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Government Shutdown: Where You Can Still Hike in SoCal

Where can you hike in SoCal during the Government Shutdown?

Where can you hike in SoCal during the Government Shutdown?

At 12:01 AM, October 1, 2013, the federal government shut down. While we wait for Congress to do the right thing, National Parks are officially closed to hiking and camping. I’ve got many friends who had plans for visiting nearby National Parks, and for now, those plans are dashed.

Good News
As of October 17, 2013, the good news is that the crisis has been at least temporarily averted. The National Parks and National Forests have been re-opened.

Here’s what this means to hikers and outdoor lovers throughout Southern California, with the best details I can provide on where you can and cannot hike. I’ll keep this updated, but if you have new information, let me know in the comments.

The Closures

All National Parks are effectively closed. Hikers in the backcountry with wilderness permits are allowed to finish their hike, but new permits won’t be issued. In southern California this includes:

  • Channel Islands National Park
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
    • Areas that fall into State Park jurisdication may be open
  • Death Valley National Park

This means that popular trails like Sandstone Peak and sections of the Backbone Trail are now off limits.

Mostly Open

The general consensus on National Forest is that it’s still open, but there will be no ranger services or permits, and hunting will not be allowed. It’s not clear whether any they will have enforcement agents to check for Adventure Passes at trailheads requiring them. Local National Forest areas include:

  • Angeles National Forest
  • San Bernardino National Forest
  • Cleveland National Forest
  • Los Padres National Forest

These areas include trails like Mt. Baldy, Mt. Wilson, San Gorgonio, San Bernardino and Santiago Peak.

Still Open For Hiking

All of the State, county, regional and local park systems remain open. This includes:

I know we all hope this is resolved quickly. Our National Parks are not just wonderful places for us to visit and hike, but the visitors they attract help support entire cities surrounding them. Write your congressman and tell them to take care of business.



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