Category Archives: News Items

Forest is re-opening Sept 23 2021

Permits are again available for the Wilderness; please go to the Permits page to request one. The following is from the US Forest Service news release:

“The San Bernardino National Forest, with some exceptions, will reopen on Thursday, September 23. We are thankful that overall fire activity in California has decreased, allowing more of our firefighters to return to their home forest. It’s important to note, however, that fire restrictions will remain in effect. Open-flame campfires and BBQs, smoking and target shooting, among other activities, will continue to be prohibited.Upon reopening, staff will begin taking down closure signs and reopening gates as fast as possible. Patience is appreciated during this process if some areas appear to still be closed on Thursday. Two foothill areas, however, will remain closed for public safety. Both of these sit in areas with dry vegetation where fires can move rapidly under current conditions:- Closed to all traffic, including pedestrians: City Creek Road (1N09) between Hwy 330 and Bear Creek, Alder Creek Road (1N16) and Santa Ana Road (1N13) to limit visitors becoming entrapped on these mid-slope roads. Additionally, illegal target shooting has been rampant in this area despite fire restrictions, signage and law enforcement presence.- Closed to vehicles: Big Tree Cucamonga Road (1N34), a 12-mile mid-slope road that is one-way-in, one-way-out.Other areas where long-term closures were previously in place, such as the El Dorado and Apple fire burn scars, will remain closed. The one change will be the area around Lytle Creek, which was closed due to the 819-acre South Fire (100% contained) in late August; that closure area will reopen Thursday.As always, visitors are encouraged to “know before you go” by direct messaging us or calling ranger stations to check on the open status of specific recreation facilities, such as campgrounds, which are beginning to close for the season. Thank you!”

San Bernardino NF closed through Sept 22 2021

USFS has extended the closure on the San Bernardino National Forest through September 22, 2021. Any permits for the Wilderness for the period between Sept 17 and Sept 22 are being cancelled. We will not be issuing any permits, for any dates, until the closure is lifted. If you have any questions please contact us via the form on this website.

Sorry everyone, we know it’s disappointing.

August 2021 Newsletter

Our trail crews were so busy this summer – take a look at what they’ve accomplished. Our featured volunteer this month is Domenic Wager, who’s been with SGWA since 2007. Read about it and more in the newsletter. If you’d like to download the PDF directly, this is the link.

2021_08-SGWA-Newsletter

California National Forests Temporarily Closed as of Sep 1

We have just received word that all National Forests in California will be closed beginning August 31, at 11:59 p.m. This is expected to last through the end of September 17. All wilderness permits for that period are cancelled and we will begin notifying permit holders ASAP.

Click here for the full text of the announcement.

Mill Creek Visitor Center and Barton Flats Visitor Center are also closed. Watch here for updates.

Forest Festival celebrates forest life Aug. 21 at Barton Flats Visitor Center

Smoky Bear greets a visitor at the 2019 Forest Festival

     The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Barton Flats Visitor Center, located on State Highway 38 about seven miles east of Angelus Oaks. The family-friendly festival is free and open to the public. Snacks and beverages will be available, and live music by SGWA volunteers will be presented beginning at 11 a.m.

     Visitors will have opportunities to use a crosscut saw to create a “tree cookie,” which will then be branded with U.S. Forest Service and Smokey Bear logos; pan for gold; operate remote-controlled OHV Jeeps; explore their creative side with nature crafts; learn what it takes to serve on a search-and-rescue team; hear what various outdoor and conservation groups do to protect our natural resources; and visit with members of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association, who patrol and maintain trails in the San Gorgonio and Cucamonga wilderness areas, and provide interpretive programs.

    Smokey Bear will make appearances throughout the day, and SGWA volunteers will lead nature walks around the visitor center.

    SGWA is a nonprofit organization that works with the U.S. Forest Service to protect the forest in and around the San Gorgonio Wilderness and Cucamonga Wilderness, and educates the public about this natural resource. Every year SGWA volunteers donate thousands of hours to the San Bernardino National Forest in a variety of activities, including interacting with the public on wilderness trails and at interpretive programs, clearing fallen trees that block trails and repairing damaged trail tread, removing illegal fire rings in wilderness areas, and measuring and collecting data on wilderness trails.      For more information about the Forest Festival or the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association please call the association at (909) 389-9650, or use the contact form on this website.

Momyer Trailhead to open 7/23/21

Good news, the Forest Service has issued a new Forest Order which will allow Momyer Trailhead to re-open. There is still a large closed area from the El Dorado fire (Exhibit A in the order, click on the link above). Exhibit B shows more detail around Hwy 38 and 7 Oaks Rd. We will open up the permits for Momyer starting tomorrow, 7/23/21.

