As of Friday morning, the Los Padres Forest has finally reopened! Woot woot…..!!! It’s been a challenging month and a day since the first closure was announced and we’ve certainly heard quite a few complaints about not being able to enjoy the mountains and trails. While the closure wasn’t fun, it did appear to work. We collectively did our part, obeyed the closure, no new fires and now we’re mostly back. Thanks everyone…..
That being said, there are some additional fire restrictions, extended regional closures and more information you need to know before packing up and heading for your favorite trailhead. Here goes:
I. MORE FIRE RESTRICTIONS:
While the Los Padres has reopened…. there are additional fire restrictions in place. Effective this morning, there are no campfires allowed anywhere in the Los Padres and cooking stoves are allowed only in designated campfire use sites. Please read the Regional Order here. This means no stoves in the backcountry (cold food & coffee only) and again no campfires anywhere in the LP. Moving forward, the fire restrictions will be reviewed each week but it’s likely, especially with more hot weather on the horizon, that these fire restrictions will remain in place until we receive enough rain. Remember, last year the Cave Fire started in November and the Thomas Fire famously started in December. Stay tuned and we’ll share updates when available…..
II. PATIENCE PLEASE:
While the Los Padres has reopened…. that doesn’t mean all gates and campgrounds will immediately be open as well. Both Forest Service and Parks Management staff are in the process of opening gates, dayuse areas and campgrounds along with changing out signs but it’s unlikely that everything will be completed this weekend. If you are heading to the forest this weekend please be prepared for the possibility that your favorite road or camp may still be closed. Patience might be needed and we’d expect that everything should be opened by sometime early next week.
III. DOLAN FIRE REMAINS ACTIVE:
While the Los Padres has reopened…. the area around the Dolan Fire remains closed. The Dolan Fire is currently 98% contained but the area is likely to remain closed for some time. The Dolan Closure includes most of the Monterey Ranger District including the Silver Peak Wilderness and all forest areas south of the Pine Ridge Trail. Check out the closure map here.
IV. WEST CUESTA CLOSED:
While the Los Padres has reopened…. West Cuesta Road above San Luis Obispo remains closed due to resource damage. The West Cuesta Closure went into effect in early September just before the larger fire closures and is expected to last until December 6.
V. TUNNEL TRAIL SANTA BARBARA CLOSED:
While the Los Padres has reopened…. the Tunnel Trailhead above Santa Barbara remains closed due to SCE road maintenance. The closure is expected to last until October 30 and includes closing the main Tunnel Trailhead and all mid-slope Edison roads between Rattlesnake Canyon and Seven Falls. There should be signs posted at all the major trailheads leading to and from Tunnel.
We realize some of these additional closures may not be too popular and we hate to put a damper on the excitement of the reopening but sharing information is part of the job. We’re happy to be back and respectful at the same time…. Thanks…..
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• We want to send a HUGE thank you to our buddy Kevin Cody who has once again setup a birthday fundraiser for the LPFA. We’re so thankful to not only have Kevin looking after the forest and trails (he literally runs the trails with a Silky Saw) but also thankful that he values our contributions and is willing to help keep us chugging along. Very cool, thanks Kevin! And if anyone else would like to contribute on behalf of Kevin, check it out…..
• The opening of the forest also coincides with opening weekend of general deer hunting season in Zone D-13. D13 lasts through November 8 and includes most of the Ojai and Mt Pinos Ranger Districts. Check out the map here. If you’re venturing into that neck of the woods you should expect to see quite a few hunters dispersed camping along the roads and pullouts. Remember that most hunting occurs around sunrise and sunset and it’s always nice to chat with folks at the trailheads and share information. Be safe everyone and remember no campfires.
• More good news, HikeLosPadres mastermind John Ziegler took advantage of the closure to clean and enhance the HLP website. It was a race between getting the site back up and having the forest reopen and thankfully John won the race. HikeLosPadres.com is back up and running! Thanks John and look forward to seeing more new updates and reports from everyone soon….
• The LPFA will be hosting a virtual Zoom Seven Minute Storytelling night on October 29. We’re looking for talented storytellers to share 7 minutes of slides documenting their adventures, exploits, history, studies or insights covering any Los Padres topics. The presentation format should be really fun with each presenter having 21 slides and 20 seconds per slide. It works out to be 7 mins per presenter and it’s a great way to cover a lot of material in a quick and entertaining structure. If you’d be interested in presenting, please email us at INFO@LPForest.org and you can learn more about or sign up for the event here.
• We’ve had a few people ask about the Annual LPFA Used Camping Gear Sale that we’ve hosted over the past 4-5 years. We’ve continued to receive fantastic donations from the public as well as Gossamer Gear but based on the current COVID regulations we’re going to postpone the sale for the fall and hope to reschedule in the spring. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, if you have any experienced camping gear you’d like to donate, let us know and we’d be happy to help find it a new home in the spring: INFO@LPForest.org
• The days are getting shorter and mornings cooler – meaning it’s time for the 2021 Los Padres Calendar! Once again, if you have any great Los Padres photos from the past year you’d like to contribute, we’d love to include your photos in the calendar. If any of your photos are selected we’ll send you a calendar and credit you as well. This will be our 6th, 7th or 8th year of calendars and they’re always fun. Thanks in advance…..
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