2017 Railroad Fire impacts the Shadow of the Giants National Recreation Trail

Release Date: May 25, 2018  

Contact(s): Alex Olow

Shadow of the Giants Trail Burn Damage

2017 Railroad Fire impacts the Shadow of the Giants National Recreation Trail

NORTH FORK, CA. May 25, 2018 - The Railroad Fire started August 29, 2017 in the Sierra National Forest (SNF) (south of Yosemite National Park), along Highway 41 near Sugar Pine. The effect of this fire on several recreation opportunities enjoyed by visitors traveling through to Yosemite National Park, has caused Forest Officials to close the Shadow of the Giants, National Recreation Trail (NRT), located off of Forest Service Road 6S90.

Due to the severity of the fire, many hazard trees now exist, including a burned sequoia snag (standing dead tree) and burned sequoias that have dropped large branches posing a safety concern for the public. Forest Order No. 05-15-51-18-01, Sierra National Forest Shadow of the Giants National Recreation Trail Closure Forest Trail No. 22E06 has been issued.

Most of the recreation facilities and trail infrastructure were burned including; the trailhead toilet building, both bridges, log retainers, log water bars (see exhibits 1, 2 & 3), and all but three interpretive signs. Approximately 600 feet of trail was damaged by burned-out stumps and sloughing of the trail’s outer edge.

Measures have been put in to place addressing the hazards caused by the fire, and are still ongoing. Funding for reparations have been received for the Shadow of the Giants trail and other infrastructure damaged by the Railroad Fire. Until hazards are minimized, the SNF will continue to maintain a closure order of the trail to prevent access and keeping public safety as the priority. 
Even in non-closure areas where the Railroad Fire burned, trees along the road leading to the trail head can pose a risk to public safety, please be advised that falling trees are becoming more and more prominent in the forest. 

For further information regarding the Sierra National Forest and recreational activities please contact the High Sierra Ranger District office in Prather, Calif. at 559-855-5355; the Bass Lake Ranger District in North Fork, Calif. at 559-877-2218; or the Forest Supervisors Office in Clovis, Calif. at 559-297-0706. 


The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.