Barely enough snow to open Bridgeport area to snowmobiling
Enough snow fell in this last storm to allow the opening of the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area for snowmobiling starting at midnight Saturday.
With 26 inches measured at the California State Route 108 and Leavitt Lake Road junction, the area meets the minimum requirement of two feet needed to open.
The People’s Gate Trailhead on California State Route 108 has zero feet of snow. The continuous snow coverage elevation begins at approximately 8,600 fee.
Just above the Brownie Creek Gate, snow coverage is continuous but thin; expect to start off riding on pavement when snowmobiling from that location. Beyond Leavitt Lake to Sonora Pass expect 2 to 3.5 feet.
“The BWRA snowpack should hold with cool temperatures at higher elevations,” said Recreation Staff Officer Adrianne Thatcher, of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Bridgeport Ranger District. “However, the weather forecast is not favorable for any additional snow in the near future. More snow is needed to build the base and create access along SR 108 and the lower portions of Leavitt Lake Road. When snow depths at the SR 108 and Leavitt Lake Road junction fall below 12 inches, the BWRA will close until sufficient coverage can be met.”
U.S. Forest Service officials remind winter recreationists to beware of obstacles when riding in areas of low snow depth. Snowmobilers should avoid riding in Sardine Meadow, where closure signs are posted to protect sensitive/threatened species habitat. U.S. Marine Corps winter training exercises occur in the area throughout the season. Please watch out for these training operations and maintain a reasonable distance for safety.
A permit is required for each person entering the BWRA. Permits are free and can be obtained at several locations including: the People’s Gate Trailhead kiosk; the Bridgeport Ranger District Office; the Carson Ranger District Office, 536 S. Carson St. or online at http://www.bridgeportavalanchecenter.org.