Answers to common questions regarding Forest Closure

Answers to common questions regarding Forest Closure

Are Inyo National Forest campgrounds
Yes, all campgrounds on the forest are closed.

Can I dispersed camp?
The forest closure prohibits dispersed
camping and closes forest roads.

Can I hike on trails?
Trails are included under the closure.
Can I fish, paddle, or boat on lakes?
Inyo National Forest lakes and streams are
closed under the order.

What if I am exiting a backpack?
The Inyo National Forest understands that
people have trips planned and vehicles staged.
This is not an emergency evacuation, but a
closure. People should make an expedient,
orderly, and safe completion of their hikes.
However, people who are planning hikes and
backpacks and are aware that they will enter a
closed area should change those plans.

Resupply requests are handled on a case-by-
case basis.

Wilderness permits:
Any wilderness permit that originates on the
Inyo is being cancelled through September 17th

Can I travel to places like Mammoth Lakes
or June Lake Loop, Aspendell, etc.?
County and State roads and routes are open
and not jurisdictionally affected by this order.
Additionally, these towns are people’s homes
and communities, and they need access to
them. However, special use events that use
these roads and which pass through InyoNational Forest lands would not be permitted
during the closure.

Are National Parks closed?
Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and
Death Valley National Parks remain open. The
Devils Postpile National Monument closed
under an order that mirrors the forest closure.

Are Bureau of Land Management Lands
Bureau of Land Management lands are
currently open, including their campgrounds,
with fire restrictions.
Inyo County Campgrounds are currently
open with fire restrictions.

Are Los Angeles Department of Water and
Power Lands (LADWP) open?
LADWP lands rare currently open. As a
reminder, camping and fires are never
permitted/allowed on LADWP land.
It is important to have a good map of the area
to identify public lands by jurisdiction
The Visitor Interactive Map may also help you
identify jurisdictional boundaries.

I have an AIRBNB in Mammoth, June Lake,
Bishop, etc.? Can I still come?
The closure does not affect hotels or other
rentals on private land. However, visitors
should understand that many of the activities
that they would normally plan in and around
these communities that are on forest land will
be affected by the closure.

Are there exemptions for forest
permittees who are providing certain
services, recreation residents, and
other special use permitted
Persons with Forest Service Permit No.
FS-7700-48 (Permit for Use of Roads,
Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation
or Order) may be exempted from this
order. Permittees should work with their
District Ranger for these exemptions.

Can I ride a bike, walk on the Lakes Basin
Visitors and residents may ride their bikes or
walk on the Town of Mammoth Lakes paved
multi-use path up to the Twin Lakes gate.
Hiking trails and dirt bike trails are closed
Hayden Cabin is closed.

Shady Rest Park:
Is open per an exemption granted to the Town
of Mammoth Lakes

Does this closure apply to locals?
The closure is for all use on the forest and
there are not exceptions for locals.

Can you bike on the roads, Pine Creek,
Bishop Creek, Rock Creek, Devil Postpile,
County roads and State routes are not affected
by the closure, Devils Postpile Road after Hwy
203 is a forest road and would be included in
the closure.

Is the Humboldt -Toiyabe National Forest
Please check this link:

Is Earthquake Fault closed?


ESTA operations:
With the Closure of Inyo National Forest, the
following service modifications are effective
starting tomorrow, September 1:
Reds Meadow Shuttle – No entrance to the
valley. Twice a day a shuttle will sweep the
valley for hikers exiting the trailhead. At The
Reds Meadow Resort, 12pm and 5pm. This
schedule will be posted at the bus stops. This
modified service will run through Labor Day
unless deemed necessary to continue.
Lakes Basin Trolley – No entrance to the
Lakes Basin. Through Labor Day, a shuttle will
be stationed at the Twin Lakes gate from 9am
to 5pm to evacuate hikers.
Bishop Creek Shuttle – No entrance. Exit only
through Labor Day.
The forest will allow for exceptions with forest
entry for people with legitimate needs such as
recovering vehicles and work-related matters.
Refunds for online Reds Meadow Shuttle
reservations will be processed ASAP by
Mammoth Mountain Resorts.

