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Cautionary Tips For Those Spending Holiday Weekend On The Forest

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Sonora, CA — Over Labor Day weekend, Stanislaus National Forest rangers are asking recreaters to keep in mind that increased fire danger conditions remain and that some areas remain closed due to the Donnell Fire.

This includes parts of Calaveras and Summit ranger districts. While Highway 108 is open to thru-traffic only, motorists should refrain from stopping between Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and Sonora Pass, where all trailheads and camping areas remain closed. The fire is actively burning in the eastern and northeastern sections toward the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Although Carson-Iceberg Wilderness is closed, visitors with a wilderness permit may hike and camp into the Emigrant Wilderness from around Kennedy Meadows. The Pacific Crest Trail remains closed between Sonora Pass and Ebbetts Pass.

Forest officials are urging safety and preparedness in wildland areas and to be prepared for the presence of smoke. “Know Before You Go,” especially around the fire areas how to react in the event of finding yourself in close proximity to a wildfire.  Too, due to tree mortality, recreaters should be especially aware of bug-killed and dying trees.

While driving on the forest areas that are open where fire equipment and firefighters are present, please use extra caution. Forest Orders STF-16-2018-02 and STF-16-2018-03 prohibit campfires, cook stoves and smoking outside developed campgrounds, except in the developed recreation sites in moderate and high fire hazard areas.

They also share the following details relating to camping:

  • Campfire restrictions are in place; check at Visitor Centers for more information.
  • If campfires are allowed, obtain a campfire permit
  • Clear away grass, leaves and other debris within 5 feet of campfire or grill
  • Have a responsible person in attendance at all times
  • Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving
  • When barbecuing, never leave the grill unattended
  • Children near open flame should always be supervised by a responsible adult

The following trailheads, campgrounds and OHV areas across all ranger districts are listed below along with whether each is open or with restricted access…

Calaveras Ranger District

Open Campgrounds

Bloomfield 1 and 2, Hermit Valley, Pacific Valley, Mosquito Lakes, Silvertip, Lake Alpine, Pine Marten, Silver Valley, Backpackers, Utica Reservoir including Sandy Flat and Rocky Point, Union Reservoir including East and West, Spicer and Spicer Group Camp, Lodgepole and Lodgepole group camp and Stanislaus campground.

Open Lakes

All lakes, including Lake Alpine, are open for boats except for Spicer Lake.


The Pacific Crest Trail is closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4. The PCT is open south of Highway 108.

All other trails are open, but there is limited access to the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness as one side of trail in the wilderness area may be closed.

Hunters, please be aware that portions of D5 and D6 deer hunting zones are within the fire closure area (link again) and are NOT open at this time.

Open OHV areas are Interface, Black Springs, Cabbage Patch and Rattlesnake (none are closed).

Groveland Ranger District

Open Campgrounds

  • The Pines Campground (fee)
  • Lost Claim Campground (fee)
  • Sweetwater Campground(fee)
  • Diamond O Campground (fee)
  • Cherry Valley Campground (fee)
  • Lumsden Campground (no fee)
  • South Fork Campground (no fee)
  • Spinning Wheel dispersed camping area (no fee/no services)
  • Joe Walt Run dispersed camping area (no fee/no services)
  • Cherry Borrow dispersed camping area (no fee/no services)

Closed Campgrounds

Anderson Valley dispersed camping area (Ferguson Fire)

Montgomery Gulch dispersed camping area (Ferguson Fire)

Open day use areas

Rainbow Pool, Middle Fork, Upper Carlon, Lower Carlon, Merals Pool, Date Flat

Open OHV area — Jawbone Pass (none are closed).

Open Trail Heads

  • Indian Creek — Note possible trees down on trail; rock crossing at bottom of canyon washed out
  • Hanby Trail — Possible trees down on trail
  • Tuolumne River Canyon Trail — Possible trees down on trail
  • Preston Falls
  • Andresen Trail — Possible trees down on trail
  • Carlon Falls
  • Diana Pool
  • Lake Eleanor — Possible trees down on trail.
  • Kibbie Ridge Trail — Possible trees down on trail.
  • Little Golden Forest
  • Closed Trail Heads: Shingle Springs

Mi-Wok Ranger District

Open Campgrounds

Crandall/Deer Creek, Fraser Flat, Hull Creek, Sandbar Flat, River Ranch (None are closed)

Open Day Use Areas

Fraser Flat Fishing Pier Day Use, Lyons Reservoir Day Use, North Fork Day Use (None are closed)

OHV areas open: Crandall, Hunter Creek (none are closed)

Summit Ranger District

Open Campgrounds

  • Pinecrest
  • Meadowview
  • Pioneer Group 1, 2 and 3
  • Herring Reservoir
  • Herring Creek
  • Cascade Creek
  • Beardsley Dam
  • TeleLi puLaya
  • Mill Creek
  • Baker
  • Deadman
  • Pine Valley Horse Camp
  • Kerrick Horse Camp
  • Open Day Use Areas
  • Pinecrest
  • North Fork
  • Riverside
  • China Flat

Closed Day Use Areas

  • Beardsley Day Use Area
  • Bennet Juniper
  • Douglas Flat
  • Cottonwood

Open OHV Areas

  • Herring Reservoir Area
  • Closed OHV Areas
  • Niagara Rim OHV Area
  • Open Trailheads
  • Pinecrest National Recreation Trail
  • Bell Meadow
  • Crabtree
  • Gianelli
  • Coyote Meadows
  • Pine Valley
  • Box Springs
  • Bourland Meadows
  • Waterhouse
  • Kennedy Meadows TH (for Emigrant Wilderness traffic)
  • Sonora Pass TH (southbound Pacific Coast Trail traffic)

Closed Trailheads

  • Arnot Creek
  • Clark Fork
  • County Line
  • Disaster Creek
  • Donnell Vista
  • Seven Pines
  • Saint Mary’s Pass
  • Wheats Meadow
  • Column of the Giants

All Emigrant Wilderness trails are open

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