Road and Trail Conditions Updated 12/3/2018

Here is the status for the Sequoia National Forest surrounding the Lake Isabella Area

For Further information please contact the Sequoia Forest Service Kern River Ranger District at (760) 376-3781 or see their Forest Service website

Winter Road Closures

Due to recent snow the Forest Service has closed the following routes to prevent resource damage-

FH 90 , or 24S15, Rancheria Road 25S15, Sandy Creek Fire Road 24S07, Alder Creek Road 25S04, Saw Mill Road 26S03, Lower Basket Road 26S37, Cooks Peak Road 25S21.
Sherman Pass road 22S05 has 10 inches at 7500 ft. By North Meadow 4WD trail


Section of Sherman Pass Road Closing temporarily Fall of 2018

The Kern River Ranger District plans to temporarily close a section of the Sherman Pass Road (Forest Road No. 22S05), this fall, to through traffic. The closure is due to contracted road, culvert and bridge work east of Fish Creek Campground, September 10 through December 15, 2018.

The Sherman Pass Road (Forest Road No. 22S05), stretches west from the Upper Kern River and east to Highway 395, across the Kern Plateau. Contractors will remove an undersized pipe (culvert) and replace it with a bridge, requiring the excavation and removal of the road bed across both lanes.

Fish Creek Campground will remain open during the project – visitors will only be able to access Fish Creek campground from the west (Kernville) side of Sherman Pass.

To lessen the impacts, we ask forest visitors/users to call the Kernville or Blackrock Ranger Station, so we may assist you in getting to your destinations. (760) 376-3781

The Sherman Pass Road stretches west from the Upper Kern River and east to Highway 395.

The closure and bridge installation is planned for September 10 through December 15, 2018. The project site is just east of the Fish Creek campground.  

Contractors will be removing an undersized pipe (culvert) and replacing it with a bridge requiring the closure of both lanes.

Access to Fish Creek Campground is from the west (Mtn. 99 and Sherman Pass Road).  No further east than the campground.

Blackrock is accessible this same route.

If you are going to Kennedy Meadows, access will be off Hwy 395. The closure is just east of Fish Creek Campground.

However:  This cannot be called a detour as we do not maintain this road and it actually crosses a dry creek bed.

After  6:00 p.m. and before 6:00 a.m. the contractors will open a gate to Jackass/Albanita – north towards Smith and Powell/Monache and around to Blackrock. 

This is for high clearance vehicles.  Low clearance vehicles are not recommended nor are trailers as tree limbs pose a problem.  The road is rough.  It takes one hour to the Monache trailhead and 1 ½ hours to the Blackrock Station from this gate.

The gate and access will remain open during weekends – when contractors will not be working.

The following is a list of frequently asked questions:

  • Where will the Sherman Pass Road be closed and signed?
  • On the west side a sign is posted at the intersection of Mountain 99 and Sherman Pass (below Johnsondale Bridge), reading “WARNING - Road Closed 36 miles ahead at Fish Creek Campground – Sept. 10 - Dec. 15, 2018.”
  • On the east side a sign is posted near the South Fork Bridge/Forest Service boundary, reading “WARNING - Road Closed 9 miles ahead at Jackass Road (Forest Road No. 21S01), Sept. 10 – Dec. 15, 2018.”
  • The actual road closure is located just east of Fish Creek Campground to the intersection of the Sherman Pass Road and Jackass Road.
  • Are deer hunting zones being affected?
  • All hunting zones will remain accessible. However, hunters may need to familiarize themselves with the road closure area before their trip.  Depending on the area, some destinations may require additional driving time.
  • Will there still be access to the Inyo National Forest?
  • The public will be able to access the Inyo National Forest.  Monache and Powell Meadow will remain accessible, accessed through the west side of Sherman Pass Road and its junction with Mountain Road 99.
  • How will Smith Mountain area be accessed?
  • Access to Smith Mountain is through the west side of Sherman Pass (Kernville).  Access will be from the top down into Smith and exits will require using the same route.
  • Will there be other closures in the area? 
  • Jackass Road (Forest Road No. 21S01) and Smith Mountain Road (Forest Road No. 21S37) will be gated and closed to the public.
  • How will we provide Medical or Fire Emergency Response? 
  • All emergency traffic will respond as normal
  • Will Fish Creek Campground remain open to the public?

For more information, please call the Kernville Ranger Station, open 7-days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., (760) 376-3781, or the Blackrock Visitor Center open Thursday through Monday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., (559) 539-2607, extension 2275.


Peppermint Area Campground and Road Closures

ClosureThe Sequoia National Forest has just closed the popular Peppermint Camp and other nearby dispersed camps and roads per their Forest Order closure 0513-18-07.

However on a site visit the camping areas appeared pristine and the roads in great condition, so it is unclear what caused the Forest Service to close the area.

Read more background about this issue HERE

Bull Run Area Reopened

PORTERVILLE, Calif.8/13/18 — Contract work is nearing completion for hazard tree felling along Forest Road 23S16 North of Alta Sierra in the Sequoia National Forest; the road will be reopening tomorrow. A temporary, secondary road closures will be in place where necessary for public safety; while contractors continue to fell hazard trees, expect delays when visiting the area.