14 Responses to Answers to common questions regarding Forest Closure

  1. Adam Richman September 7, 2021 at 7:57 pm #

    Regarding potential road closures, did you know that Rock Creek Road has another name, Forest Service Highway 12…

  2. sugarmags September 7, 2021 at 11:10 am #

    I understand the USFS is trying to reduce fire risk during this time when resources are thin and I support that. But they continue to crap on us locals. Can they not consider us then they do these closures? Seriously, we live here to recreate in the forest. All summer long, town is so inundated with tourists now (since covid) that our ability to recreate in the forest has been seriously impacted.
    September represents the Locals opportunity to recreate and now twice in 2 years, those best weeks are being taken from us.
    We don’t have yards, the forest is my backyard, it’s where I walk my dog. Can the USFS not come up with a way to reduce fire risk yet still allow certain day use activities that are unlikely to cause fire????
    Instead of painting with such a wide brush. Please, quit crapping on us!! We should count too!

  3. sugarmags September 7, 2021 at 11:06 am #

    The town operates the bike trail in the Lakes Basin under permit, same as they operate the bike trail partially on USFS property closer to town. Why is the Lakes Basin trail being treated differently than the other parts of the town trail on USFS land? Seems arbitrary and against the order the Forest issued. Can Sierra Wave follow up on this?

    • Deborah Murphy September 7, 2021 at 3:56 pm #

      Sierra Wave checked with the INF’s Public Affairs Specialist, Deb Schweizer. Here’s her explanation:
      The District Ranger granted the town an exemption for the multiple use trail system, but not that portion of the trail within the Lakes Basin. This was to reduce the amount of people within the Lakes Basin area, meeting the intent of the forest closure area of reducing people on NFS lands. The exemption for the remaining portion of the trail system was so local residents and visitors could enjoy these paths and travel around town, but not within areas that would lend themselves to recreate on NFS lands, such as the Lakes Basin area.

  4. Indy the Adventurer September 4, 2021 at 9:17 pm #

    This all just sucks. As a returning, respectful fisherman, camper to the area for over 30 years, I can understand the closures however, the fires arent even near Bishop. The poor actions of many illegal campers affects us all. I believe the Forest Service and other government entities need to reevaluate
    how they “manage” the forests. Not letting it burn for decades doesnt work. I may have to expand my camping/fishing adventures/ therapy to more level thinking states. Hopefully for the sake of the local families/businesses they can stay in business.

  5. Masked Locals September 3, 2021 at 7:19 am #

    This is so simple. Fires cost the federal government money, National Parks bring money in. Just how much do they care about a county of 18,000 people when that many people a day or more use/drive through Yosemite? Nada. This isn’t about us or politics. It’s money. It’s money just to drive through Yosemite on hwy 120. So no, they won’t be responsive to questions or if we starve to death, because there simply aren’t enough of us to be anything more than an irritant at the local level, which isn’t worth enough money to get anybody’s attention. And no, they’re not going to hire anybody to check IDs at some gate to see if you’re local or not. Well, not until they can figure out a way to start charging a day use fee for our National Forests. (dogs will cost extra per dog)

  6. gary September 3, 2021 at 7:14 am #

    Yosemite and Sequoia national parks are open because they followed the science and used their limited funds proactively reducing fuel loads. Region 5 of the Forest Service under the leadership of Randy Moore has done the opposite, focusing their limited resources reactively on fire suppression. Moore’s decision is 100% political, there is no science that supports his suppression strategy. There are large areas abutting Mammoth where a majority of trees are dead. These areas have not burned in 50+ years and when they do it will be a high intensity mega fire that likely cannot be controlled. The Inyo NF should be out in the field removing this excess fuel. Instead, they are telling the owners of this land that they so mismanaged that it is now too dangerous to enter.

    I’m not aware of any significant fires started in wilderness areas of the Inyo by campfires or recreationists ever. There is NO rational reason to close them except for power and control.

