UPDATE: On August 15, the Vivian Creek trail and the South Fork trails to San Gorgonio reopened for hiking! San Bernardino Peak remains closed for now.
On Friday, July 13th (cue ominous music), the Forest Service issued Closure Order #12-18-01. This order closes the entire San Gorgonio Wilderness “until the Valley Fire is declared out.” No camping or hiking in any of the closed area is allowed. The ranger station is cancelling permits for August and it looks like the area will be closed “indefinitely.”
The impacted area includes both San Bernardino and San Gorgonio peaks, which many of our SoCal challengers still needed to complete their challenge. This has happened before, and is an unfortunate reality during wildfire season.
The good news is that we've already defined alternate peaks, and you can still earn your place on the Finisher's List. Beginning today, if you complete and log the following peaks, you will be awarded the Finisher's Badge:
It's true that the mileage and the total vertical gain is less, but the intent of the challenge remains the same; providing six, great peak hikes that will challenge you and help prepare you for your next big adventure.
We are thankful for the brave firefighters who continue to work to extinguish the Valley Fire and keep people and property safe. We are hopeful that the trails in the San Gorgonio Wilderness will be reopened again when the danger has passed.
Stay safe out on the mountains, and happy trails!