8,736′ SR 4 Ebbetts Pass, CA, Now Closed for the Winter

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ebbetts pass closed california snow
Credit: Caltrans District 10

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has closed State Route 4/Ebbetts Pass and Route 108/Sonora Pass for the winter.

Route 4 is closed from the Mt. Reba turnoff just west of Lake Alpine to Silver Creek, 5 miles west of the Route 89 junction (Alpine County), and Route 108 is closed from the Sno-Park gate east of Strawberry (Tuolumne County) to the U.S. 395 junction in Mono County.

Currently, there are no traffic restrictions on Route 89 over Monitor Pass.

The recent storms, and accumulation of snow, make the seasonal closures necessary for the safety of motorists and Caltrans crews. The weather conditions on the passes and subsequent road conditions are among the determining factors in the decision to make the seasonal closures. Once the passes are closed for winter, they will not be reopened until conditions warrant. Each year, Caltrans crews work diligently to clear debris, remove snow, and make repairs so the highway can reopen by Memorial Day Weekend.

For the latest road condition information, tune your radio to the Caltrans Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) at 530 AM, 1610 AM, or 1670 AM, or call the Caltrans Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623). Real-time conditions are also available online and for mobile phones at quickmap.dot.ca.gov. Changeable Message Signs with flashing beacons will have information regarding the pass closures.

Winter weather and road conditions can change rapidly. Motorists should expect the worst conditions and be prepared when traveling in areas subject to hazardous conditions.  All vehicles, including those with four-wheel drive or snow tires, should, additionally, carry chains when traveling during snowy weather.

Drivers without chains in their possession may not be allowed to proceed. When highway signs indicate that chains are required, drivers must stop and install chains or risk being cited and fined.

Chain Control Requirement Levels:

  • No Restrictions – Watch for snow on pavement.
  • R-1: Chains are required on all commercial vehicles (trucks or buses).  All other vehicles (cars, pick-ups, vans, etc.) must have either snow tread tires or chains on the drive axle.
  • R-2: Chains are required on all vehicles except four-wheel drives with snow tread tires.  Four-wheel drive vehicles must carry chains in the vehicle.
  • R-3: Chains required – ALL VEHICLES – no exceptions.
Map showing locations of Tioga, Sonora, Ebbetts, and Monitor passes in California.

Caltrans District 10 manages three trans-Sierra passes in the central Sierra that are closed during winter and generally open in spring: Ebbetts Pass/SR-4 in Alpine County, Sonora Pass/SR-108 (Tuolumne County), and Monitor Pass/SR-89 (Alpine County).

Highway 108 over Sonora Pass leaves Hwy 49 in Sonora, CA, and rolls about 50 miles up to the Tuolumne/Mono County line at 9624′, before dropping 16 miles down to Highway 395 at Sonora Junction north of Bridgeport, CA. Highway 108 is the access for Dodge Ridge Ski Area, Eagle Meadows, Kennedy Meadows, Sonora Pass, and Leavitt Lake, all of which provide jumping-off points for backcountry skiing. Above Kennedy Meadows, this is a steep, winding, narrow, two-lane road.

Highway 4 over Ebbetts Pass leaves Highway 49 in Angel’s Camp, CA, and travels 61 miles from Arnold, CA over the 8736′ pass to Markleeville, CA. You can access Highway 89 to Highway 395 over Monitor Pass before you get to Markleeville. Highway 4 accesses Bear Valley Mountain Resort, Lake Alpine, Highland Lakes, and Ebbetts Pass. Above Lake Alpine, this is a steep, narrow, winding road, often with only a single lane. The current west side closer is at the east end of Lake Alpine, with crews clearing to near Mosquito Lake.

For the latest information on road conditions throughout District 10, follow them on Twitter (@CaltransDist10) or Facebook (CaltransDistrict10).

Before you hit the road, plan your trip with the Caltrans QuickMap app or website at quickmap.dot.ca.gov. You can also call the Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).

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