LPFA Transverse – Wildling and Gates

Sespe Glow, photo Dan Hall

Good Morning Los Padres,
Lets get right to it, shall we?

W I L D L I N G   
W I L D E R N E S S   

The LPFA is honored to be partnering with the Wildling Museum to host a panel discussion about the history, impact, spledor and future of the Santa Barbara County Wilderness areas.  The event is Saturday February 7 at 5:30pm in Solvang.  We are fortunate to have a fantastic panel assembled to talk about the Wilderness.  Joining us will be James Wapotich, Bob Burtness and Kerry Kellogg.  You can read their bios and more information at the following link:

Space is limited for the event, it will sell out.  If interested, get your tickets ASAP.  Make a day out of it.  Go for a dayhike at nearby Figueroa Mountain or the San Rafael Wilderness and come back in time for the panel event.  It’s going to be really fun and chock full of great stories about the SB Backcountry.  See you there………

Ranger Peak Gate, usually open, but not always
F O R E S T   G A T E S

If you’ve not checked out HikeLosPadres.com and you are reading this, you probably should set aside a few mins (or more) to explore the website.  For the past few years the LPFA has been working with web designer extraordinaire John Ziegler to create this fantastic tool and resource for LP Forest users.  The site is literally being improved every day.  It’s been a huge undertaking and there remain bugs throughout the site that are on our todo list – but we are hacking away and as mentioned making it faster, better and more user-friendly each day.

One of the new features we’ve added is a page dedicated to the gates across the Forest.  We just launched this feature earlier this week and it’s still very much a work in progress.  Our hope is that we can work with the Forest Service and the public to have as up-to-date information as possible as to if the gates are open or closed.  Did I mention its still a work in progress?  Check it out:

At the moment we only have a handful of gates included on the site but we will be adding them regularly over the coming weeks.  If you can think of any gates to be added, have information on any closures or have any ideas/opinions about the gates page, PLEASE let us know.  INFO@LPForest.org  As the winter moves on, we’ll be updating information as we get it so please share or come back and check on the status of a gate before your next journey into the Forest.  You can update the status of a gate by clicking on the comment section on the gate page as well.

VDC, Pine Ridge Trail, photo Tim Bills
N E W S   &   N O T E S

– The Pine Ridge Trail and parking lot at the west side of the Pine Ridge Trail is scheduled to open again today, this is the parking at Big Sur Station.
– While the trail remains in poor shape, especially for the first couple miles, it is passable for hikers.
– Please be careful along the trail.  For more information contact the Big Sur Station at (831) 667-2315

– Wheeler Gorge is ramping up for another busy season of interpretive events.
– Our summer schedule of events is filling up and we’ll be sure to share them with you as summer approaches.
– For starters, Wheeler is hosting a Trail Boss program on February 7.
– Trail Boss is a Forest Service supported program that teaches the techniques and safety involved with trail maintenance.
– The program is open to anyone 12 years or older and is usually a huge hit amongst the scouting communities.
– Topics include: first aid, trail terminology, introduction to trail tools and history of trail work.
– This is a great program for teaching respect for the trails and introducing the next generation of trail users to the art and science of trail building and maintenance.
– For more information contact Gordie:  WheelerGorge@LPForest.org   Hope to see you there!


Enjoy the weekend everyone and see you on the trails……..

LPFA Transverse – Closures & Spring Update

Hello Los Padres and Happy Friday!

Quick update today on a couple things Forest related:

Pine Ridge Closure Sign

G A T E S    &    C L O S U R E S

Gates and closures continue to dominate most of the questions that come our way through email or social media.  We’ve compiled a list of road/trail closures below.  If you have any updates, please send our way and check the Forest Service website for information updates as well: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/lpnf/alerts-notices/?aid=10432

Mount Pinos Ranger District:
– The usual winter roads remain closed.
– This includes Santa Barbara Canyon, which is closed at Reyes Ranch.

Ojai Ranger District
– All dirt roads are closed for the winter.
– Last we heard Middle Lion Camp was closed due to hazard trees.

Santa Barbara Ranger District
– Divide Peak Gate will be closed Saturday night due to incoming rain.  It should remain closed for about a week.
– First Crossing has been opened at the Santa Ynez River.
– The gate at Lower Oso towards River Road is closed due to slides.
– Upper Oso Campground is closed due to a water line break.

