Spring, what spring? Snow expected at Yosemite and Mammoth

This is what spring looked like two years ago in Yosemite Valley. Now a forecast calls for fresh snow starting Wednesday evening.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning (even though it’s spring) starting midnight Wednesday that may bring as much as 2 feet of snow to higher elevations of the northern Sierra and Mount Lassen area and heavy rain in the Sacramento Valley.

And another storm is expected after that one.

“Expect travel delays and possible chain controls if going through the higher passes of the northern Sierra Nevada,” the warning said. “Once this storm exits the region late Friday morning, another system is forecast to impact the mountains over the weekend.”

Yosemite National Park on Tuesday warned travelers to be prepared for winter conditions this week that may require tire chains and temporary closures of roads in the park. Glacier Point Road, which opened for the season last Friday, will shut at 6 p.m. Wednesday and reopen only after routes have been deemed safe.


Even before the storm hits, rangers warned visitors that trails in the area are still under snow.

“Do not hike trails starting from the road unless you’re prepared for cross-country navigation and have winter hiking skills/gear,” rangers tweeted last week. To check road conditions, go to the park’s website or call (209) 372-0200 (then 1,1).

Storm warnings also are in effect for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks,

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area also is expecting fresh snow in a season that brought a total of 461 inches. Base depths at the Mammoth Lakes resort on Wednesday were 80 inches at the main lodge and 145 inches at the 11,000-foot summit, according to the website.

Visitors were warned that high winds could affect lift operations on the mountain.

The same storm may bring heavy rainfall to Northern California, specifically from Mendocino to Eureka and Crescent City, and the foothills east of the Sacramento Valley, AccuWeather reported.