Winter road closures and snow-play opportunities in the Western Divide Ranger District
Credit: USFS press release
Forest Service officials have implemented seasonal road closures for high elevation areas of the Sequoia National Forest due to anticipated storm activity. Most Forest Service administered roads on the Western Divide Ranger District are now closed for public safety and resource protection. On December 7th, Tulare County closed the Western Divide Highway beyond Ponderosa, and Parker Pass between California Hot Springs and Johnsondale.
Over-the-snow vehicles are permitted on snow covered roads during the winter months, when snow provides protection to the road surface. Motorized travel off designated roads is prohibited in Giant Sequoia National Monument please follow these rules as well as those enforced by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The following roads, located on the Western Divide Ranger District, are now closed to all motorized wheeled vehicles:
Sandy Creek Fire Road (Forest Road No. 24S07). Sugarloaf Road (Forest Road No. 23S16). Mill Creek Road (Forest Road No. 22S10). Starvation Creek Rd (Forest Road No. 23S64). Lloyd Meadow Road (Forest Road No. 22S82) from mile post 5.0 then north to the end of the road. Powderhorn Road (Forest Road No. 23S15). Last Chance Road (Forest Road No. 22S02). Needles Road (Forest Road No. 21S05). Jack Ranch Road (Forest Road No. 24S05). Bull Run Road (Forest Road 24S29). Crawford Road (Forest Road 21S94). Fox Farm Road (Forest Road No. 20S03). North Road (Forest Road No. 21S50). Needle Rock Road (Forest Road No. 21S06). Deer Creek Mill Road (Forest Road No. 23S04). Capinero Road (Forest Road 23S05) with wheel base wider than 55 inches.
Visitors coming to spend some time in the snow covered mountains need to be prepared for winter conditions. Tire chains are often required near the 5,000 foot elevation on most roads during the winter months, and will be required at lower elevations during snow storms. Snow chains should be carried in your vehicle at all times, and please come prepared for cold weather by bringing along extra winter clothing, flash-light with fresh batteries, food, and water.
Above Porterville, on the Western Divide Ranger District, snow seekers will find a snow play area near Quaking Aspen Campground on Highway 190. Portable bathrooms are located in the parking lot of the Ponderosa Lodge for the public use.
If you decide to stop at a turnout along the highway for snow play, be sure your vehicle is parked completely off the roadway. Watch your children carefully to be sure they do not play in the road or sled into the roadway. There is no garbage or restroom services at highway turnouts, so be sure to clean up your garbage and deposit it in your trash bin at home.
For more information please contact the Western Divide Ranger District office in Springville at 559-539-2607 during business hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed on federal holidays)