Hazard trees removed under contract are the result of both tree mortality and the 2016 Cedar Fire. The Cedar Fire affected about 30,000 acres on both the Western Divide and Kern River Ranger Districts. Hazard trees were felled along the more traveled roads within this footprint on both districts.

“Fire and beetle-killed trees are considered an imminent safety hazard along roads,” said Forest Supervisor Teresa Benson. “Felling hazardous trees will help provide for the safe and effective use of roads in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument.”

Fire restrictions are in effect across the Forest, limiting campfires to developed sites. Propane stoves are still allowed with a Campfire Permit. Permits can be obtained at any Forest Service, CALFIRE or Bureau of Land Management office, or

For up-to-date information, contact the nearest Forest Service office in Dunlap, Porterville, Springville, and Kernville or online at


There are thousands of dead trees left standing from the Cedar fire, which will be falling and could injure or kill people traveling on the road in the Bull Run area. In order to prevent this the Forest Service has hired a contractor to fall standing dead hazard trees along Portuguese Pass Road 24S15. The Forest Service has closed the areas from the Sand Shed at Alta Sierra back to Tobias Peak until November 30, 2018. This closure includes the Portuguese Pass Trail and Bull Run Trails. You can read the closure order HERE.

Stewards of the Sequoia support the hazard tree reduction project. As a matter of fact Stewards have been proactively falling hundreds of standing dead trees along the Portuguese Pass trail for two years now in order to prevent the Forest Service from closing that trail over the past two years due to safety concerns.

Free Wood Gathering Permits - In an effort to help remove excessive dead wood from the Sequoia the Forest Service has cut wood available and free wood cutting permits. Call (760) 376-3781 for more information

PORTERVILLE, Calif., July 28, 2017 – The Sequoia National Forest, which includes the Giant Sequoia National Monument, will continue to issue Free “Personal Use” Firewood Permits through November 30, 2017.  According to Forest Officials, the free permit may only be used on dead firewood material (without green leaves or needles) within the Sequoia National Forest.

To reduce the volume of debris laying on the ground, which creates a fire hazard, the Forest Service is offering free wood permits for the rest of the summer.  “As most people are aware, the combination of drought and insects have caused heavy tree mortality across the Forest,” said Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott.  “The personal use wood cutting program is one means for reducing the hazardous material on the ground, and we want to make that program as productive as possible.”

Forest Service scientists expect to see continued elevated levels of tree mortality during 2017 in dense forest stands, stands impacted by root diseases or other stress agents and in areas with higher levels of bark beetle activity.

Permits and location maps are available at the Hume Lake, Western Divide, Kernville Ranger stations, Lake Isabella Office and the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Porterville.

Most notable rules and regulations that apply to the Free Firewood Permits:

  • Permits are valid April 1, 2017 – November 30, 2017.
  • One permit issued per person, with a ten-cord limit this season.
  • Cutting with a chainsaw will only be permitted within 50 feet of the road
  • Cutting or removing redwood (Giant Sequoia) trees or downed redwood material is prohibited.
  • The wood collected is not for commercial use.
  • Only dead firewood material (without green leaves or needles) may be taken.
  • Cutting and loading of firewood are permitted only during daylight hours.
  • Individuals are required to maintain a product removal record each day per removal site.
  • Permittees removing forest firewood must be in possession of the permit during woodcutting.
  • A load receipt must be attached to the load before leaving the wood cutting site. 
  • A permit is not valid in campgrounds or areas posted closed to wood cutting unless authorized by the District Ranger in writing.
  • Do not cut trees that are marked with paint or wildlife tree tags.
  • Permits are only valid on the Sequoia National Forest, which includes the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
  • Standing dead trees (snags with no green showing in the crown) can be cut between JUNE 1 and OCTOBER 15. Provided they are no larger than 15 inches in diameter at ground level. Leave a stump height of less than 12 inches from the ground on the high side of a tree.
  • Hume Lake Ranger District allows cutting and removing fuelwood from the following campgrounds:  Princess, Hume Lake, Ten Mile, Buck Rock, and Eshom with a valid free use fuelwood permit, Monday through Thursday 8 am to 4 pm.
  • Standing dead oak trees may NOT be cut on the Hume Lake Ranger District.


For MORE information about Keyesville contact the BLM at (661) 391-6000

For MORE information about all other areas contact the Forest Service at (760) 376-3781


How We Help Keep Trails Open

Tree Clearing Fest

Stewards of the Sequoia volunteers clear hundreds of downed trees each year to help the Sequoia Forest Service keep the Kern Plateau trails open. Last year Stewards stepped up to clear almost 300 trees in order to get the trails open for motorized recreation.

Baillie Memorial
A Stewards of the Sequoia Trail Appreciation Crew

Why not put a day back into the trails you love.
Learn more about Stewards of the Sequoia Trail Appreciation Days

To Learn More about Stewards of the Sequoia see-
Who We Are












     Stewards of the Sequoia 2005

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