May Newsletter

We’re back! Well pretty much. Read all about it in the May newsletter. Our featured volunteer this time is Rosy Nunez.

A message from our president…

Bettye Miller, the President of the SGWA Board of Directors, has this message about our recent technical difficulties.

“SGWA’s new online permit system is speeding up the process of requesting wilderness permits and generally has worked well, although not without some glitches. We are working to fix those. In April we issued 439 day and overnight permits, and we’ve been flooded with requests since Vivian Creek Trail opened. Fewer than 3% of permit requests have been unsuccessful, which we know is frustrating if you’re one of those people. We are tweaking our programming to better handle the large number of requests, which has created unexpected issues with emailing approved permits. Some permits are landing in spam folders, so please check there. If things go amiss, please contact us at contact@sgwa.org.”

Vivian Creek Trail Reopens Saturday 4/24/21

Permits for Saturday will be available after 10 AM on Friday 4/23.

Use our new online reservations under Wilderness Permits. At the bottom of the page, under the map, is a button for Make a Reservation . A new page will open. Complete the reservation information, enter “submit”, and your permit will come immediately to your email. You can use your cell phone or computer, very handy if you are on your way and forgot to get a permit. We are still occasionally seeing a glitch that looks like it hasn’t completed the process, but it always sends the permit anyway. Check your mail before trying again.

The Mill Creek Ranger station remains closed due to the Covid restrictions.

Trails reopen as forest modifies two fire area closures

Area reopenings include the Pacific Crest Trail and a portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif—Officials with San Bernardino National Forest have modified the closure areas for two wildfires that occurred last year. The Snow Fire closure was modified to reopen the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Black Mountain Road (4S01) and Snow Creek Village. The El Dorado Fire closure has been modified to reopen some areas of the San Gorgonio Wilderness in Sand to Snow National Monument and close additional areas in the Barton Flats area. More details can be found below.

Snow Fire

After crews performed stormproofing along the trail, the PCT reopened Saturday, April 3. Off-trail areas within the closure area remain closed. Dispersed camping and cross-country travel are not allowed at this time. Vehicle access to the trail junction with Black Mountain Road (4S01) remains closed due to snow and ice. 

The Snow Fire was ignited on September 17, 2020, and grew to 6,254 acres.

El Dorado Fire reopening

A portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness within Sand to Snow National Monument will reopen Saturday, April 10. The South Fork, Lost Creek, Aspen Grove Trail, and Fish Creek trailheads will reopen, but access to some interior trails, such as the San Bernardino Peak Trail west of Dollar Lake Saddle will be closed (see maps for details). Hikers should take note of current trail access information, which is noted below in the FAQs.

Limited, but free wilderness permits for day hiking and overnight camping are required and can be obtained on this site under Wilderness Permits from the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association, a Forest Service partner. 

New El Dorado Fire closure areas

New areas outside the wilderness and north of Jenks Lake Road will close due to the threat of mud slides and debris flows from spring rains and summer monsoons. Included within the area closure are the Ponderosa Nature Trail, Whispering Pines Trail, and a portion of the Santa Ana River Trail. Rokolai Road (1N55), Hathaway West Road (1N75), Hill Ranch Road (1N86) and Stetson Hollow Road (1N86B) will close. For details of this new closure area, see the Exhibit B map.

The El Dorado Fire ignited on September 5, 2020, and grew to 22,744 acres.

Trail FAQs

Can I drive to all the trailheads?

Forest Service roads 1N02 and 1N05 that serve the Aspen Grove and Fish Creek trailheads were closed for the winter season and will reopen when dangerous ice and snow conditions have subsided and hazard trees and rocks are mitigated. Hikers may hike to these trailhead, but parking is very limited and the distance may be considerable for some visitors.

What are the trail conditions like?

Trail conditions are variable and can change at any time. Winter conditions still exist and hikers should bring appropriate gear for safe travel. Field reports indicate snow starting at about 8,500 feet. Additionally, the Lost Creek Trail was burned over in the 2015 Lake Fire. A scratch trail has been marked, but may be hard to follow for some visitors. 

When will Forest Falls area trailheads reopen?

Forest staff are currently evaluating reopening them soon. Please stay tuned.

Can I hike San Bernardino Peak?

This popular trail remains closed at this time, as the El Dorado Fire burned through large portions of the western section of the wilderness and monument.