The Union Democrat

Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4 now closed for winter, too


Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4, the third-highest paved route over the Central Sierra crest, is now closed for the winter season, Caltrans District 10 staff announced Thursday.

The closure on Highway 4 is in Alpine County at the turnoff to Bear Valley Ski Resort, Bob Highfill with Caltrans District 10 said Thursday.

The seasonal closure date for Ebbetts Pass — 8,730 above sea level — was Dec. 6 last year, Nov. 6 in 2020, Nov. 27 in 2019, Nov. 21 in 2018, and Nov. 2 in 2017.

The winter closure of 9,624-foot Sonora Pass on Highway 108, the second-highest paved route over the Sierra Nevada, was announced Monday by Caltrans District 9 staff in Mono County.

The seasonal closure date for the top of Sonora Pass was Thursday, Nov. 10, and that is the earliest closure of Sonora Pass in more than 10 years, according to Caltrans records. The earliest closure of Sonora Pass for winter in the past two decades was Oct. 17, 2004.

As of Thursday, motorists on the west-slope Central Sierra could expect to find Highway 4 closed the Mount Reba Road turnoff just west of Lake Alpine reservoir, Highway 108 closed at the Sno-park about seven miles east of Strawberry, and Tioga Road, the name for Highway 120 in Yosemite National Park, closed at Crane Flat, according to Caltrans.

Recent storms and snowfall accumulati­on prompted the winter closures of Highway 4 and Highway 108. Once the passes are closed for winter, they will not be reopened until conditions warrant, Caltrans District 10 staff said.

Each spring, Caltrans crews clear debris, remove snow, and make repairs on both sides of the passes so they can try to reopen the highways by Memorial Day Weekend.

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