May 26, 2012 (San Diego)– Camping in the southern California’s national forests can be a year-round endeavor, but for many people, the up-coming Memorial Day weekend is the time to air out the tents, dust off the hiking boots and load up on the makings for s ‘mores.
The school year is nearly over, and the days are warmer and longer, making it a perfect time to start reintroducing yourself and your family to the fun and excitement, and the calm and peacefulness of the Cleveland National Forest.
Most of the recreation sites on the Forest will be open for the Memorial Day weekend. “The forest is ready for the 2012 summer recreation season,” said Forest Supervisor, Will Metz. “We encourage people to enjoy the outdoors while camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing or a variety of other recreational activities on our forest.”
As always, forest officials encourage visitors to be aware of their surroundings and responsibilities when visiting the forest. “We want to everyone has a safe and enjoyable visit while always remaining aware of the current situation outdoors and the potential for wildfire, and call ahead to check the status of places you plan to visit,” said Supervisor Metz.
“Know Before You Go”
Campfires are only permitted at developed sites in the designated fire rings in campgrounds and picnic areas. Outside of developed sites, only propane or gas cooking stoves are permitted. Always call ahead to check on the current fire restrictions.
Campgrounds are popular for three-day weekend getaways, so reserving early is sometimes the key to success. Campground reservations can be made online through Reserve USA at: www.recreation.gov or by calling toll free 1-877-444-6777. The following campgrounds are not open – sorry for the inconvenience: Boulder Creek Campground on the Descanso Ranger District; Dripping Springs and Indian Flats Campgrounds on the Palomar Ranger District; and, Supper San Juan Campground on the Trabuco Ranger District.
Cedar Creek Falls access is limited to only the eastern trailhead along Eagle Peak Road. The trailhead at the end of Thornbush Road, and the trails from this location remain closed. If planning to hike to Cedar Creek Falls from the Eagle Peak access, please be aware this trail is for advanced hikers, is an arduous trek and considered a “difficult” 3.5 mile hike. It is not recommended for families with children, for elderly people or those that might be physically out of shape. Parking is limited and vehicles blocking county road access will be towed at the owner’s expense. Alcohol possession and/or use are prohibited in this area. The cliffs surrounding Cedar Creek Falls are closed to jumping and diving (swimming is allowed). Multiple law enforcement agencies will have officers patrolling and enforcing these rules.
For all other waterfalls, please contact the Ranger Stations to find out about current conditions at these waterfalls.
Open Office/Visitor’s Centers
The El Cariso Visitor’s Center will be open Friday through Monday from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm. The Laguna Mountain Visitor’s Center will be open and staffed by volunteers Friday through Monday during mid-day hours
Recreation Use Fees
The Forest Adventure Pass must be displayed on a visitor’s parked vehicle when recreating in Standard Amenity Fee Areas and certain developed sites like campgrounds and picnic areas. An on-line source of designated fee sites, areas and fee information is available on our new Forest Adventure Pass website at: www.fs.usda.gov/adventurepass
Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) users should call ahead to the Ranger Station to confirm their OHV plans and verify rules and regulations. OHV riding area maps are available on the Cleveland National Forest website.
For additional information about the Cleveland National Forest, please visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/cnf