Inyo National Forest issues new road closures

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Inyo National Forest issues new road closures

BISHOP, Calif., June 15, 2023 — Inyo National Forest renewed a Forest Closure Order today including the closure of nine additional roads due to severe storm damage and prediction of spring snowmelt runoff impacting them further. The forest asks the public to heed these closures for your own safety and for the protection of resources. The Closure Order will be lifted as soon as road conditions allow for safe travel.

The following roads will be closed via Forest Closure Order from June 15 – September 30, 2023:

White Mountain Ranger District

  • Forest Road 6S02 (Silver Canyon Road, closed at Forest boundary)
  • Forest Road 6S01 (Wyman Canyon Road, closed at Forest boundary)
  • Forest Road 7S10 (Coyote Flat/Valley Road from Bishop, closed just past kiosk)
  • Forest Road 9S19 (Coyote Flat from Big Pine)
  • Forest Roads 32E311, 32E303, 32E307, 32E302, 32E303 (area west of Warren Bench, accessible from Sugarloaf or Glacier Lodge Roads)
  • Forest Road 7S01/7S15 (Buttermilk Loop is closed at Horton Lakes Trailhead junction at 7S01A and 7S01, and at Highway 168 and 7S15)
  • Forest Road 4S01 (White Mountain Road, closed where road turns to dirt just past Schulman Grove Visitor Center)

Mono Lake Ranger District

  • Forest Road 1S23 (Walker Lake Trailhead)
  • Forest Road 1N106 (Bohler Canyon Road)
  • Forest Road 1N16 (Horse Meadow Road)
  • Forest Road 01S131 (At the junction of Bald Mountain Road and the junction of 01S70)
  • Forest Road 01S131A (At the junction of Bald Mountain Road)
  • Forest Road 01S131B (At the junction of Bald Mountain Road)

Maps for these roads are available on the Inyo National Forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Maps (www.fs.usda.gov/goto/inyo/maps-pubs/mvum), however separate detailed and specific maps for Coyote Flats and Silver/Wyman Canyons are available on the website: “Alerts and Notices.”

Travel over snow-covered roads during melting conditions has resulted in water runoff following ruts created by vehicles, causing more erosion. Damage has also occurred where motorized wheeled vehicles travelled off designated routes to avoid the damaged sections. This puts the user in danger and causes damage to the surrounding areas.

Furthermore, due to earlier winter road damage across the Inyo National Forest, and other forests within Region 5, there are competing resources which are delaying repair efforts.

“We are doing everything we can to make repairs and re-open roads as conditions allow,” said Inyo NF Flood Response Incident Commander Mike Wiese.

“Although Coyote Flats Road has been worked on recently, they remain closed at this time due to heavy equipment still working in the area, and are planning to haul road fill material in soon.”

There is also sensitive meadow and spring habitat areas that need to dry out more before the public can access where Coyote Flats Road crosses these areas to avoid damaging resources.  

“We hope to have Coyote Flats Road open within the next three weeks.” Wiese continued. “As for Wyman Canyon and Silver Canyon Roads, Southern California Edison is currently working on temporary fixes.”

Other land management agency roads that lead into Forest Service roads may also be closed. Please “know before you go” by visiting their websites:

Forest officials want to remind the public of the following:

  • Going around closed roads, boulders, blockades, or driving over carsonite posts or through ruts creates further resource damage and also endangers the traveler and others. Not to mention, this creates a further backlog of repair work for our staff, which could cause the road closures to last longer.
  • Region-wide, the road damage repair is so extensive that repairs may not be done in a timely enough manner before reopening. Therefore, if a road appears to be fine to drive but it is officially closed, it is imperative that you stay off it.
  • Travelling over snow-covered roadways results in water flowing down ruts created by the vehicles, causing road damage and erosion.
  • Violation of entering closed roads is punishable by a fine of $5,000 or less for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.
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