The Inyo National Forest announces that the Lakes Basin Road will open for the 2018 season on Thursday, May 17 at noon.
While the roads has been plowed, employees may be still be working on opening the area, including routine road maintenance such as filling pot holes and clearing culverts. They are still widening and opening parking lots covered in snow, placing dumpsters and porta potties, removing hazard trees and energizing water systems.
Portions of the Lakes Basin remain closed to vehicle traffic, including Horseshoe Lake and the Coldwater Campground/Trailhead, while work is ongoing. The Old Mammoth Road remains closed at this time.
There is currently not potable water in Forest Service areas so visitors should bring water with them or may be able to purchase water from concessionaires as they open.
Visitors should expect significant snow still in the area, especially along the upper portions of the Lakes Basin, including on trails and on many popular recreation sites like campgrounds and marinas. Parking may be limited.
Additionally, visitors should expect that the lakes are still partially ice covered. It is in no way safe to traverse the lakes. Creeks and streams are flowing with snowmelt feeding them: please avoid them and keep close track of children and pets.
Subject: Temporary Summer Closure of Monument Campground to Improve Day Use Access
In order to accommodate and plan for increasing day use visitation, Devils Postpile National Monument is announcing the temporary summer closure of its 20-site campground. There are five U.S. Forest Service campgrounds plus two group sites and a horse camp in the immediate area that can accommodate several hundred campers a night.
Devils Postpile National Monument has limited day-use facilities that do not meet the needs of the 150,000 annual visitors. There is a lack of day-use facilities due to congestion from parking lots and the campground. Access is currently impeded by the location of the campground. A higher quality recreation experience will be enhanced with pleasant picnic areas and improved access to the river for fishing. To enhance day use opportunities in 2018, the campground area adjacent to the river will be open for picnicking and improved river access for fishing.
When the mandatory shuttle operations cease after Labor Day, extensive congestion occurs in the day use parking lot. The current parking capacity of 65 spaces cannot accommodate visitation during the shoulder season, when on average, 500 cars arrive daily. By using the campsites for overflow parking, many more vehicles can park and fewer vehicles will be turned away.
Due to the small size of the non-wilderness portion of the monument, there is limited space to develop additional day use facilities and parking. The monument will be developing a long-term plan for the campground and day-use area to better meet visitor needs and responding to growing visitation and needs of day use visitors.