Many California parks and trails closed on Memorial Day due to storm damage

You won’t be able to see the world’s tallest tree this Memorial Day weekend – one of many California tourist attractions, roads, campgrounds and trails that remain off limits due to damage from severe winter storms.

Recovery efforts are still underway months after the worst weather conditions left, with access to park facilities in the hardest hit areas potentially restricted during the summer.

“Memorial Day weekend is our typical kickoff to the summer, when we see our peak in holiday visitation,” said Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, spokesperson for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. , which will be partially closed until June. “It’s sad that we don’t have all the areas accessible to the public, but there are things to do in the parks. It will just be a smaller area for people to enjoy this holiday.

Sequoia State Park, a popular getaway for Angelenos, is largely closed except for the foothills area between the entrance and Hospital Rock, which provides access to campgrounds, trails and waterfalls at low altitude. Officials are warning visitors that snowmelt continues to raises rivers and streams to levels ‘not seen in years’.”

The park has closed all access to General Sherman, a giant sequoia known as the tallest tree in the world. To see redwoods and snow, park officials recommend visiting Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park, home to the world’s second tallest tree, General Grant, although the park’s Cedar Grove is closed to the public. for summer.

Portions of Highway 180 between Grant Grove and Cedar Grove, and through Sequoia National Park, are closed due to severe road damage from the storms, according to the National Park Service. Access to the park and the giant sequoias, including General Sherman, are expected to reopen in early June. Access via Route 198 is expected to open by July 1.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are recovering from a “historic winter season,” with crews continuing to make repairs and clear snow.

“Some of our campgrounds are still under snow,” Kawasaki-Yee said. “Campgrounds that were usually ready on Memorial Day weekend should remain closed for a few more weeks.”

Southern California Parks That Remain partially closed due to storm damage include Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County, and Emma Wood and San Buenaventura State Beaches in Ventura County.

There are no full park closures in Los Angeles, according to California State Parks spokesman Douglas Johnson. The camping area and day parking lot at Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu are closed, but the beach and surrounding trails are open, he added.

The north entrance to Franklin Canyon Park at Mulholland Drive and Coldwater Canyon Avenue is also closed due to dangerous storm conditions, according to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. Instead, the park is accessible via Beverly Drive.

In the Los Padres National Forest north of Ventura, Highway 33 will remain closed from Matilija Hot Springs Road to Lockwood Valley Road during the summer due to “extensive” winter storm damage, according to the California Department of Transportation.

This will block access to hiking and camping areas in the state forest. Visitors to the Los Angeles area hoping to travel to the Cuyama Valley, where a stunning spring bloom was in full effect, will need to drive north on Interstate 5 and west through Maricopa, instead of driving to north on Hwy 33 past Ojai.

In the Angeles National Forest, Route 2 from Mt. Wilson Road to Grassy Hollow Campground will also remain closed due to damage, Caltrans tweeted. Popular sites along the closed route include Mount Waterman, Cooper Canyon, and several mountain campgrounds.

No other roads in Los Angeles are expected to be closed over Memorial Day weekend, according to a city spokesperson. And the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is “fully open,” spokeswoman Ana Cholo said.

Los Angeles Times

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