Inyo National Forest Partial Re-opening | Some closures still in effect

INF Press Release – Date: October 2, 2020

The Inyo National Forest announces a partial re-opening of the forest on October 3.

Open: Wildernesses in the Inyo Mountains and the White Mountains, front country dispersed areas throughout the forest, developed sites, resorts, and recreation resident cabins.

Developed recreation campgrounds will re-open. However, many campgrounds will remain closed due to end of season operations or because they are within closed areas.

Open campgrounds:
Aspen, Lower Lee Vining, Hartley Springs, Glass Creek, Big Springs, Oh Ridge, Twin Lakes, Silver Lake, New Shady Rest, Convict, French Camp, Four Jeffery, Sabrina, Bitterbrush, Upper Sage, Lone Pine, and Whitney Portal.


  • Inyo National Forest within Madera County remains closed. The most common destinations are Reds Meadow Valley and the Devils Postpile National Monument. This area remains closed due to the Creek Fire to the west.
  • Forest Closure 05-04-51-20-17 remains in effect and closes areas, including Monache Meadows, due to the SQF Complex (Castle Fire).
  • Forest order 05-04-54-20-15 remains in effect and includes Navy Beach and the South Tufa Area.
  • The Inyo portions of the South Sierra, Golden Trout, John Muir, Ansel Adams, Owens River Headwaters, and Hoover Wilderness Areas remain closed through December 1, 2020.This closure may be rescinded or extended as needed. Many of the Inyo’s trail networks lead into active fire areas that are closed and that are managing complex and difficult fires.

Fire restrictions are in effect.

Propane and gas stove use are now permitted in developed recreation sites in National Forests in California. Developed recreation sites are defined as areas that have been improved or developed for recreation such as campgrounds and day use sites.

Woodcutting – With a valid woodcutting permit, firewood may be cut as long as it is in a permitted collection area that is open.

Visitors to the Eastern Sierra should expect smoky conditions from various fires throughout the region.

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12 Responses to Inyo National Forest Partial Re-opening | Some closures still in effect

  1. sugarmags October 5, 2020 at 9:01 am #

    This partial closure is the worst. They are allowing the highest risk activities, camping by thousands of flat landers who aren’t all very careful, while limiting the lower risk activities of hiking and backpacking. I thought they were considering no camping for the rest of the year, but opening for day use. That makes much more sense. And they should still issue wilderness permits, with exception of the areas directly in the fires path.

  2. Ian October 4, 2020 at 10:23 pm #

    The Inyo NF should only close specific Wilderness trails that are close to active fire areas. This is what Yosemite NP is doing.

    Bypass the Inyo National Forest employees. Call Congressman Paul Cook’s office directly and voice your opinion on this.

  3. Russ Monroe October 4, 2020 at 10:38 am #

    The headline is not truthful. The Inyo National Forrest does not have the personnel to accomplish the “closure”. Traffic on the access in front of our house is as heavy as it has been in years past. It did get much worse during the “closure” of the parks and BLM lands.
    The facts are; the air quality has been very dangerous and changes in minutes. On Labor day, we awoke to 1/4 mile visibility that slowly deteriorated to an orange glow that was not breathable. At 1:45 in the afternoon the orange turned to black. It was so dark that we had to turn on lights in the house. The black air was extremely high in carbon dioxide and the oxygen level was lower. Highly acidic ash fell for two hours making it impossible to keep ones eye’s open much less breathe. This last week had two days with 80 mile plus visibility but today it was back to 1/2 mile. If you chose to express your opinion about your freedom to exercise your rights, you should give strong consideration to the risk to the lives of the people that would be called on to “save” you from yourself. You have the right to walk into the smoke and even the fire. You should not have the right to make other people risk their lives and health because you want to put yourself at risk.

