Gold Lake Road is Open

Gold Lake Road is Open!

060811            The Sierra County Department of Transportation announces that Gold Lake Road has been opened from its winter closure as of Wednesday afternoon, June 8, 2011.

            After a long and seemingly endless winter of near record snowfall, and all of the challenges that  snow removal equipment brings, it looked like opening might be delayed until the end of June.  Director of Transportation Tim Beals said, “I’m not sure when the road would have opened.”   He was happy to receive an offer of assistance that came from the California Department of Transportation as well as the Plumas County Road Department. 

            In a typical springtime road opening, Plumas may reach the County line first, and continue on into Sierra County.  Usually this is completed before the end of May.  This year, both crews reached the peak the same day in June, just a few hours apart.  Packer Lake Road remains closed and efforts will now focus on accessing Packer Lake Lodge over the next week or two.  

            Steve Folsom, Maintenance Supervisor at the Caltrans Maintenance Station, Downieville, was able to arrange a no cost assistance agreement, and assigned operator Josh Behlke to operate the State’s snow-blower.  Working with the County Road Department operators, the combined County-State equipment chewed through snow, chipped ice, and finally broke through to the County line, much to the delight of locals, business, travelers and lakes basin aficionados.  

            The Department of Transportation advises motorists to drive with caution as the snow banks are high, and the snowmelt will continue for quite some time, and could cause icy conditions.  It should be noted that the trail enthusiasts will probably need snow shoes, skis, or snowmobiles for awhile yet and it may yet be months before the wildflowers bloom.  As of today, most of the lakes along Gold Lake Road and those further into the backcountry remain capped with ice.

Photos by Someone Whose Name We Lost!  Sorry!  Submitted by the good folks at SC Dept of Roads and Snow

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