Forum Replies Created
06/02/2020 at 6:36 pm in reply to: Hunting SGWA, Vivian Creek (5/1) and Mineshaft Flats (5/23-5/25) with pictures #4199
Hunting is allowed in the San Bernardino National Forest (which includes the San Gorgonio Wilderness.) The rules that govern hunting are those detailed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and you can find their information at their website: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Deer#54774-zones–hunts
The SGW is in Zone D14. You can hunt anywhere in the wilderness, but you have to be aware of the proximity to populated areas before you shoot. Most of the places where the game will be are not where people are, but you still need to be aware of the camp and trail locations as well as the residences outside of the wilderness boundary in case you happen to be near the borders.
Do we allow hunters in the wilderness? Of course we do! Anyone can obtain a day hike or overnight permit as long as the quota of permits has not been filled. While day hikes do not currently require a permit, the Deer season starts at the end of summer (Bow hunting usually in September and Rifle hunting in October – check DFW’s web site for season dates.) We are expecting a new Forest Order soon to bring back the Day Hike permit requirement, so that will likely be back in force by Deer season.
Best way to ensure you can get a permit for the camp location is to request is as soon as you can. We issue permits up to 3 months in advance, so mid to lat July, you can request a permit for mid to late October dates. In truth, you can probably get the back area camps like Mineshaft Flats as late as a month out from the date, but Hunters are very fond of that back country area and we fill up some of the camps as quickly as mid summer demand does, so the sooner you can plan your hunting trip, the better.
When Mill Creek reopens, come by and we can tell you how the whole thing works and discuss access to the more remote areas. Want to know where the deer are? Unfortunately we don’t have access to their appointment calendars, so you’ll have to check with someone else about that. 😉
I posted it on our Facebook group
The Overnight form doesn’t include it because the Aspen Grove trail doesn’t have any camp locations on it. You have to connect to Fish Creek to get to the nearest camp.
That is the reason, anyway, but I see how it could be a problem searching for a lost person if someone got into trouble between the junction and the trailhead. I will look into updating the form, In the meantime, you can either write it in, or add to the Remarks box to explain you are entering via Aspen Grove. The trail you use has no bearing on whether the permit can be issued, so no worries on that point.
There you go Mike
Chris, I don’t know what I was expecting, but that cracked me up!
We had plans to start, but everything has been put on hold for now. The SGWA Board of Directors is working to get guidance from the Forest Service. There are some volunteers that are ready to get out there and others a bit more concerned about the risk to everyone involved, but mostly for our older members.
So for now, we are planning where we will put our resources when we are ready, we just don’t have any dates set yet.
As everything else starts opening up and we see what that means for the community, I’m sure it will inform the rest of our decisions too. So here’s hoping the reopening of the State and County goes well and it leads to SGWA getting back in the woods where we belong!
SBNF never closed the trails, only the developed campgrounds and picnic areas. Dispersed and wilderness camping have been available all year.
Whether overnight is advisable given Covid concerns is another question. State Parks may be restricted, but the San Bernardino National Forest is not a State Park.
Many of the SGWA volunteers are wary of going out in the Wilderness right now, but some have been doing personal hikes and overnights. You have seen their posts here and on our Facebook page.
My best advice for those who want to get out in the back country safely, is this: Go on the weekdays (Monday – Thursday) if you can. Weekends are going to be very busy everywhere on the mountains from now until October (and until the next snow comes in.) Maybe this is a good opportunity to check out some of the lesser used camp areas that will not have everyone and their cousins trying to get in there.
If you were hoping to go on Memorial Day weekend, I won’t say give it up, but if you look at our availability calendar, you’ll see an ever decreasing list of camps that are not already full. The names that were removed from the list all have quite a few people planning to go.
This year might be a good one to miss the San Gorgonio Wilderness, but consider other areas outside of the wilderness where there may be fewer people?? Just a thought.
Hope that helps.
Normally, faxes will get the same response time as an email, but while the office is under this Covid closure you will get a quicker response to an email than to a fax.
That is because I can remotely process permits that come into the email, but I only get faxes when I go into the office on Saturday to file the week’s permits.
Naturally things go back to normal when the office reopens (hopefully soon) and when that happens you should be aware that requests that come in late Sunday will wait to be processed when we come back into the office on Thursdays, so be sure to allow a few days for processing when the office goes back to normal operations.
