Needles road?


Original Post
astralincoln · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 0

I've been trying to figure out via calling the NPS and other road conditions lines, googling, etc., whether the road into the Needles is open yet. No luck yet! Has anyone been down there recently and know whether the road is still snowed in, or whether it's been opened yet? Thanks in advance!

climberkalen · · kern county, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 68

The upper and lower roads are still closed...We got a ton of snow up there this year. Should be open in mid-may.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15
astralincoln wrote:

I've been trying to figure out via calling the NPS and other road conditions lines, googling, etc., whether the road into the Needles is open yet. No luck yet! Has anyone been down there recently and know whether the road is still snowed in, or whether it's been opened yet? Thanks in advance!

The NPS doesn't manage the Needles - it's the Forest Service. Call the Forest Service office in Kernville or Springville for info.

Chris Dunn 510 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

I believe the lower, loyd meadow rd is still closed too. 

TeleRoss · · San Diego, CA · Joined May 2007 · Points: 70

You can call the ranger station and they can tell you.  I called last week to inquire about Lloyd Meadow Rd and the guy said prob early-mid May



Matthew Fienup · · Ventura, CA · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 6,308

Some years, the lower road is closed until Memorial Day, even when there is no snow on the road in late April/early May. 

astralincoln · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 0

Thanks everyone!

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105

Its that time of year again.....   Kris posted the info here, check it out for yourself.... you might need to scroll down a bit to find the info.....

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2818090/Needles-road-access

Looking to get out there ASAP, although not in to big of a hurry....this will be a RECORD YEAR FOR MOSQUITOS, last news I had was something like 86 inches of snow at Aspen Dell CG... just down the road from the locked gate.

Happy climbing


SethG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 207

Guy, I followed the link, and the most recent info seems to be about the spring of 2016. Am I missing something? I don't see any current information.

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 5

Guy, you mean Quaking Aspen.  Definitely a good year for snow, though strangely I never got to break out the skis.  Mosquitos will be bad, but probably not by Yosemite standards.  Have a trip to the Meadows planned with the kids in mid July that will likely make them emotionally fear mosquitos for years to come.

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 204
SethG wrote:

Guy, I followed the link, and the most recent info seems to be about the spring of 2016. Am I missing something? I don't see any current information.

that thread has the phone #s you call to find out what's open

SethG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 207

Oh I misunderstood. Thanks.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105

The Phone number is good....    the phone number for the upper road is on the recorded msg, USFS office in Porterville, or ask to speak with a person and ask about the road. 


Fat... Quaking Aspen....   your right.

Kris added to the ST post... you can get the snow report. 

SethG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 207

I just spoke to someone at the Springville Ranger's office, at 559-539-2607. The projection for both the lower (22S82) and upper (21S05) roads is "mid to late May." The lower road was blown out by some of the storms and they are working on it, according to the person I spoke to. Keep in mind that these are hopeful guesses and not firm predictions at this point. The person I spoke to suggested i call in a week or so, when they may have a firmer idea.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105

Seth... thanks for the update.....   I do know of some people who rode bikes in  the lower road and camped at Needlerock creek... about 13 miles on pavement. Tons of great climbing on Voodo.  This road usta be open sometimes as early as mid-march, that is why all the good climbing on Voodo, after M-day its mostly way to hot. 

limpingcrab · · Visalia, CA · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 915

Just heard the highway and upper dirt road are now open.  Worth calling the ranger to double check.

Edit:  sounds like I heard wrong

climberkalen · · kern county, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 68

I'll go confirm...

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 204

The highway is indeed open but the road to the Needles is still closed and will be "for a while" because "it's probably going to need trees cleared and some work done on it". As per acall to the ranger station 5min ago.

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 5
Nathanael wrote:

The highway is indeed open but the road to the Needles is still closed ...

I'm assuming by "highway" you're referring to Hwy. 190, which is driveable all year around (at least to the Needles dirt road), they just close it south of Ponderosa except for a ten mile stretch during the winter and spring.  For those unfamiliar with the area though, that does mean that if you're driving the Lower Needlerock Creek road (which runs below Voodoo Dome and is used to access that in the spring), you have to drive up from the south, through Ducor and California Hot Springs.  

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 204
Fat Dad wrote:

I'm assuming by "highway" you're referring to Hwy. 190, which is driveable all year around (at least to the Needles dirt road), they just close it south of Ponderosa except for a ten mile stretch during the winter and spring.  For those unfamiliar with the area though, that does mean that if you're driving the Lower Needlerock Creek road (which runs below Voodoo Dome and is used to access that in the spring), you have to drive up from the south, through Ducor and California Hot Springs.  

Yea I asked about the needles dirt road and she (the ranger) mentioned "the highway" which I assumed meant the stretch south of Ponderosa, though I didn't ask for clarification.

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 5

Most years, even dry ones, Hwy. 190 is closed south of Ponderosa until at least Memorial Day.  That doesn't stop you from getting to the Needles road from the north (coming up through Porterville), but you should not expect to be able to get there from the south (coming up through CA Hot Springs) before that date.  Again, coming up from the south would be the way to get to Voodoo this time of year, assuming the lower road is open.  Usually the best time of year to climb there since it's lower in elevation and hotter.  You could probably also use that approach if you wanted to climb something like the South Face on Warlock.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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