Some Trails to Reopen in Santa Monica Mountains Following Fire

Detail of Rancho Sierra's trail map. View a PDF of it here. | Image: Courtesy National Park Service

Miles of pathways throughout the Santa Monica Mountains will reopen after full control of a wildfire that ripped through 24,000 acres earlier this month. The National Park Service said Circle X Ranch and parts of Rancho Sierra Vista will be open to hiking beginning Tuesday morning.

Trails west of Yerba Buena Road like Mishe Mokwa to the top of Sandstone Peak in Circle X were not touched by the Springs Fire, but were closed as a precaution shortly after it ignited May 2. They, including the Backbone Trail to the Point Mugu State Park boundary, will reopen without restrictions.

But that's not the case for all of them.

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"We know the public is anxious to return to their neighborhood national park," said David Szymanski, superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in a press release. "We're working as hard as we can to balance that enthusiasm with visitor safety and protection of our resources."

That balance can be found in the partial reopening at Rancho Sierra Vista, which was fully closed and suffered 800 acres of charred land. Park hours will be reduced to sunrise to sunset and only a mix of trails will open, like the one to Hidden Valley Overlook. (A detailed map can be seen here).

Also remaining closed are tens of thousands of acres in Point Mugu State Park, including the popular Sycamore and La Jolla canyons. Those, however, could reopen by May 23, said Craig Sap, State Parks Superintendent for the Angeles District. "It really gives us time to address isues we have," he noted, referencing downed trees, rock falls, and in the case of the Sycamore Canyon campground, electrical issues.

Already open state parkland include a number of beach areas that were closed during the fire: Leo Carillo, Thornhill Broome, Sycamore Cove, and Mugu.

More: How to Help the Santa Monica Mountains After The Springs Fire

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About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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