San Gabriel Mountains: 2004 Closure Information

The ANF reopened at 6:00 am on 20 October 2004, after conditions clearly changed from extreme fire danger to one more typical of winter.

The restrictions after 20 October 2004 are:

Fire restrictions in effect prior to the closure remain in effect (Forest Order 01-04-03). Restrictions include no fires or smoking allowed anywhere on the Forest, and gas/petroleum stoves allowed only in the sites named on the order.

All other area closures in effect prior to the general Forest closure will remain in effect as well (Chantry road, condor closure on the LARRD, Little Rock on SCMRRD, etc.)

In addition, areas normally closed for the winter will not reopen, since they would be closed soon anyway.

The rest of this page details what the closure was in 2004, AND NO LONGER APPLIES.

As of 27 September 2004, the entire San Gabriel Mountains is closed to hiking, and will remain closed until the official fire season is declared to be over. Although the press release said that only about 80% of the Angeles National Forest will be closed to all uses, apparently the only allowed uses are extremely few:

The official notice was terribly confusing, and implied that a few areas listed as "open" might allow normal activities. But according to the actual closure order (see link below), there is no difference between the "open" and "closed" areas, at least for areas served by roads that are still open.

These areas are totally closed: Chantry Flats, Upper Westfork, Millard, the Clear Creek area, North Fork California Trail Users Association and all organization camps along Santa Clara Divide Road. In addition, all forest roads are closed (those roads with an N in their name, like 2N03).

Many foothill hiking trails, even outside of the ANF, are also closed, although some may still be open if they are not within the boundaries of the ANF. For example, Michael Charters found that Sierra Madre had closed Bailey Canyon and the Mt. Wilson Trail on 26 September 2004, a day before the ANF closure. As of 26 September 2004, the Mt. Wilson Toll Road was still open to above Henninger Flats, but Michael reported that a ranger at Henninger Flats said that the Toll Road was scheduled to be closed on 27 September 2004 as well.

As soon as we get more information, we'll post it here.

For ideas on other places to recreate, see Hiking Areas Close To The Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests for a list of nearby areas that might still be open. The San Bernardino National Forest has apparently not increased its closure area, so the higher elevations there are still open to hiking. The Cleveland National Forest has implemented increased closures as well, but apparently not as drastically as in the ANF; some trails remain open for hiking there. However, they did not publish a complete list of trail closures, and suggest you call them to find out if a given trail is open or not.


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Copyright © 2004 by Tom Chester and Jane Strong.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 19 October 2004.