Some areas reopen in Angeles National Forest on April 1

Release Date: Mar 30, 2022

Contact(s): Dana M. Dierkes, (626) 698-8482

ARCADIA, Calif., March 30, 2022— Approximately 86,000 acres of the 143,000 acres closed for public safety and/or natural resource protection within the Angeles National Forest due to the 2020 Bobcat Fire will reopen to the public on April 1. Every area along the Angeles Crest Highway (CA-2) east of Shortcut Saddle will reopen, including Mt. Waterman, Buckhorn Campground, Islip Peak Trail, Dawson Saddle Trail, Cloudburst Summit, Charlton Picnic Area, and the Devil’s Canyon Trail. See attached map of the area that remains closed.

“We know the public is anxious to revisit their favorite places in the forest and monument and appreciate the public’s patience with the expiring closure order while we sought to ensure public safety and natural resource protection since the Bobcat Fire,” said Tom Torres, acting forest supervisor of the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. He added, “We continue to ask visitors to exercise caution and recreate responsibly while they enjoy their public lands.”

Visitors returning to these areas should heed the following:

  • Watch your footing, and wear hiking boots with good traction.
  • Don’t try to cross a landslide or major sections of missing trail, even if it means turning around and returning the same way.
  • “Keep your eyes to the sky” to look for dead standing burned trees called “hazard trees.”

These trees’ root systems may have been burned or damaged by fire or fire operations. In addition, hazard trees and their branches are less stable and more likely to fall.

It is expected to take years to assess and repair trails within the Bobcat Fire zone. As part of ongoing efforts, numerous volunteer groups have been assessing, clearing, and repairing trails within the forest and monument. Volunteers are removing hazard trees, where possible and allowed to do so. Hazard trees will not be removed in wilderness areas, including Burkhart Trail, Devil’s Canyon Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail between Mt. Islip and Cloudburst Summit.

Other areas of the Bobcat Fire zone are still closed because of public safety hazards and recovery of the natural environment. Be aware that the landscape continues to be reshaped by nature (including water and wind) since the Bobcat Fire, and it can take 10 years or more for burned areas to recover from a wildfire, depending upon severity and fire history.

While some plants can grow quickly after a fire, “pioneer species” and resprouting shrubs and trees will not hold soil and rocks in place as well as mature vegetation did before the fire. Angeles National Forest staff and partners are completing projects, like tree planting and monitoring of species, to help vegetation, wildlife, and their habitats recover as quickly and naturally as possible.

View the current Bobcat Fire closure order

Find more information about the status of OPEN / CLOSED areas of the Angeles National Forest in the April Recreation Report. Status of sites can change without notice. 

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