Santa Lucia Ranger District
– Ranger Peak has been reopened after last weeks snow.
– Catway is closed.
– Rockfront is open.
– Bates Canyon Road is closed past Bates Campground.
– Sierra Madre Road is closed at Hwy 166.
– La Brea Road and La Brea Canyon Road are both closed through December 2015.  This is due to damage from the 2009 La Brea Fire.
– Kerry Canyon Motorcycle Trail remains closed due to La Brea Fire damage as well.

Monterey Ranger District
– Western Pine Ridge Trail and the trailhead parking lot at Big Sur Station have been closed due to landslides along the trail.  We’re hearing that the damage is quite substantial and might need blasting in order to repair.  No timetable has been set for reopening but it’s looking like the western Pine Ridge Trail will be closed for some time.
– Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground has reopened but is only at about 1/3 capacity.

S H E E P   C A M P   S P R I N G
Before, Sheep Camp Spring
After, Sheep Camp Spring
Super volunteers Mark and Kim spent some time late last year cleaning out and rebuilding the spring box at Sheep Camp in the Chumash Wilderness.  The spring structure was broken and the water contaminated by a dead chipmunk.  After draining the spring box, they cleared out the lines, cleaned everything and rebuilt the broken parts of the spring box.  After quite a few hours of digging around in freezing water, they were able to restore a nice flow from the spring and make a safe drinking supply for Sheep Camp visitors.  With the drought we’ve been dealing with the past few years, it’s crucial to keep the existing water sources flowing and safe.  Huge thanks Mark and Kim.

If any of you out there in email-land notice any issues across the Forest that could be fixed, please be sure to report it to the Forest Service or you can contact us at INFO@LPForest.org or www.HikeLosPadres.com.

Enjoy your weekend and hope to see you on the trails soon……

Old Man Mountain Pano from Monte Arido, photo Cotton Rockwood

Transverse – New Years 2015


Hello Los Padres and Happy New Year!

Hopefully all of you have been out on the trails trying out your new boots, GPS, trekking pole or thermal underwear (it’s been cold!).  If you haven’t gotten out yet, now is the time!  The trails are in great shape (for the most part), water is flowing, campfires are permitted and the weather is looking great for Los Padres outings.  Lets hope one of your resolutions is to spend more time exploring the Forest.

Looking forward to 2015, it’s gonna be another busy year for the LPFA.  Our focus remains getting trails open, helping people enjoy the Forest and sharing whatever information we can to ensure the Forest stays healthy and safe.  We realize there is much competition for your support amongst non-profits and organizations.  As we close out 2014, reflect on your favorite trail and the times you’ve enjoyed in the Forest.  We’d love your support to help keep those trails open and those memories alive.  Click the picture below to join the LPFA and if there is anything we can do to help your LP experience in 2015, feel free to let us know.

Click Below to Join
N E W    F O R E S T    K I O S K S

The LPFA will be working with the Forest Service to install a series of kiosks around the San Rafael and Dick Smith Wilderness trailheads.  We installed the first kiosk at Upper Oso last month and have plans to install the remaining kiosks this winter.  The kiosks were designed by the Forest Service and focus on Leave No Trace and post-fire regrowth.  They are very good.

P R O J E C T S   U P C O M I N G

Upper Franklin Trail, photo Ray Ford

Eastern Hurricane Deck Project: January 16-19

The LPFA is hosting a trail project along he Eastern Hurricane Deck on January 16-19th weekend.  The project will base from White Ledge Camp and work out the Deck towards Lost Valley.  We’ll have stock support so dinner and breakfast will be provided for all volunteers.  If interested in learning more or signing up, contact Curt Cragg at: Curt@LPForest.org
We’ll update the status of the project in the coming weeks.

Franklin Trail Project: January 3
There will be another trail project to clear the upper Franklin Trail above Carpinteria.  The project is scheduled for this Saturday January 3.  Great way to start off the New Year with some trail work along a great trail.  For more information contact Ray Ford: ray@sboutdoors.com

N E W S    &    N O T E S
Lost Valley Sunset, photo Mark Anderson

Los Padres in the Rose Parade
This is very cool!  The Forest Service will participate in this years Rose Parade, featuring a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  The Los Padres will be represented by 5 employees and super volunteer Mike Heard from the Monterey District.  There will be an assortment of who’s who from the Forest Service riding in 19th century wagons.  If you are not on the trail, turn on the tube and watch the parade – January 1.  Should be fun…….

