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Winter impacts on California’s public lands

Many of you, us included, are eager to get out and onto our public lands after a remarkably wet and seemingly ever-lasting winter. This year, California has experienced unprecedented rainfall, thanks to a series of powerful atmospheric rivers that have brought snow and rain to many parts of the state. While this is positive news in some ways, it has also left many U.S. Forest Service and BLM-managed roads, trails, and recreation areas in less-than-perfect condition. The recent severe weather has led to the closures of many state and federally-managed public lands, which may impact your summer camping and recreation plans. To help you stay informed, we’ve compiled a brief impact report on some of the most popular areas you may be planning to visit in the coming months. We advise you to do your own research before heading out onto a trail, as conditions and possible impacts to an area can change overnight. Los Padres National Forest Closures/Impact Report
Los Padres National Forest | Fernando at 805 Hiking
One of the hardest-hit areas in this zone is Highway 33 outside of Ojai, which provides access to popular wilderness areas like Matilija and Sespe, as well as campgrounds like Rose Valley, Wheeler Gorge, and Pine Mountain.
Photo | Los Padres ForestWatch
* Highway 33 is closed from South Matilija springs Rd to 9 miles south of the Ventura/Santa Barbara County line until further notice. Anticipated to open in September or October 2023. | more info 

Yosemite National Park Closures/Impact Report

Yosemite | Jack Schlinkert

  • CLOSED: Tioga Road | Closed due to heavy snowpack 
  • CLOSED: Glacier Point Road | Closed due to heavy snowpack and construction | *Closure expected until July | more info

Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Closures/Impact Report

Hamilton Lakes Sequoia NP | Jack Schlinkert
Generals Highway is closed for repairs between Hospital Rock and Giant Forest Museum. Sequoias, including the Giant Forest, General Sherman Tree and Grant Grove, can only be accessed via the Big Stump entrance station on Highway 180.  Kings Canyon National Parkmore info
  • CLOSED: Cedar Grove | Area between Grant Grove and Cedar Grove closed due to severe road damage along the Highway 180 | *Closure expected for the entirety of the 2023 summer season
Sequoia National Park | more info
  • CLOSED: Crystal Cave | Closed due to damage sustained to the road, trail, and visitor facilities during the 2021 KNP Complex wildfire and this year’s extreme winter weather | *Closure expected until 2024
  • CLOSED: Mineral King | Closed due to severe road damage | *Closure expected until August 

Tahoe National Forest Closures/Impact Report 

*This National Forest largely remains open, however, high-elevation forest roads may be affected by snow or other winter damage | more info

San Bernardino National Forest

Castle Rock Peak | Megan Kanuer
*Much of this National Forest’s recreation areas are open, but many seasonal road closures are currently in effect | more info

Redwood National Park Closures/Impact Report

Redwood National Park | Emma Watson
  • CLOSED: Redwood Creek Trail | Closed due to downed trees | *Closures expected through June
  • CLOSED: Skunk Cabbage Trail | Closed due to downed trees
  • CLOSED: Dolason Prairie Trail | Closed due to downed trees
Other closed trails: Scholar Loop, Rhododendron Trail, Emerald Ridge Trail, and Orick Horse Trails (Partially closed) | more info More info here on alerts from the Forest Service.