  4. Drew October 3, 2020 at 4:26 pm #

    Yosemite NP is open, Sequoia/Kings Canyon NPs are open and all 11 National Forests in northern CA are open. Yet all of the Inyo NF wilderness in the Sierras is closed, including huge swaths of terrain that is north of or adjacent to the fully-open Sequoia/Kings Canyon NPs. This closure is despite the fact that the Inyo wilderness in the Sierras is largely high elevation terrain that is rocky and mountainous with little or no tree cover and little chance of forest fire. The closed Inyo wilderness is not under credible threat from existing fire and communities in surrounding areas either never evacuated or have returned home. While the risk of starting a new fire may be high, there is always risk of fire in dry months in CA and this is not a good reason to ban people from using the wilderness. It is also hypocritical to allow commercial operators (who were never subject to the ban) and front country camping and recreating while banning use of the wilderness. Surely a person is more likely to start a serious fire in the lower elevation, forested front country while using a (now allowed) open flame than they are in the wilderness (where stoves are campfires are currently banned across CA). I think the Covid-19 closures set a dangerous precedent that the NF administrators think they can close our forest lands to public use whenever they want for as long as they want without any accountability to the public. I suppose this will be the standard operating practice going forward unless we demand otherwise.

    • mammothite October 3, 2020 at 6:43 pm #

      this is the power of un ELECTED officials

  5. Julie October 3, 2020 at 3:04 pm #

    Are the lakes open to fish? You have the campground open, I understand not having the hiking trails, but how about the lakes?

  6. Mike Warpack October 3, 2020 at 10:50 am #

    The overlords have decreed that “many of Inyo’s trail networks lead into active fire areas” so ALL TRAILS must remain closed to the public. They recognize no obligation to identify and open trail systems that don’t lead into the affected areas. Why is Big Pine Canyon closed? Sabrina Basin? This is a troubling precedent.

  7. Standup October 3, 2020 at 9:00 am #

    Write to the regional supervisor Randy Moore ([email protected]), write to acting inyo supervisor john pancho smith ([email protected]), write to your senator…Randy Moore regional supervisor is covering his a$$ for not doing anything all summer. The fires were burning already and the record heat wave for labor day was documented and well known a min week before. The FS did nothing to mitigate this risk of fire all season, especially for the creek fire. Very lax with fire enforcement all season. They continued as business as usual catering to tourists, instead of protecting the local communities that live in these communities and partner with them. They had no presence out there at all and our areas got trashed with no services. The forest policy was to avoid public contact since they were in low stage for ppe for their staff. The poor leadership during these times really shows the character of the people on top. Time for change ! We need someone who cares for the eastern sierra in the regional office and at the local level. Doing nothing and hiding is not an answer. They collect normal salaries and do less than a normal year while our communities suffer because of their decisions. I agree with both comments, these orders are completely ridiculous.

    • sugarmags October 5, 2020 at 8:58 am #

      while I don’t agree with the partial closure, your statement is full of inaccuracies. For one, the creek fire is not in Inyo NF…and the cause has yet to be determined. Locally, USFS has been doing massive fuel reduction projects for 30 year or more. As much as funding allows. This fire, in the middle of thousands of acres of forest, was never going to have fuel reduction done, such as they’ve done in the lakes basin and along the scenic loop etc. I cannot fault the USFS for focusing on areas with more human interaction, makes perfect sense. What is the solution for large swaths of dead trees from the bark beetle? There’s no marketable timber in our area, the only solution has been to let fires burn, which they’ve done for years, but now it’s too dry. The fires get to big…from climate change, which is also what allowed the bark beetle to thrive.

      • Pine October 6, 2020 at 1:21 pm #

        I agree with what you have to say, but ultimately the root cause of our dire conditions and dead trees are from fire suppression and drought. Bark beetle death is the culmination of these factors, and only the tip of the iceberg. In a ‘normal’ forest, bark beetles are a key component of a healthy ecosystem. But due to large amounts of trees resultant from fire suppression, and increased water scarcity, we are left with the forests we have now which are incredibly prone to disease and insect infestation, and ultimately fire.

  8. Somer October 3, 2020 at 6:36 am #

    I get what is still closed, but what they haven’t specified is whether the Inyo forest is open on the Sierra side of the valley. For example Baxter pass in independence, or any inyo national forest boundaries out of lone pine on west side

  9. erik simpson October 2, 2020 at 3:31 pm #

    Many of the trails in the John Muir Wilderness don’t go anywhere near fires. This is an unreasonable and injudicious closure. Waiting until December means no opening at all.


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