Now that the 24,000-acre Springs Fire is officially controlled, the National Park Service has announced it will re-open some trails on the western side of the Santa Monica Mountains on Tuesday morning, May 14th, with restrictions.
Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park will partially re-open, but some trails will remain off-limits and the park will close from sunset to sunrise. Due to ongoing safety concerns and trail damage, visitors will not be able to travel into Sycamore Canyon, but will be able to reach the overlook at the boundary with Point Mugu State Park.
The Sandstone Peak and Mishe Mokwa trailheads will also re-open, as will the Backbone Trail east of the Point Mugu State Park boundary. California State Parks land sustained severe fire damage and all backcountry trails in the area remain closed.
According to the NPS map, the public will not initially be able to access the windmill trail in Rancho Sierra Vista or Danielson Road trail to the Waterfall and Danielson Monument.
"We know the public is anxious to return to their neighborhood national park," said David Szymanski, superintendent of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. "We're working as hard as we can to balance that enthusiasm with visitor safety and protection of our natural and cultural resources."
Visitors are encouraged to help nature recover from the fire by respecting trail closures and staying on the trail in areas that are open. Foot and bike traffic tramples sensitive soil, vegetation, burrows and nests.
Park officials estimate 70% of Rancho Sierra Vista's 1170 acres burned during the fire, though the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center and all other structures were protected. More information is available at 805-370-2301.
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park System, it comprises a seamless network of local, state, and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/samo.