Mar 30

Thousands Visit California State Parks for Wildflower Season

Visitors Reminded to Plan and Be Prepared for the Outdoors

California State Parks News Release, Borrego Springs – California Department of Parks and Recreation encourages visitors exploring state parks during the wildflower season to properly plan and prepare for their trips. Thanks to this year’s rain, many state parks are experiencing wildflower blooms.

This is especially the case at the 650,000 acre Anza-Borrego (Anza-Borrego) Desert State Park which is experiencing the most dramatic bloom in nearly 20 years. With the flowers, come the large crowds. Knowledge of the area, weather, limitations of your body and enjoying the outdoors safely with everyone can help to ensure an enjoyable trip.

Below is some helpful information for wildflower enthusiasts:

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Mar 15

New Reservation System Coming to California State Parks This Summer

California State Parks News Release, Sacramento, CA — Starting this August, Californians will make their state parks camping and tour reservations through a new, faster, easier to use reservation system that features more open access to data.

ReserveCalifornia will go live for all parks on August 1. A variety of features will be phased in between then and March 1, 2018. Below is a breakdown of the features:

Starting August 1, the new reservation system will provide more user-friendly and intuitive web services, including:

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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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