Ebbetts, Sonora passes open for season in Sierra Nevada | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ebbetts, Sonora passes open for season in Sierra Nevada

Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com
Crews pose for a picture on Ebbetts Pass.
Caltrans District 10 via Twitter

Ebbetts and Sonora passes opened for the season on Thursday.

Ebbetts Pass between Markleeville and Bear Valley in Alpine County reopened at noon, according to the California Department of Transportation.

Even in the driest winters, Ebbetts and Sonora passes close.

Sonora Pass’s 9,623-foot elevation makes it the second highest pass in the Sierra. It features grades in excess of 20%. It carries California Route 108 from Sonora Junction with U.S. 395 into the San Joaquin Valley.

Ebbetts is one of the highest passes in the Sierra, rising to 8,730 feet. 

Ebbetts has grades in excess of 23%, which combined with high elevation and the narrow highway cannot handle snow removal equipment and motorists at the same time.

Tioga Pass, which is the eastern access to Yosemite National Park, remains closed due to snow.

Crews are within 1 mile west of the pass, but there is no estimated date for opening. The latest the pass has opened in the past 40 years is June 30, 1995.

It didn’t open until June 29 in 2017, which had a similar snowpack to this year.