Can it really be nearly 4.5 years since the Station Fire closed some of the most popular trails in the Angeles National Forest? Many have reopened, but still closed: the Strawberry Peak Trail, and the Colby Canyon Trail to Strawberry Peak and Josephine Peak.
After the fire decimated 160,000 acres in 2009, the following record rainy season finished off whatever was left, wiping out trails, roads and entire hillsides. Many trails have since reopened, with the help of volunteer workers and the forest service, but the popular trails to Strawberry Peak are still closed.
I was told a few weeks ago by the Angeles N.F. folks that despite the work done by the Sierra Club — which “adopted” the trail and helped with restoring it — bigger equipment still needs to be brought in to finish up the restoration. So now, they’re “looking at the beginning of summer” to reopen the paths to Strawberry Peak. Hmmm. I was told the same thing last year about this time, so we’ll see.
The Angeles N.F. posts a map on their website that shows the Station Fire burn area still closed (click on Alerts and Notices, then scroll down to Station Fire Recovery Area Closure Order for the map). For updates, you can also contact their L.A. River Ranger District office at 818-899-1900 and ask for Dennis, their trails coordinator.
Here’s hoping the trails to Strawberry — the highest peak in the front range of the San Gabriels and usually one of the most accessible — indeed opens by summer. Going on 5 years now.