What the Winter Storms in California Mean for Travel

For Kevin Drake, a co-owner of Tahoe’s Alibi Ale Works, challenges included both the loss of weekend business and infrastructure difficulties. Closures of mountain passes, for example, prevented the delivery of ingredients for brewing and delayed beer shipments to distributors. Travelers can expect the mountains to be busy, with traffic to match. Ms. Burke recommends visiting Mammoth midweek, and Ms. Guinn encourages downloading apps for resorts (which share current weather information and more) and checking the Caltrans website for the latest on road conditions. A hard blow to Sequoia & Kings CanyonA drop in elevation can be the difference between a stunning snowpack and major damage. That’s the case in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, home to giant sequoia trees and the site of the KNP Complex Fire in 2021. This has damaged culverts and caused erosion, landslides, downed trees and flooding. Other park roads have also been affected by washouts; at least one campground was destroyed. “We thought that this was going to be our year,” said Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, the park’s communications director, referring to the damage that the pandemic and wildfires had already inflicted. “Now, the pendulum has swung in the other direction.”Access to the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park could come sooner rather than later. “Public access could be restored by Feb. 11, with one lane of traffic in at least one section of the General’s Road, and another section of unpaved road,” Ms. Kawasaki-Yee said. It’s unclear what conditions will be in the summer and how long repairs will take on other sections of the road, including the upper portion that connects Sequoia and King’s Canyon in the summer (the section is always closed in the winter).