Mountain Fire Closure

General Palm Springs area.

Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Ed » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:17 pm

Any rumors on the Mountain Fire Closure? Seems like it should be due to be lifted.
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby pkirkham » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:10 pm

I just heard, unofficially of course, from a pretty reliable source here in Idyllwild that it will be another TWO years at least for the high country portions of the affected burn area to be opened....total BS I say!!! My personal thought is it's easier for the USFS to manage a forest that's closed lol!!?? When you look at the pics from the burn area of the Lake fire on the north slope of San G. and they opened it after just two years, once again I say BS!!
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby zippetydude » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:43 pm

Unfortunately, pkirkham, you are absolutely 100% correct. The SGWA started repairing the trails shortly after the fire, and when the Forest Service re-opened the San Gorgonio WIlderness a few weeks ago I started going up every weekend, sometimes both Saturday and Sunday. The trails are stable, the trees - even the dead ones, and there are millions of them - are stable, and the public is again allowed into their own property to enjoy watching the wilderness rebound from the fire and as it begins to establish a new state of being. It is a wondrous time, not a dangerous time, and I cannot think of any legitimate reason to keep the closure in effect over here on San J. By the way, let me be very clear on one point...I do not in any way question the regular rangers who work the land. These men and women do a great job, have a great attitude, every interaction I have had with them has been nothing but positive...and they are not the ones who are making the decisions. The people in charge of the budgets have probably never even ventured into the forests with you and me and the rangers, and they may well be making the decisions. Or, it could be legal counsel telling them not to re-open for fear of law suits if someone is injured or killed by a falling snag. Probably there are no bad guys here, only cautious people. But c'mon, it's time to take down the barrier tapes and let us outdoors people go about our business!

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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Ed » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:47 am

Disappointing. You wonder if it increases safety, particularly in the winter. All the snowshoers and cross-county skiers, for example, being diverted to the more rugged terrain to the west of the tram station. I remember one day last winter when the rangers were discouraging people from heading for the peak because of avalanche danger. But when I asked about the Willow Creek route as an alternative, they shook their heads, no, that was in the fire closure area.

I wanted to do the Willow Creek trail, which I have not done in more than 40 years, this fall. Looks like I may be too old to hike it before it opens. :(
Last edited by Ed on Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Wildhorse » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:25 pm

Gorgonio and San Jacinto wildernesses are under the same jurisdiction. The discrepancy is interesting.

I too am anxious for the reopening. The fire burned through the area I most enjoy hiking in the San Jacintos.

I wonder if the state's area of Willow Creek Canyon remains closed too?
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Ed » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:24 pm

I find the USFS Mountain Fire Closure Map difficult to read, but the fire closure area seems to stop at the State Park boundary. The State Park Facebook page states that all trails are open, except the Willow Creek trail to Saddle Junction. Perhaps that means you can follow it as far as the boundary.
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Wildhorse » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:26 pm

I wonder if the state has reopened the area off the trail too. I like to hike in Willow Creek Canyon. I also like Marion and that whole high country area between it and San Jacinto. I think that area is open, as well as the area around Harvard and Yale, but I am not sure.
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Ulysses » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:44 pm

I ran into the trail manager (not sure if that's his correct title, but I think best describes his position) for the Forest Service on the San Jacinto Wilderness this week. He informed me that all the restoration of the Spitler Peak trail has been completed, and that they are just waiting for management's OK to re-open. Said he expects it to be open in November 2017. He also told me that the new trail is beautiful and to expect to be impressed. So if/when Spitler Peak trail is open the PCT will be open from Hwy 74 to the junction with the Spitler Peak trail.
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby zippetydude » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:24 pm

Wow U, thanks for the good news. What with San G no longer requiring permits and the reopening here I'm going to be out in the wilderness at new levels!

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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby drndr » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:34 am

Hmm, I like the way you snuck in there that no permits are required for SGW anymore. Is this new? I hope it works out. For the most part, I don't like permits.
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