  7. BobK September 2, 2021 at 8:48 pm #

    It is not “all of California” Yes it is all of region 5 but North of Conway Summit is in Toiyabe National Forest and that is still open, even with the very large fire around Topaz this June. You can down vote this all you want, but these are the facts,.

    • M. Anderson September 3, 2021 at 8:18 pm #

      Open for day hikes, not for camping.

  8. John September 2, 2021 at 8:35 am #

    I didn’t see answers to these questions so…Why didn’t the INF supervisor include the community of Lone Pine in the discussion to close the Whitney Portal? The Inyo County Board of Supervisors should have been included in the discussion. The INF allows Mammoth to keep that large campground open and no exemptions for the other city’s in the Owens Valley. Why aren’t there exemptions for the other towns as well? Also, is the INF going to just keep extending this closure like they did last year? I recall when the DFG shut down the fishing opener this year and now the INF shuts down fishing before Labor Day in the INF. Hard to believe. (Fishing season closes in November INF btw). Here’s a compromise…allow day use and perhaps allow more campgrounds to be open. Not just Mammoths campground. Yeah, I agree the USFS and INF need to change policy and tactics to address the fuel load and understory in the forest. If this closure is so necessary why isn’t the Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon NP closed too? And of course we all care about our firefighters and public safety officers but we have to support the local community’s that serve the public needs too. This closure hurts the economy which contributes $ for public safety and services, etc. One size does not fit all and communication with adjacent communities is important. We’re all in this together.

    • Pine September 2, 2021 at 12:51 pm #

      The Forest Service is a federal entity- they don’t need local approval, whether that’s a town or county. This is also a regional closure (all of California, or Region 5), so it doesn’t matter what INF think of the mandate, they have to shut it all down no matter what.
      As for the National Parks, they are far more regulated, actually make money off day users, and there is no dispersed camping allowed on NPS lands.
      I absolutely agree this hurts tourism, and it hurts me too. I had plans on the forest this weekend, but I guess I’ll find something else to do. Plenty of other public land to explore here.

      • John September 2, 2021 at 5:13 pm #

        It clearly evident that a large part of the Inyo National Forest resides in Inyo County and as such has to follow Inyo County laws, codes and regulations. Many county services provide help and guidance to the INF and USFS. Also, if they have electricity or propane that’s covered under the county’s franchise agreements or business license agreements and codes with Inyo County. USFS has many offices and buildings, assets all over Inyo County, not just on federal lands and call on the county sheriff and other county assets if needed. Federal, State, County entities and Cities are connected. Been on a county road in the INF before? The Inyo County Road Dept. maintains roads that lead into the forest and go past the forest boundary and into the forest in many places. Check it out, the Whitney Portal Road is an 60’ public right-away easement that’s paved and owned (maintained) by Inyo County. You still think we’re not connected? Horseshoe Meadow Rd. is another county road that goes into the forest.
        If you’re lost or injured in the INF the Inyo County volunteer search and rescue is here to help. The Inyo County Sheriff has a helicopter they use sometimes for search and rescue. And the state CHP and others will help with a helicopter too if needed. Also injured parties might be evaluated at NIH for their injuries. Yes, we are all very connected. Wouldn’t it be great if we all could work together?
        So to infer that the INF doesn’t need to interact or have any discussion with communities and county officials is shortsighted. I believe its vital to have open discussions no matter the outcome (pro or con) and is much needed in times like these.

        Thank you

        • Tourbillon September 3, 2021 at 9:23 am #

          Here’s a question I want an answer to: do you, Forest Service, intend to kick us around every year unto the sounding of the final trumpet, kind of like making us partially disrobe for the “privilege” of flying forever and ever?

          It’s really limitless how much you bureaucrats can and will do to us, our families, our dignity, and our lives under the pretext of “safety”. Please know that this will end, and the end is coming far sooner than the sounding of the final trumpet.

    • Charles O. Jones September 2, 2021 at 2:36 pm #

      National Parks: US Department of Interior
      National Forests: US Department of Agriculture

      Left and right hand in DC apparently don’t see things the same way, or maybe they haven’t even talked about it????? Wouldn’t be the first time.


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