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With winter just around the corner, all visitors to California’s National Forests should continue to plan ahead before visiting and recreate responsibly once there. Early snowfall has already begun on some forests and road conditions will begin to impact access so please ensure that your vehicle is snow ready before you go.  

Visitors are encouraged to view the Recreate Responsibly Winter Toolkit, which provides resources on planning ahead, weather conditions, avalanche awareness, and Leave No Trace principles. Additionally, a Spanish version of the toolkit can be found here.

A web map was developed to help visitors find out which recreation areas are open on nearby forests, including campgrounds, day use sites, and trails on National Forests in California. View the GIS map for winter updates at https://go.usa.gov/xwurX.  

Please follow posted campfire, parking, and camping restrictions. Be prepared to find alternative areas if your trail or campground is full. Additionally, please note that fireworks are NOT permitted on any National Forest.

We continue to recommend that you not travel long distances to recreate and, again, check with your local National Forest before visiting. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time.  All visitors should practice self-sufficiency during your visits to national forests. Recreating responsibly will help ensure that expanded access to recreational facilities, services, and opportunities continues. Responsible recreation practices should be maintained at all times, including:

  • Research winter road conditions and make sure your vehicle is snow ready;
  • Maintaining at least six feet distancing from others;
  • Do not gather in groups and please follow the latest guidance from officials;
  • Communicate with others as you pass. Alert trail users of your presence and step aside to let others pass;
  • Pack out your trash and leave with everything you bring in and use; and
  • All services may not be available, so please plan accordingly.

The Forest Service manages 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists State and Private forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R5