The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) closed Sonora Pass/State Route 108 for the winter as of Wednesday, Dec. 17. The road is closed at the snow park, two miles east of Cow Creek Road.
The recent storms, and accumulation of snow, make the seasonal closure necessary for the safety of motorists and Caltrans crews. The weather conditions on the pass and subsequent road conditions are among the determining factors in the decision to make the seasonal closure. Once the pass is closed for winter, it 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, the radio may be tuned 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 http://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.
There are a number of chain control requirement levels that motorists should be aware of during the winter months:
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.