Snow complicates travel as families head to the mountains for winter break

The California Highway Patrol is reminding people to drive cautiously and remember to bring chains while driving on icy roads.
PRATHER, Calif. (KFSN) -- With most schools being out on winter break the next week, many families were heading up to the mountains for some fun in the snow.

But the snow brought trouble to some along the way.

Merced County Emergency Services advised people to avoid traveling to the mountains altogether due to the several inches of snow expected in the Sierra Nevada and foothills.

Those warnings had many people heading up to the Shaver Lake area early Sunday.

While their dad figured out how to put chains on the tires, the Truong kids got a head start on playing in the snow.

They say they visit the snow just about every winter - but don't remember the roads being this icy.

An Action News crew saw a lot of first-timers when it came to chaining up tires.

RELATED: Know the Road with the CHP: Preparing for snow and chain control

To the north, in Oakhurst, other drivers had to figure out how to chain up too.

"We were stuck for a day because we forgot to bring chains for the wheels," said Julio Salas.

A father and son were wrapping up their stay in the Oakhurst area. Last week they had to buy chains and then take it easy on the drive up to Yosemite.

They quickly learned - as did many families traveling on Sunday - the importance of having chains and driving cautiously in the snow.

The road conditions were pretty icy and only expected to get worse as temperatures dropped on Sunday evening.

Other than remembering to bring chains if you're heading to the snow, the California Highway Patrol is also reminding people to drive cautiously.

"Your attention should be 100 percent focused on the road and your travel," said Mike Salas with the California Highway Patrol.

Slow down when the roads are wet or icy, turn your headlights on, and stay aware of other drivers.

"If you break down, pick up the phone. Call 911. Highway Patrol is going to be out there again, we're going to assist you in every way possible," said Salas.

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