Mountain Fire Closure

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby zippetydude » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:59 pm

Well, all the rangers have said no permits are required. Since they are many and this is just one person, I think he's wrong.

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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Wildhorse » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:45 pm

The USFS website says day hikes do not require permits and old signs saying permits are required are being removed. So far, no word as to why.
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Hikin_Jim » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:50 pm

hickey wrote:I asked (via facebook).... Here is what the Park Service says:
Hello Tom, Day use wilderness permits are still required on both State and Federal lands. Nothing has changed including the price "FREE". Thanks and hope you have a wonderful hike at Mt. San Jacinto SP.

So, nothing has changed.

Yes, but that's for the State Park. At issue is the Forest Service which manages federal lands.

The Forest Service has had no enforcement mechanism in place other than volunteer rangers, rangers who could not issue citations. The volunteers don't like it especially when people walk right on by and ignore you, which I have seen numerous times. There's a certain amount of ill will generated by the day hike permit requirement. Perhaps the Forest Service is just bowing to reality, i.e. that there's no way they can enforce the permit rule and it just generates public ill will when they do. But I speculate.

Hopefully things won't get overrun. Overnight permits are still required, although the rules get broken there too with people camping in meadows or camping in sites they couldn't get a permit for but decided to camp there anyway.

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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:49 pm

The Wilderness Act is written to protect the land and its creatures from harm caused by humans, and to provide solitude for us when we walk through it or spend the night in it. The permits have been one of the ways the USFS has managed the land in accordance with the Act. Academic research in past years has shown permits to be valuable, even if not perfect. Protecting the land and providing solitude is especially hard when the wilderness is next to large human populations and accessible from paved roads like it is in the Gorgonio and San Jacinto wildernesses. It takes much cooperation by the hikers who enjoy it. Many of the hikers who post messages here know this stuff and are glad to cooperate. Some hikers, like HJ has observed, don't care or don't like restrictions and don't cooperate. Others just don't know what is at stake or how to help preserve wilderness. The volunteer rangers are there to provide education to the latter and occasionally to call in the armed rangers if necessary, such as when they observe an active camp fire and are not able to extinguish it or the fire makers do not cooperate or cause other trouble.

All of the people I have known with USFS really care about the wilderness and do all they can to protect it. It has been inspirational to know them.

I don't yet know what the USFS may do instead of using permits, or why they stopped. It will be interesting to see what may happen next. It remains their responsibility to protect the land and provide solitude. And it would not be consistent with their character or their love of the land to fail in their responsibility. We too have responsibility here. No conservation ever succeeds without public support.

Still, I have to say, I am worried for the land.
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby bluerail » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:58 pm

trails good and solid through there. :D
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Ulysses » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:00 pm

Great news. Just came from the Forest Service office and was told that as of tomorrow (11/15) the Willow Creek trail will re-open from Saddle Junction to Long Valley, and the Spitler Peak trail will re-open. The PCT is now open from Hwy 74 to the junction with Spitler Peak trail.
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby guest » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:14 pm

That's great news, thanks for posting.
That side of the mountain can be so beautiful, with big trees, huge ferns, corn lilies & creeks in good years.
Plus, it makes it a lot easier to get to or from Idyllwild to the tram.
I've also heard Hidden Lake is close to opening, although the CCC group up there left a week or two ago for the winter.
Plus, if we get another wet winter, Carumba will be nice, (minus the bugs!).
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Devils Slider » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:49 pm

Every hiker and camper must be EXTREMELY diligent with regards to fire. We haven't had a good rain up here since early last Spring so the mountain is horribly dry. Remember, no campfires are allowed, ever, in the San Jacinto wilderness and use only a backpack stove with an off switch in a cleared off area and only when you're in attendance. Please do get a permit for day or overnighting, it really helps the Forest Service protect our wilderness and can help find you if you disappear or if there is a forest fire. If you care about our wilderness you'll learn about and practice Leave No Trace. Become a Leave No Trace expert ( and spread the word!
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Perry » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:14 pm

I did the Willow Creek Trail today for the first time in I think 10 years or so. Coming down from Hidden Divide there was quite a contrast with the saddle being the same as I remember but the south-facing slope burned badly in that area. It also seemed warmer overall than I remember with more sun exposure now. There were signs in some places saying to not leave the trail. More lupines than I remember before. Closer to Saddle Junction it was more the same as what I remember. Lots of ferns in one area.
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Re: Mountain Fire Closure

Postby Ed » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:47 am

I've done it several times since it reopened. My previous memories were from the 1970's. No skunk cabbage! I loved Skunk Cabbage Meadow! Two logs across the trail.
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