Mar 11

OC Parks longer summer hours schedule starts March 13th!

OCParksLogoDaylight Saving Time brings longer spring-summer operating hours to Regional and Wilderness parks.

The clocks spring forward early March 13, marking the beginning of Daylight Saving Time and OC Parks’ spring-summer operating schedule.

Starting Sunday, March 13, the spring-summer hours for regional parks are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. That includes Carbon Canyon, Clark, Craig, Laguna Niguel, Mason, Mile Square and Yorba regional parks. Irvine Regional Park opens at 6 a.m. and will close at 9 p.m.

Santiago Oaks, Peters Canyon, O’Neill and Talbert regional parks operate on wilderness park hours, as do the outlying trails around Irvine Regional Park. Wilderness parks are open at 7 a.m. and close at sunset year round. OC Parks’ wilderness parks are: Aliso and Wood Canyons, Caspers, Laguna Coast, Whiting Ranch and Riley wilderness parks, as well as Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

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Feb 02

Public invited to Eldorado National Forest Open House to discuss Off-Highway Vehicle grant applications

eldoradonationalforestFrom USDA / Forest Service – The Eldorado National Forest will be submitting applications for Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Cooperative Funds for the upcoming 2015/2016 grant cycle.  The Forest is developing preliminary applications to the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division which includes a strong emphasis on trail maintenance and repair, law enforcement across the four Ranger Districts, printing and distribution of the Motor Vehicle Use Maps, restoration of impacted areas, planning, and education.

As your ideas are important for developing our proposals, the Forest will be hosting an Open House on February 10 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM to discuss the proposed preliminary grant applications.  This Open House will be held at the Eldorado National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 100 Forni Road, Placerville, CA 95667.  You can call (530) 622-5061 for directions.

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Jan 28

Accessing Whitney Portal: How To Make it Work in 2016

whitneyroadworkPress Release (USDA) – If you do plan to visit Whitney in the summer of 2016, please pack your patience and carefully plan your trip to avoid the construction delays and the parking problems.

  • Check the construction schedule before you head up to Whitney Portal (Twitter (@mtwhitneyinfo), at the Interagency Visitor Center (760-876-6222), on the web HERE. There may be times when delays and parking are little impacted. There may be periods with 30 minute delays, and two 3-hour delays per day in the peak of construction.
  • Please be prepared that there may not be a parking space available for you.
  • Consider carpooling, being dropped off by friends, or explore local shuttle services.

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Jan 28

Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction Planned for 2016

whitneyroadworkSignificant Impacts to Access, Parking

Press Release (USDA) – The Whitney Portal Road Reconstruction is planned for the 2016 season under a funding request from Inyo County. The road will be re-paved and needs significant repairs for safety. The project begins just west of Lone Pine and ends just east of Whitney Portal.

Whitney Portal is the most popular trailhead on the forest; with hikers applying, by lottery, to ascend the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. Mt Whitney is also the southern terminus of the John Muir Trail (JMT).

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Dec 22

Be Gentle to the Lands After a Rain

muddytrailThe “el Niño” weather pattern is being talked about more and more on the news. In Southern California, we’ve had a few days of not particularly heavy rains. This can lead to closure of our national, state, and local parks and recreation areas for a few days after a rain to allow the lands to dry out and become accessible to the public. This isn’t a bad thing; walking on muddy trails can cause damage that can last well for weeks or months afterwards.

Generally, public lands will open up after three days to hikers. Mountain bikers and equestrian trails may stay closed longer. Check at your local park entrance to see what is closed and what is open. From the Irvine Ranch Conservancy page:

“…The expected rain is a welcome change for flora and fauna, but California’s recent drought has left many trail surfaces so dry that even those constructed to direct runoff into surrounding habitat could be overwhelmed by an abundance of rain. Landowners and managers are prepared to evaluate potential storm damage and reduce long-term effects, but you too can minimize rain damage by understanding wet trail conditions and abiding by closures to the trail system.

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Dec 17

What is the best year/model of Jeep that a Jeep Wrangler fanatic would recommend?

TJ200Question: What is the best year/model of Jeep that a Jeep Wrangler fanatic would recommend? I am planning to get a Jeep Wrangler to fix and customize. I want to know which model/year to pick for good performance.

Answer: It depends on what you want from your Jeep.


The CJ-5 is a fantastic vehicle, and it’s ridiculously inexpensive. The best years for it, again, depend on what you want. The 72-75s have a Dana 44 rear and a V8 option. The 76 and newer have a more robust chassis, but a smaller engine bay. The 77-79s had a boxed frame and disc brakes. Finding 76 and newer parts is still fairly easy to do. Earlier ones … well, you’ll do a lot of searching. The good news is that during it’s production run, there were 603,303 CJ-5s manufactured between 1954 and 1983. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 23

Wilderness Stewardship Plan

YosemiteTunnelViewThe Yosemite National Park public scoping process to review and update the current Wilderness Stewardship Plan has begun. The current management plan was  adopted in 1989, and is starting to show it’s age.

The proposed new plan will “provide additional policy direction and address contemporary management challenges.”

From the National Park Service website: “Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of central California, the Yosemite Wilderness area encompasses more than 704,000 acres and accounts for over 94% of the total area of Yosemite National Park. Officially designated by the California Wilderness Act in 1984, the Yosemite Wilderness has long been a place for inspiration, wonder, and discovery.”

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