Passes closed, but Bridgeport Recreation Area open

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A USDA Forest Service photo of the Sardine Meadows area on Highway 108 from December 15.

Recent snowstorms closed the passes but opened the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area for snowmobiling.

The California Department of Transportation announced Monitor, Ebbetts, Sonora and Tioga Passes were closed for the season on Thursday.

Passes actually closed on December 6, earlier than the mid-December date of last year, but a week later than in 2018.

Each person or snowmobile must have a permit to enter the area, which is located in the Bridgeport Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Permits are free and can be obtained online at https://www.bridgeportavalanchecenter.org/

Self-issued permits are also available at the People’s Gate kiosk.

“Dangerous avalanche conditions continue as an unstable snowpack exists at all elevations and can easily be triggered by individuals, so exercise caution when heading out,” officials said. “Use good judging skills and allow yourself a wide margin of safety, as man-made avalanches and natural avalanches remain likely.”

Officials ask visitors to wait for the roads to open before heading to the trailheads.

“Make sure you have a partner and keep changing surface conditions in mind, including terrain to avoid,” they said.

For the latest information on Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area weather, snow and avalanche conditions, please visit the Bridgeport Avalanche Center website at: https://www.bridgeportavalanchecenter.org/.

For more information on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, please visit https://fs.usda.gov/htnf or join the conversation on https://twitter.com/HumboldtToiyabe and https://facebook.com/HumboldtToiyabeNF/.

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