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Forest Service to Reopen 100-Plus Miles of Trails in May

Some of the areas that will reopen include popular hiking and biking spots right above Altadena.

The Forest Service plans to reopen more than 100 miles of trails, various campgrounds, picnic areas and other facilities by Memorial Day.

The trails were shut down after being burned out in the Station Fire in 2009 and washed out in the subsequent winter flooding that resulted from the lack of vegetation on the hillsides.

The Forest Service plans to have the trails open on Monday May 16, according to Sherry Rollman, a spokeswoman for the Angeles National Forest.  She said the organization will be releasing a full detailed map of what areas will be opened and which will remained closed by the end of the week.

The organization has not yet released a clear map delineating what will be open and what will not, but most of the Eastern areas of the mountains off of Highway 2 will be reopened, according to Forest Service supervisor Marty Dumpis.  Some of the areas on the westside of the Mountains, closer to Altadena, will remain closed.  Trails and camps in the Big Tujunga Canyon area will all remain closed, Rollman said.

Below are some of the areas closest to Altadena that the Forest Service has released information about: 

  • Arroyo Seco area: The trails above JPL at the trailhead at Windsor and Ventura have mostly been closed since 2009.  A lot will now be opened.  The Upper Arroyo or Gabrielino trail will be opened for several miles above JPL up to the Paul Little Picnic Area.  The Gould Mesa Campground will also be reopened. At that point the trail will be closed up to its intersection with Bear Canyon trail.  In addition, the lower El Prieto Canyon trail will be closed up until the intersection with the Brown Mountain road, a popular mountain biking area.  The Brown Mountain trail/road will remain closed.
  • Millard Canyon: The campground at Millard Canyon is already reopened, and the fire road to Mt. Lowe has also stayed open.  The Sunset Ridge trail will now also be reopened. 
  • Switzer's Canyon/Picnic Area: This popular picnic area is accessed by Highway 2, but hikers and mountain bikers also could previously connect from this area to JPL via the Upper Arroyo/Gabrielino trail.  That segment is not entirely open yet, however.  The section from Switzer's Canyon to its intersection with Bear Canyon trail will be opened, but the section from Bear Canyon to the Paul Little Picnic Area will remain closed, as mentioned above.

Below, here is a short status recap of which trails or campgrounds will be opened next week in the Altadena area:

  • Upper Arroyo/Gabrielino - open, but only up to Paul Little Picnic Area, or down from Switzer's Canyon to the intersection with Bear Canyon trail.
  • El Prieto Canyon - open, but only to the intersection with Brown Mountain Road.
  • Brown Mountain Road - closed
  • Sunset Ridge Trail - open

This article has been updated to reflect new information from the Forest Service since its original posting.

Stephen Cooper May 09, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Time to get the mtn bike tuned up.
Deborah Marcus May 09, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Yea! Mr. Editor, which are the best trails to hike from your experience?
Barbara Ellis May 10, 2011 at 03:03 PM
I heard the rangers were ticketing people heading up the Gabrielino trail above JPL on Mother's Day. So if anyone's thinking of hiking these trails before they officially open, look out. I can't understand why the Brown Mountain trail is staying closed - it's just an old fire road used almost exclusively by mountain bikers. No chance of anyone straying into sensitive recovery areas, surely?
lonnie fehr May 11, 2011 at 08:50 PM
hopefully a detaled news will clarify areas opening up . as far as brown mnt fire road / sunset trl ie mountain bikers [ mostly ] , they have been disregarding clousure areas since fire clousure . and tearing down the signs . happens is hikers see mountain bikers in clousure and fiqure hey they can so can we .
Geoff A. May 12, 2011 at 05:30 AM
Sorry Lonnie, I don't buy your argument about mountain bikers leading the gullible hikers into the closed zones. The Sunset/Millard area is not anywhere near the general population. People go back there with the intention of going there, no matter their method of travel. The JPL area is quite public, however, and a vast majority of the people I see going back there are on foot. Let's see how many of those hikers are out doing trail work on Sunset this Saturday.
lonnie fehr May 16, 2011 at 07:04 PM
hi not selling anything ,,,,,,,, im just calling it as i see it here ...a fact is a fact ......
Michele James February 18, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Does anyone know whether the trails to Millard Canyon falls are open?
Paul Ayers February 18, 2012 at 09:09 PM
No. May be up to two years as they are trying to allow the fauna and flora re-establish

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