If you have plans to or are considering travel in or through Mono County soon, please read on.
Extreme winter weather has recently impacted Mono County and its communities, so much so that the Governor declared a State of Emergency on March 1, 2023. Another major storm is expected to arrive tomorrow (Saturday, March 4th) and more wild weather is possible through March.
AS OF MARCH 3, 2023:
Avalanches have closed a section of U.S. 395 (still shown as open on Google/Apple maps) just north of Lee Vining, which may take two or more weeks to clear and reopen.
The avalanches have also caused power outages in communities north of Mono Lake, including Mono City and Bridgeport. Other road closures have isolated residents and visitors and caused temporary shortages in food and fuel. Our incredible first responders and plow crews are stretched thin.
Reduced snow storage has made for narrow roads with poor visibility and limited parking. There are several other safety issues (limited sidewalks for pedestrians, heavy snow loads on buildings, and dangerous snow shedding from roofs, etc.) to be mindful of when visiting. Our intention is not to frighten or over-dramatize, but give you an idea of what can happen during these more major storms and prepare you for current conditions in our small but mighty mountain towns.
The snowfall has been truly amazing this year, and with more on the way, we appreciate your patience and consideration when visiting Mono County.
Travel is not recommended during the storms. If you do visit, please come prepared (food, fuel, supplies) and plan ahead – it’s likely the roads will close again (temporary closures – for example 395 between Mammoth Lakes and June Lake, or 395 from Bishop to June Lake or Lee Vining. Mountain passes like 120 W, 108, and 89 are closed seasonally and not plowed like U.S. 395).
RESOURCES FOR TRAVEL INFORMATION:
Visit READY Mono – The Mono County Office of Emergency Management’s website for up-to-date information related to these winter storms and other local emergencies. We encourage you to check that page, and keep a close eye on the weather and road conditions, prior to visiting.
Local agency social media channels are often the most up-to-date. Here are a few to bookmark:
- Caltrans District 9: Facebook Twitter
- National Weather Service – Reno: Facebook Twitter
- Mono County Sheriff’s Office: Facebook Twitter
Do not try and navigate around road closures or take alternate roads.
Do not follow Google/Apple maps, your GPS, or ask Siri for the back way.
If Caltrans says the roads are closed, they are closed.
Do not put yourself or others at risk by following your GPS off the main routes. Please visit Roads.dot.ca.gov for up to the minute road conditions/chain restrictions or use the Caltrans Quick Map: Quickmap.dot.ca.gov. You can also call the Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
Mono County road closure information can be found on the Mono County Department of Public Works – Road website. They do their best to keep the site updated. Generally, if a major road like U.S. 395 is closed, smaller 2-lane county roads like Benton Crossing Road are also absolutely closed. When county crews can access and plow them, the site will be updated.
Please also be sure to check Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain websites for updates on operations at the ski areas.
We understand it can be difficult to decipher what’s open and closed, what roads are state highways or county roads, and if there is another way to navigate if some sections of U.S. 395 or others have reopened, etc. so please feel free to call or email us, we will respond as soon as possible.
We are excited to see you and hope you can experience the monumental snowfall soon – whether that is this winter, or in the spring as things reopen and it’s time to fish, hike, camp, bike and enjoy everything that makes the Eastern Sierra beyond incredible (we’ll probably still be skiing, too!).
Mono County Tourism – Jeff, Liz, and Amanda
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