INDEPENDENCE — Beginning Monday, April 6, portions of Manzanar’s 1-mile frontage road and 3.2-mile auto tour road will be closed for chip sealing.

Back roads at Manzanar. (MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

The tour road will be closed for 24 hours while the frontage road and parking lot will have partial closures during this time. The project is expected to take approximately one week.

While Manzanar National Historic Site’s facilities are currently closed to minimize the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, those who choose to visit Manzanar during this pandemic are encouraged to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees.

During the chip sealing project, visitors may explore the site on foot and/or drive to the camp cemetery via dirt roads on the north and west boundaries of the site. They should wear sturdy shoes, hats, sunscreen, and carry water.

The auto tour road was paved in 2018, improving access and safety by clearly delineating where visitors should drive and eliminating low, flood-prone areas.

Superintendent Bernadette Johnson commented, “Chip sealing will help preserve the pavement as well as approximating the World War II-era appearance of the roads. We apologize for any inconvenience to visitors, but this will result in long-term cost savings and visitor benefits.”

Manzanar is located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence. For more information, call (760) 878-2194, ext. 3310 or visit Manzanar is also on Facebook at

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