Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

General Palm Springs area.

Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

Postby tramtim1 » Wed Mar 01, 2023 2:00 pm

Mount San Jacinto State Park

×NOTICE - March. 1, 2023: Closure Notice Mt. San Jacinto State Park Backcountry

The backcountry has been closed effective immediately out of an abundance of caution, due to unprecedented snow fall.

Long Valley remains open at this time.

Hiking during icy conditions and winter weather can be very dangerous. Please recreate responsibly - - know your limitations and plan accordingly. Visit the park's social media for updates on the closure.

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Re: Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

Postby guest » Wed Mar 01, 2023 2:14 pm

Thanks Tim, I'm sure you guys have been working hard to even stay open with all this snow!

Can't really blame the park, considering how little experience many have in these conditions. I'd doubt many "snow trails" have been established, since all the trails are covered, and maybe even many junction signs.
If someone heads the wrong way, others may follow, or some may just become exhausted with the powered, cold, lost, etc. Bummer for those with the experience & fitness to handle it, must be beautiful in the back country.
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Re: Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

Postby halhiker » Tue Mar 07, 2023 3:30 pm

Was up at the Tram today and the ranger said the wilderness will be closed until at least the 13th. That’s bullshit. Many of us have waited for years, maybe decades for these conditions and now we’re shut out. So stupid.

If they are so worried about the inexperienced and inept they should shut the place down Memorial Day weekend because no one with experience or intelligence would be out there then.

It seems our public stewards are getting weak minded and overly cautious because I’ve been enjoying this wilderness for four decades and I cannot remember it ever being closed because the conditions were too good.
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Re: Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

Postby guest » Wed Mar 08, 2023 3:58 pm

Hey Hal, good to hear from you buddy. I have to agree that it seems more agencies and organizations are allowing the attorneys, (fear of liability) to control their decisions.
And some don't want to be put into a rescue situation, (especially if staff is thin).
I realize deep snow can make rescues tougher, but to close it to all, sucks. I'm sure they could put up a warning sign, (like the one at 1700 ft on Skyline), warning of the dangers, enforcing the permit process, etc.
The idea that we All need to be protected from the elements & ourselves, (with good or bad judgment), is over-stepping in most situations.

It does seem that there's more mindless people, many with little of no experience, being able to hop on the tram & into the back-country. I've run into more than a few relying on gps or online maps on their phones, with their head buried in their device.
But, that doesn't mean there aren't still many capable, common-sense thinkers that can handle these environs & come prepared to do so.
Maybe the SP could open Devil's Slide if it's not icy, that way, if your will to grind your way to Saddle Jct. ,you could enjoy these conditions.

Hope they open soon, although more rain, (snow only down around 9k ft. for the next system), so we'll see. scott
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Re: Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

Postby Ed » Wed Mar 08, 2023 4:12 pm

I tend to agree with warnings, not closures. There is often more danger when people can hike to a remote location in their low-cut hiking shoes, shorts and tank tops, then encounter banks of hard snow across the trail for which they are completely unprepared.
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Re: Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

Postby jfr » Wed Mar 08, 2023 7:20 pm

I tend to agree with Hal. Closing off everything is the new modus operandi for the parks these days, and I don't like it one bit.

I also find the timing to be a bit suspicious: March 1st is the date that the long distance PCT permits officially begin from the Mexican Border. 50 thru-hikers per day, all headed to Idyllwild and Big Bear.

What does that big sign say at Humber Park? "Hazardous Conditions" ahead. They've been warned. Enough said. Open the public forest to the public!
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Re: Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

Postby hiiker » Thu Mar 09, 2023 12:53 pm

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Re: Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

Postby Sally » Mon Mar 13, 2023 4:30 pm

As an avid hiker who is experienced in snow travel, I am extremely frustrated about the backcountry closures. It’s just ridiculous. When the snow is powdery and deep and not an avalanche risk, it is safer than when it becomes hard and icy because if you fall you don’t slide hundreds of feet down a slope. I hope after this closure ends they will not come up with another excuse to close the backcountry again.

I may have some selfish reasons to be disappointed because I bought an annual Tram pass and some new equipment that I’m eager to try out. But there other reasons to be angry. PCT hikers are being advised to skip the section that crosses the San Jacinto mountains altogether. It is possible to travel the San Jacintos safely with a few alternative routes to avoid the more dangerous sections. The businesses in town of Idyllwild are losing out on a huge source of business, and they are struggling already.

I hope this craziness ends soon!
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Re: Mount San Jacinto Backcountry CLOSED

Postby Ed » Wed Mar 15, 2023 12:04 pm

Closing the entire national forest seems particularly extreme. The Black Mountain Road, for example, can be good for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing when the snow level is low, and it is difficult to understand why it would be very dangerous.

I read this article in the Desert Sun on warnings to PCT hikers. Some of the geography seemed a bit off to me. And I am never sure whether the Desert Divide, which can be one of the most dangerous places, is considered to be part of the San Jacinto Mountains.
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