks, and SUVs can create hazardous conditions for other vehicles on the road.

In the event of an extended delay, drivers should make sure they have a full tank of gas and keep the following supplies on hand:

  • Snacks & Water
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Jumper Cables
  • Kitty Litter or Sand (for tire traction when stuck)
  • Windshield Scraper
  • First-Aid Kit

Light snowfall is forecast for the Tehachapi Mountains, along with rainfall across eastern Kern and southern Inyo counties. Motorists should prepare for slick driving conditions and allow for extra time to reach their destinations. The first rain after a period of dry weather can create poor driving conditions, so Caltrans recommends drivers reduce their speed and allow for extra space between vehicles.

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