Eastern Sierra Recreation Report – May 17th, 2021

Eastern Sierra Recreation Report – May 17th, 2021 

Right now we are in the middle of some perfect spring weather with a good amount of people in the area enjoying the final days of skiing and snowboarding out on Mammoth Mountain.  After morning turns many people are then taking in some hiking, mountain biking, scenic drives, and fishing action.

The snowmelt is happening very fast and has moved into the high country now. From my own sight and others, we have learned that the snow line has gone up to over 10,000+ feet in some areas of the backcountry.  Had reports from Gem Lake (as seen above) to Crystal Lake in the Mammoth Lakes Basin that the snow was gone this weekend.

South of Mammoth Lakes you can drive up Rock Creek Canyon all the way to Rock Creek Lake and the snow is all gone from this area as well. It’s the same on highway 168 up to South Lake the snow is gone and everyone is prepping for a big Memorial Day Weekend.

One thing I want to stress is we are in the second year of drought, this was one of the lowest snow years in the last 50 years. Fire Danger in the area and over the entire Sierra Nevada is extreme and will remain that way until we get the first snows next Fall.

Campgrounds Open: In the Mammoth Lakes area the Mammoth RV Park and the New Shady Rest Campgrounds are now open. Most if not all campgrounds in the Mammoth area should be open by Memorial Day.

For June Lake and North the campgrounds that are now open are Aspen, Lower Lee Vining, Oh Ridge, Silver Lake, June Lake, and Gull Lake.

For Southern Areas of the Eastern Sierra: Bitterbrush, Four Jeffrey, Cedar Flat Group, Grandview, Convict Lake, French Camp, McGee Creek, Tuff, Big Pine Creek, Big Trees, Bishop Park Group, Forks, Intake 2, Sage Flat, and Upper Sage Flat are all open.

Eastern Sierra Roads: First up, the road down to Reds Meadow will not be opening early as there is a large amount of road work and tree thinning to be done in that area this spring. What I am hearing is, at the latest, the road should be open by the July 4th holiday. And yes, the shuttle buses will be back this Summer, operating under some sort of reduced capacity.

Rock Creek Road is open to Rock Creek Lake, Hwy 168 is open to Lake Sabrina and South Lake, Sonora Pass opened on Friday 5-7-2021. Tioga Pass is closed at this time and the process to clear the road has begun, there is no opening date yet.

The Mammoth Lakes Basin is open via foot/bike traffic The snow line is now up to above 9500 feet, you can hike all the way to Crystal Lake with just a few patches of snow.

Yes, the road is melted out, but road crews are still working to clean the area up before the road opens. It’s a perfect time to walk or ride your bike into the Lakes Basin before the road opens and the crowds hit the area.

Hiking:  The snow line has come WAY up now over 9500 feet, so lot’s of hiking trails opening up in the high country. Take advantage of the low snow year and get out for a spring hike, I am sure next year at this time we will be buried under feet of snow.

Mammoth Creek and Mammoth Meadow  The creek is running at moderate levels right now spring buds are out and everything is starting to green up.

Shady Rest Area & Park: The park and all the forest roads in this area are in great shape. The playground is open as are all the ball fields. All the trails and forest service roads are open.

The Disk Golf Course at Shady Rest and Mill Pond are open and ready for a round of fun. Going to hit the Shady Rest course up next week, I love the sound of the wind in the trees above your head while you’re getting some disk fun in.

Mammoth Paved Trails are melted out and cleaned up. Take and walk, run, or bike ride today. (The Lakes Basin Trail still needs full clean up but it’s melted out.)


Karen Akiskalian Daves - Gem Lake 5-16-2021
Photo by: Karen Akiskalian Daves – Gem Lake 5-16-2021