Monday morning, Caltrans issued a heavy traffic advisory for the day into Tuesday for highways that connect the valley and the Lake Tahoe region.
Travelers got a hint of what was in store by late Monday morning.
Eastbound traffic headed downhill toward the valley was unusually heavy for a Monday morning with many vehicles packing a load of snow.
Traffic headed uphill was even heavier. The flow averaged 10 to 20 mph just past Nyack after noon, with spots where traffic came to a dead stop.
The sunshine and fresh, crisp snow was a draw for families that had the day off from school.
There was plenty of activity at the gas station at Nyack. Many skipped the last day of play to get on the road.
Some were skittish because of the interstate closure on Friday.
“Leave early to avoid the traffic,” said skier Seth Singsong. “It was nine hours to get here though. So, it was pretty bad.”
Ryan Brad and his family skied just one day before heading back to Santa Cruz. He wanted to cut his stay short.
“We’re really happy about it. We had a great day of skiing yesterday, it was amazing,” said skier Ryan Brady. “So we kind of enjoy what we had. We don’t need to push our luck.”
Snow visitors came up just for the day and will join weekend travelers on I-80.
People were still headed up to the mountains Monday because it’s the beginning of ski week in many locations, including the Bay Area. Some were on the road because they were delayed by bad weather on Friday and Saturday.
A good number of skiers at Boreal Mountain Resort were day skiers who will join the hoard heading back to the valley at the end of the day, adding to the congestion.
Things should ease up Tuesday.
“Just have a little bit of patience coming up the hill because it’s a little bit slow,” said Tucker Norred with Boreal Mountain Resort. “I know that tomorrow things are going to look really good on the roads. You’re going to be able to fly up here and it’s going to be a great week because we’ve got all this fresh snow.”