Hope that helps
Dead trees: yep, here and there. Some trees trying to come back but parts of the South Fork area were near some of the hottest burning, so it left some damage. Lost Creek and Aspen Grove got it worse. So when you go into any of the burned areas, keep an eye on your surroundings in case a breeze picks up and the rot inside a tree trunk finally makes the tree give way. A concern but not something that will keep jumping out at you, but I would know what kind of winds are expected before I went so I would be prepared.
1N84 normally does not have deep ruts, but I have not been in there since last fall. Take it slow and watch the condition of the road ahead.
Normally lots of space to turn around if you don’t feel safe.
All of those parking lots are open. Be aware to many of them will get very busy on weekends in particular. You have to decide if you think that is safe or not. I guarantee the busiest lots will be Vivian Creek, San Bernardino, South Fork and Forsee Creek in that order. Momyer is usually not as crowded unless it gets overflow from Vivian Creek. Now that the road to Aspen Grove and Fish Creek has opened, those will be much less crowded than the others.
Hope that helps
This was posted on the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association’s Facebook page yesterday by SGWA Volunteer Stephen Peach:
Trail report for Fish Creek trail. The road in, 1N05 is very good for a dirt road, but I would suggest an SUV, AWD or 4WD truck. Definitely need a higher clearance vehicle. The trail is well defined with a few trees across it. You will be hiking through a large burn area with lots of standing dead trees, so be aware of the wind. I hiked up to Fish Creek camp and the snow was just beginning to get patchy (8400). The burn area stops right around there so the camp is still green. Fish creek was flowing pretty well at the camp, and with the snow level it might flow for a while.
That is correct: no camping at the trailhead parking lot.
Want to disperse camp? go to East Flats camp area (East of South Fork trail on Jenks Lake Road about 1/4 mile before you get to Highway 38 on the Jenks Lake Rd East entrance.
California fire permit required if you plan to use a camp stove at East Flats – No Open fire allowed. Get a free fire permit at the website:
Hope that helps
Normally you get a permit in a day or two, unless you send it late Sunday and it waits until someone comes in on Thursday to process it. This is why we normally say to allow 5 days to process, because the office is closed some days of the week.
Right now with the COVID closure, I am processing the permits remotely from home EVERY DAY. If you send it today, the longest it should take is 1 day because I normally process the mailbox between 10AM and 1PM each day. Also pay attention to the Permit Availability calendar on our website, but keep in mind that I am getting something like 20 to 30 requests each day and even though I update the calendar as I process permits, there may be other people who sent a request for the camp you wanted before you sent yours in.
Most permit requests are being approved so far, but I am getting more each day that I cannot approve due to camps being already full.
Keep that in mind if you think you are going to get away from crowds during this time – some of the camps are getting crowded on weekends in particular.
Have a question? Email me at email@example.com
Inside the San Gorgonio Wilderness, you are only permitted to stay at a designated camp location. Dispersed camping is allowable outside of the Wilderness boundary in the rest of the San Bernardino National Forest.
Explorer permits used to be issued in most of the wilderness area in the past before the Lake Fire occurred. Since the closures were all removed, we have not been given the approval form the Forest Service to use Explorer permits again. You would have to ask them why.
If we are given approval to begin using the Explorer permit again, there are some areas that are still off limits, like the South Fork drainage area, but I’ll reserve further discussion about that for a time when it applies.
Hope that helps
Vandalism and burglaries are not a big problem, but they do occur. Criminals know you are likely gone for a long while when you park at a trail head, so it is a concern. Be sure not to leave valuables in your car.
I have heard that some residents are unhappy about people coming into their community when we are all supposed to be following stay at home orders. Naturally, some people want to take advantage of the mountains and believe they can do so safely, so you can see both sides of the issue.
I don’t expect that residents are necessarily doing this as it could be anyone messing around.
Also keep in mind that they are also dealing with people illegally parking in areas that are CLEARLY posted and the Sheriff’s office is responding to residents when they call to complain about visitors parking on the road and blocking their driveways. Yucaipa PD posted on facebook about it today with outrageous images of vehicles parked right next to a No Parking Anytime sign. They issued several parking tickets today and will be a constant presence in Forest Falls and Angelus Oaks, so think before you park.