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Heading To The Mountains For The Weekend? Bring Tire Chains And Expect Delays

WRIGHTWOOD (CBSLA) — A beautiful scene greeted people in Wrightwood Friday night, where a number of restaurants and shops along Park Drive were still adorned with Christmas lights and a fresh dusting of snow.

"Well, definitely with all the snow that we've been getting the past week, we were like, 'OK, we need to go up there," Janna Esguerra, a visitor said.

Excitement was building for those headed to Wrightwood over the weekend to enjoy the snow.

"It's beautiful," one man said. "It's like a winter wonderland."

But that winter wonderland poses serious risks for drivers. Signs warned those on the roads this evening that tire chains were needed, and Caltrans workers were on hand making sure those without 4-wheel drive pulled over along Angeles Crest Highway to put chains on their wheels.

"There were a few black ice spots, it looked like," John de Guzman, a visitor, said. "But for the most part we went slower and it was OK."

Tractors were out late Friday night monitoring road conditions as driving conditions became more treacherous with bumper-to-bumper traffic near Mount Baldy and a sea of red lights along Angeles Crest Highway.

It was a similar scene in Big Bear where kids frolicked in fresh white power and hotels and cabins were going for upwards if $300 per night — if they even had space. But people said it was worth it.

"People love it, and sometimes you can't even go to the grocery store because it's so busy," David Wagley, a resident, said. "But it's very nice."

Caltrans warned drivers that roads were expected to be packed throughout the weekend and encouraged drivers to give themselves extra time to get to their destinations.

And further complicating things is the weather, which is expected to worsen as the weekend winds to a close. A winter storm is expected Sunday night and is likely to dump snow at low elevations, impacting visibility and creating icy roads. The National Weather Service warns the following roadways will be impacted: Hwy 33 in Ventura County, I-5 through the Grapevine and Hwys 14/138 in LA County.

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