Valley Fire Closure Modified – Some trails reopened

Update: August 14,2018. Forest Service has revised the Valley Fire Closure to reopen some trails effective Wednesday Aug 15, 2018

Officials with San Bernardino National Forest today issued a new forest order modifying the Valley Fire Closure Area. The announcement on the Forest Service website, effective Wednesday, August 15, 2018, reopens a portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness, but keeps trails closer to the burn area closed.

The closed area includes the following trails: San Bernardino Peak, Forsee Creek, Momyer trace trail to San Bernardino Peak, as well as the ridgeline from San Bernardino Peak to Dollar Lake Saddle. Refer to the revised closure map.

As of Aug 14th, the fire containment is at 82%, but continues to smolder. We recommend that you be aware of conditions around the mountains at anytime regardless of the Valley Fire. If conditions become threatening, please take your safety into first consideration: the mountain will be there later – keep yourself safe so you can enjoy it.

As before, residents and visitors to the area may continue to see smoke for the coming weeks. Hikers with questions about the closure can call the Mill Creek Visitor Center at 909-382-2882, Thursdays through Mondays. To keep updated on the Valley Fire, check Inciweb, the forest service Twitter account and the Valley Fire Updates Facebook group.

Mill Creek Visitor Center will resume processing permit requests for the reopened areas when we reopen on Thursday the 16th. The Permit request forms are in the process of being reactivated and will be available shortly.

Valley Fire affects access to mountains

Updates as of 7 PM Wednesday 7/11/18:

– 1348 acres, 24% containment

– Highway 38 has reopened in both directions. Please use caution as firefighting aircraft and equipment may be working in the area. Additionally, Caltrans will have intermittent traffic stops to complete storm related rock / debris removal along Highway 38 .

All hiking trails accessing the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area continue to be closed.

Please consider all existing permits as cancelled until further notice

Further updates as they become available.

Friday July 6 3PM:

Brush fire has erupted near Highway 38 and Valley of the Falls Dr. At 3PM the burn area was estimated to be between 50 and 100 acres and is heading uphill at a fast rate and has a potential to threaten the San Gorgonio Wilderness area.

San Bernardino National Forest Service has issued mandatory evacuations for the trail areas of Momyer and Vivian Creek as well as the day use areas in Forest Falls.

Highway 38 is currently closed between Bryant St (next to Mill Creek Visitor Center) and Angeles Oaks. Accessibility to the mountains will not be possible from Highway 38 until it is reopened.

We will be trying to contact everyone with permits for these areas to advise against trying to enter the area. San Bernardino Peak trail was not included in the evacuation, but we are also advising against entering that area due to the increasing danger at this time.

For both the #ValleyFire and #BoxFire, residents, visitors, commuters, etc can a call the fire information center at (909) 383-5688

Mill Creek Clean Up July 7!

UPDATE—-> Friday 7/6: Due to the Valley Fire closures, This event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.

Join SGWA on July 7 for our monthly Mill Creek Restoration day at Thurman Flats.  Smokey Bear will be there for a meet and photo op. Everyone is welcome! Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, gloves and a smile – we’ll provide snacks and beverages. Learn about Leave No Trace and help restore Mill Creek to its natural beauty.   See you there!

Ranger Talks Begin Sat May 26


Saturday night, May 26th, kicks off our season of Ranger Talks with Teddi Boston, who was the first woman to solo thru-hike the PCT from north to south. Come hear how & why she decided to take this long hike and the adventures she had along the way.
Then on Sunday night, we’ll have Walter Roth sharing his fascinating insights on how the Native Americans lived off the land.
Talks begin at 7:30 pm at Greyback Amphitheater, on Hwy 38 about 1.5 miles east of Barton Flats Visitor Center.
See the entire schedule here: Ranger Talks

2018 Summer Season begins

Barton Flats
The Barton Flats Visitor Center opens starting Thursday May 24 2018. Visitor Center Hours are:

Thursday – Sunday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Barton Flats Visitor Center is closed Monday – Wednesday

Mill Creek Visitor Center
Mill Creek Summer hours begin on Saturday May 26, 2018

Throughout the Summer season, Mill Creek Visitor Center hours will be:

Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays – 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturdays and Sundays – 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Mill Creek Visitor Center is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Camps are getting crowded and filling up. Be sure to plan your trip well in advance, especially if you plan to go on the weekends. If you need help, please call the Mill Creek Visitor Center at 909-382-2882.

SGWA Newsletter for May

The May edition of the SGWA newsletter is now available here. Read about our new mentoring program, some great trail work, and the profile of long-time volunteer Rex Philpot.

Join Us – Mill Creek Restoration Day Saturday May 12

Join SGWA volunteers at the Thurman Flats Picnic Area on Saturday May 12, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. for the first clean-up day of the summer. Come and meet Smokey Bear! Everyone is welcome! Bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, gloves and a smile – we’ll provide snacks and beverages. Learn about Leave No Trace and help restore Mill Creek to its natural beauty.   See you there!

Be a SGWA Volunteer – Training May 19! Sign up now!

Join us!

SGWA Volunteer season 2018 is now starting! Orientation for new volunteers is May 19, 2018.

SGWA Volunteers work with the USFS to provide many services in and around the San Gorgonio Wilderness. We do trail patrols both day and overnight, trail work projects, and interpretive programs at the Grayback Amphitheater. Many volunteers provide visitor information and assistance at Mill Creek Ranger Station front desk, Barton Flats Visitor Center, and the Big Falls Picnic Area.

Volunteers interact with the public so it’s necessary to have an upbeat personality and be willing to help visitors. We are especially looking for experienced backpackers for overnight patrols.

If you want to learn more about the forest, challenge your hiking skills, or just enjoy nature while helping others then this is for you. Sign up now!

Volunteer Application

SGWA February Newsletter

SGWA’s February newsletter is now available at this link. Check out the new native garden at Mill Creek Ranger Station, read about our new SGWA president Mike Roloff, plus more.

National Forest “Fee Free” Days for 2018 Announced

Forest Service News Release, Jan 8 2018:
Visitors to San Bernardino National Forest will be able to enjoy picnic areas, trailheads and recreational day-use sites without having to purchase an Adventure Pass on six days this year. These “fee free” days are offered across the country by the U.S. Forest Service:

  • Jan. 15: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Feb. 19: President’s Day
  • June 9: National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sept. 22: National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 11 – 12: Veterans Day Weekend

“From Wrightwood to Idyllwild, the San Bernardino National Forest offers a variety of rich experiences for visitors,” said Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. “You can play in snow, hike the tallest peaks in Southern California, explore hundreds of miles of dirt roads and immerse yourself in nature.”

For non-fee free days, the Adventure Pass costs $5 for a day pass and $30 for an annual one. Funds raised go back in to recreation sites for maintenance of parking lots, bathrooms, trash cans, signage, trailheads and other recreation facilities.

Visitors who inadvertently commit a daily Adventure Pass on “fee free” days can have it replaced free-of-charge. Forest visitors are reminded that even though the Adventure Pass fee will be waived, other fees such as campground, reservation and group site fees will still be applicable.

For more information on the National Forest Adventure Pass, visit the Forest Service website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/adventurepass.