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CHP Warns Sno-Park Revelers To Park Legally, ‘Play’ Nice

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Sonora, CA — For the sake of public safety and snow players heading up to enjoy the Highway 108 Sno-park area, the CHP is hoping to head off troubles at the pass.

CHP Sonora Unit Sgt. Randy Matyshock says already that the CHP has been dealing with three major issues seasonally plaguing the Sno-park recreation area; as this week’s storms brought a big dumping of fresh snow, officers will be watching carefully to help folks avoid citations.

“One of the main issues that we have in the Sno-park areas is that people come up and park without the Sno-Park permits, which are required Nov. 1st through May 30th,” he states. “We also have the issue of people parking in areas where they are not supposed to…in roadways…in people’s driveways…we have had people parking in front of fire stations as you get further east. Trash is a huge issue up here…whether it is a sled…food…whenever the snow melts there is always a tremendous amount of trash left behind.”

He stresses, “So we are always asking people to be cognizant of where you are playing…where you are parking…and the stuff you bring in and make sure you bring it [back] out as well. We have instructed all of our patrol officers to enforce all of our…regulations heavily.” Playing is not allowed on roadway areas, side streets or on private property, which can also result in a trespassing and or property damage arrest.

Trouble Parking? CHP Can Help 

For anyone complaining of problems finding a legal place to park, the sergeant retorts, “If by chance you do have a Sno-park permit and you go up there and the parking lot is full, it does not just give you permission to park wherever you think you can. Go ahead and call us and if we are available we will send someone up there to ticket the appropriate vehicles.” The specific number to ring, he says, is 209 984-3944.

Besides posted “No Parking” zones, it is illegal to park in roadways or on someone’s private property without their permission. If your vehicle is unattended and parked in any of these areas it may well be towed.

Other seasonal reminders include bringing chains for your vehicle because if chain conditions exist, which can change rapidly with unpredictable winter weather, you will not be allowed to continue into the mountain communities. CHP and Caltrans will be at designated locations to ensure chains are installed. Use the designated turnouts. Do not stop in the roadway to install chains.

As always, anytime you travel into the upper elevations, bring extra food and water, a cell phone with charger, warm clothing, and emergency blankets.

In all, Matyshock says, just be smart, safe, and responsible so everyone — including snowmobilers, sledders, snow-shoers, and snowperson builders — can have fun while enjoying winter play the Sno-park areas.