Every spring local road crews hop in their plows and loaders to clear the roads that lead to the lakes and trailheads of the Sierra. Lakes are often frozen for the fishing opener, but the newly plowed roads allow quick access to ice fishing and skiing.
Some years, deep snow blocks plow progress, but with a moderate winter behind us, crews report that almost all the roads into the Sierra are open and ready to go.
Staff with the Inyo County Road Department reports that the Whitney Portal road, Onion Valley Road and Big Pine Creek Road are open. South Lake, popular for ice fishing on the opener, also has cleared road access. The road to North Lake remains closed, staff reports.
Those headed to Lake Sabrina this weekend should find the road open, ice and some open water at the lake according to Rick and Pattis report from the Sabrina Boat Landing. The boat launch, ice or not, opens for the season 7 am Saturday.
The Horseshoe Meadows Road out of Lone Pine is closed and is expected to remain closed for the opener.
In Mono County, Road Department staff says that Rock Creek Road is plowed as far as the county plows past Rock Creek Lake. The Lundy Lake Road is plowed all the way to the now open campground. Virginia Lakes Road is also open.
The Lake Mary Road in Mammoth is Open to the Tamarack Lodge, according to the Forest Service.
Highway 108 over Sonora Pass and 120 over Tioga remain closed, but in some years you can drive to the passes from the east side to fish the high lakes and take a few turns on skis. At last report, Caltrans staff was very close to opening Tioga and Sonora to the high gates, but were waiting to see what the weather does this weekend before the final decision is made.
To the east, for those looking for a different adventure this weekend, Inyo County reports that the South Road to Saline Valley is open and in good shape, the North Road to Saline is also open, but high clearance vehicles are recommended. In the White Mountains, the Forest Service reports that Wyman Canyon and Silver Canyon remain blocked by snow and mud, but the paved road off of Westgard Pass from Big Pine is open as far as the Schulman Bristlecone Pine Grove.