First Aid, CPR and BBP Certification: February 28
Reminder that we are hosting a First Aid certification on February 28 in Ojai.  If interested, please let us know and we’ll sign you up.  INFO@LPForest.org

Pine Ridge Trail CLOSED
The Pine Ridge Trail remains closed from Big Sur Station east towards Sykes.  This is due to one large landslide and some other downed trees and smaller slides.  No timetable has been established for when the trail work might begin but it will most likely not happen until after the rains stop.  We will keep you posted.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Fire Restrictions Lifted

   Snowy Thorn Point, December 2014, photo Dan

Happy Holidays Los Padres!
We’ve had quite a few nice storms over the past few weeks.  Most of the Forest is well over the normal % of rain and the forecast remains strong for more rain in the coming weeks.  Fingers crossed, we need it.  We’ve been getting reports that many of the creeks have started flowing again.  We’re headed in the right direction.  Check out www.HikeLosPadres.com for more updates on trails, camps and water.

F I R E  R E S T R I C T I O N S

In response to the above normal amounts of water falling from the sky, the Forest Service and CAL FIRE announced earlier this week that fire restrictions across the forest have been lifted.  This is great news for most of us and means we can have campfires again.  Woohoo!!!  Bust out the s’mores!!  Please remember to be careful with your campfires.  Many of the fire rings have not been used in over a year, be sure to clear a safe space (5 feet) around the campfire and of course extinguish your fire before you leave camp.  Fire permits are required and can be picked up at any Ranger Station or online here.

First Crossing, Santa Ynez River
R O A D    C L O S U R E S

While green grass, flowing creeks and campfires are a nice side effect of the rain, unfortunately rain does cause some of the roads across the forest to close.  The Forest Service posts these closures on their website, check it out here.  Of note:- Divide Peak Gate remains closed but will reopen after a few days of sunshine.
– First Crossing is closed due to mud flow across the Santa Ynez River.  It should reopen in a few weeks.
– Santa Barbara Canyon is closed at Reyes Ranch and will remain closed until May 1.
– Reyes Peak Road is closed for the season.
– Cherry Creek is also closed for the season.We’ll keep you posted as gates open and close.  If you have any questions, feel free to email: info@LPForest.org

Pine Ridge Trail, photo Ventana Wilderness Alliance
P R O J E C T S    U P C O M I N G  
&   N E W S

The Pine Ridge Trail in the Ventana Widlerness is currently closed due to this large washout.  Wowzers!  The slide is about 3miles up the trail from Big Sur Station. We’ll keep you posted on updates or check in with the VWA.

– LPFA volunteers will be out this weekend logging fallen trees from the Lost Valley Trail in the San Rafael Wilderness.

– We’ll post updates on HikeLosPadres.com early next week.


– We’re looking for volunteers to come out on December 27 and help clean up the Volunteer Wilderness Ranger Headquarters off Paradise Road in Santa Barbara County.
– Most of the work will be raking up leaves, removing fallen tree limbs, clearing brush and trimming trees.
– We can use all the help we can get.  If you’re free all day or only have a few hours, we’ll take it.
– Contact Curt at Curt@LPForest.org for more information and to sign up!

COZY DELL: December 21
– Ranger Heidi with the Ojai Ranger District is hosting a project along the Cozy Dell Trail in Ojai.
– Most of the work will be filling in sink holes caused by the recent rains.
– For more information, contact Heidi:  handerson@fs.fed.us

– We’ve put together a First Aid / CPR certification class for February 28.
– The class will be held in Ojai.
– If you need your certification renewed, this is a great opportunity.
– The cost will be around $40-$50.
– Let us know if interested:  bryan@LPForest.org

– The Forest Supervisors Office in Goleta was flooded last week.
– It will be closed for the next month or two.
– Business will continue for the Forest with much of the staff being moved to different districts or working remotely.

– There will be a series of controlled burns in and around Figueroa Mountain starting this month.
– The focus is to burn some of the ladder effect fuel buildup.

Happy Holidays and wishing each of you a stocking filled with hiking and riding gear……..


Los Padres Cloud Formations