Road and Trail Conditions

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 and campground closures on Sequoia National Forest, Kern River Ranger District

Kernville, CA, November 20, 2015 – The Sequoia National Forest’s Kern River Ranger District has begun closing many of the high-elevation Forest System roads due to recent snow. These roads will remain closed through the winter and will re-open in the spring, once all snow has melted.

Lower Kern River: Black Gulch South, Hobo Campground, Lower Richbar Day Use, and Live Oak Day Use sites are closed for the season. Sandy Flat Campground will remain open until Nov. 30. Upper Richbar Day Use will remain open through the winter. Democrat Day Use and Delonegha Day Use areas will stay open through the winter, and they offer river access, picnic tables and restrooms.

Lake Isabella: Hungry Gulch, Boulder Gulch, and Camp 9 have been closed for the season. Tillie Creek Campground will close Nov. 30. Paradise Cove will close November 30. Auxiliary Dam, Old Isabella, and South Fork Recreation sites will stay open through the winter and may be enjoyed with the purchase of an Interagency Pass or a Southern Sierra Pass. Obtain a Southern Sierra Pass at Golden State Surplus, Sierra Gateway Market in Southlake, Red’s Kern Valley Marina (re-opening soon), or the Forest Service offices at Kernville or Lake Isabella. Passes may also be obtained online at under the “Passes and Permits” section. French Gulch Group Campground and Pioneer Point Campground will remain open throughout the winter. Reservations for these sites may be made by visiting Free camping is available at Hanning Flat and Stine Cove. Each of these sites has a 14 day stay-limit and limited amenities. Please plan to pack out your trash.

Upper Kern River: The following campgrounds have been closed for the season: Camp 3, Hospital Flat, Goldledge, Limestone, Thunderbird Group Campground. Fairview Campground will close Nov. 30. Headquarters Campground and Halfway Group Campground will remain open throughout the winter. Reservations for Headquarters and Halfway may be made by visiting Additionally, all of the undeveloped camping areas on the Upper Kern will remain open during the winter season. These sites are: Chico Flat, Corral Creek, Springhill, Old Goldledge, Ant Canyon, Chamise Flat, Calkins Flat and Brush Creek. Limited amenities are provided in these sites during the winter so please plan to pack out your trash and properly dispose of waste.

Greenhorn Mountains: Highway 155 will remain open as conditions allow. Rancheria Road’s southeastern and northwestern gates will be closed once snow makes the road impassable. Forest Highway 90 going north from the Greenhorn Summit is closed for the season.

Piute Mountains and Breckenridge: Gates to Forest roads in these areas will not be shut until Nov. 30 to allow access to woodcutting. However, both areas have been impacted by snow, so visitors are asked to be very cautious and prepared to turn around when they reach snow.

Kern Plateau: Sherman Pass will remain open to the snow-level for snowmobile access through the winter. Although J41 will not be closed going from Highway 395 to Kennedy Meadows, drivers need to exercise extreme caution since snow drifts and ice can make this a treacherous drive in the winter. Snow has closed Fish Creek and Troy Meadows Campgrounds for the season.

Western Divide Ranger District: Roads between Johnsondale, Ponderosa, and California Hot Springs are now closed. Tulare County Roads Department has put in place normal seasonal road closures for Parker Pass, Western Divide Highway, and Mountain 99 north of Johnsondale. Forest Highway 90 going south from Portuguese Pass has also been closed for the season. Although Lloyd Meadow Road is currently open, it already has at least a foot of snow in places and will be closed soon for the season.

Be prepared for winter conditions! Please check with a Forest Service office for current conditions - call the Kernville office at (760) 376-3781 and the Lake Isabella office at (760) 379-5646. Both offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Check the weather and ensure you have the proper winter gear, extra blankets, tire chains and other equipment before venturing into the mountains during winter-time. For more tips on winter driving, visit


Stewards of the Sequoia volunteers clear hundreds of downed trees each year to help the Sequoia Forest Service keep the Kern Plateau trails open, but we draw the line at shoveling miles of snow. The Plateau trails are closed to off road vehicles for the seasons due to snow and the area is open to snowmobiling.

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