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We hope to be back on the Mountain soon



May 5, 2020

Forest Service extends closure of most developed recreation sites in California through May 15

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, announced that most developed recreation sites will remain closed through May 15.

The order does not close trails, trailheads, and general forest areas; these areas remain accessible for public use.  Information on individual recreation sites and opportunities are available from local National Forests. The Cleveland National Forest does have several trail, trailhead, and limited area closures that will remain closed through May 15, for a complete list see below.

Outdoor recreation can be beneficial to mental and physical health but must be practiced safely. In light of the statewide shelter-in-place order issued by the Governor of California, we continue to ask visitors to recreate locally. 

If you do plan on visiting the National Forest please be aware that:

  • No trash removal is currently offered – please pack out all trash and waste

  • All toilet facilities are currently closed – please plan accordingly

  • Avoid high-risk activities – law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited

  • If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location

Closing any site for any reason is not an action we take lightly, but protecting our visitors and employees remains our highest priority. We are working with our state and local partners to determine the best path forward to safely reopen closed sites.

We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our national forests safe and healthy for everyone’s use.

Trailheads (restroom facilities are closed)

Descanso Ranger District

Noble Canyon Trailhead

Pine Creek Trailhead

Four Corners Staging Area

Palomar Ranger District

Fry Creek Trailhead

Observatory Trailhead  


Descanso Ranger District

Burnt Rancheria Campground

Laguna Campground

Boulder Oaks Campground

Cibbets Flat Campground

Corral Canyon OHV Area:

                Corral Canyon Campground

                Bobcat Meadows Campground

Wooded Hill Group Campground

El Prado Group Campground

Horse Heaven Group Campground               

Palomar Ranger District

Dripping Springs Campground

Fry Creek Campground

Indian Flats Campground

Indian Flats Group Campground

Oak Grove Campground

Observatory Campground

Trabuco Ranger District

El Cariso Campground

Blue Jay Campground

Falcon Group Campground

Wildomar Campground

Picnic areas & scenic vistas

Descanso Ranger District

Desert View Picnic Area

Pioneer Mail Picnic Area

Palomar Ranger District

Crestline Picnic Area

Henshaw Scenic Vista 

Palomar Mtn Interpretive Station

San Luis Rey Picnic Area

Kica Mik Overlook

Trabuco Ranger District

El Cariso North Picnic Area

El Cariso South Picnic Area

Wildomar OHV Staging

Access points to trails and roads impacted include:

Descanso Ranger District

Agua Dulce Trailhead

Horsethief Trailhead

Kernan Cycle Trailhead

Bear Valley Trailhead with Forest Road No. 16S12, Forest Road No. 16S15 & Forest Trail No. 802

Wooded Hills Road - Forest Road No. 15S10

Palomar Ranger District

Dripping Springs Trailhead

San Diego River Gorge Trailhead     

Three Sisters Trail & Trailhead

Eagle Peak Trail

Cedar Creek Trail

Cedar Creek Spur

Trabuco Ranger District

Hot Springs Trailhead  

Maple Springs Trailhead

San Juan Loop Trailhead

Tenaja Trailhead​​


March 24, 2020





Thank you for being flexible as the USDA works through how to best serve the public while also keeping our employees, volunteers, and partners healthy.  Things are rapidly changing daily and with outbreaks in San Diego increasing, the Cleveland National Forest is trying to be proactive to maintaining a safest working environment for our employees, partners & volunteers while also trying to provide continued public access & service.  As I receive updates, I will keep you updated as things progress.



Effective Monday , March 16th, we are no longer allowing visitors into USDA facilities who have not been screened and approved.  Visitors will not be granted permission into our facilities unless they have been cleared through our screening processes.  Every visitor to a USDA office or facility should be asked a set of three questions.  If any of the conditions apply, the visitor should not be allowed to enter our USDA offices and asked to return at an appropriate time or conduct a meeting virtually.  This gives our offices out in the field the flexibility they need to move toward more scheduled visits, to the extent possible, in order to safely interact with our customers and best serve them. 

See attached memo for additional guidance.



Effective Monday, March 16th, all USDA employees are encouraged to move in-person meetings, both with internal USDA employees and with external stakeholders, to virtual meetings. We take these steps while continuing to conduct the regular and ongoing work of USDA. To the extent possible, we encourage employees to work with our stakeholders to schedule necessary meetings by teleconference or videoconference. If a visitor has a mission-critical, essential, and time-sensitive reason to meet with an employee in person, these visitors must be screened and approved through the outlined process. See attached memo for additional guidance.



Effective Monday, March 16th, all USDA-controlled food service at USDA facilities will be closed to the general public and visitors. Buffet and self-service style food service will not permitted to continue at any USDA facility. Pre-packaged, ‘grab and go’ foods, vending items, and made-to order food service options may continue. All USDA-controlled food service at USDA facilities may remain open to USDA employees and USDA contractors only. See attached memo for additional guidance.



Thank you for your interest LMVA!  LMVA is a non-profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to assisting the Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest.



The village of Mt. Laguna was once the home of more than 3,000 people. Most of them worked for the Air Force at the base atop Stephenson Peak. The children were educated at the elementary school on Sunrise Highway. When the base closed, there were only about 300 citizens remaining. The school had only a few students. After a few years, the local school district determined that it was less costly to bus the students down the hill to Pine Valley than to maintain the school. The school closed and remained vacant for several years.
The Forest Service wanted to purchase the building for use as a volunteer headquarters but lacked the funding. The Trust for Public Lands stepped up, purchased the building, and dedicated it to the Forest Service. In 1995 the Forest Service approached LMVA about renovating the site, promising that LMVA would have primary occupancy through a Memorandum of Understanding. They even held a contest to name the facility. It was dubbed the Red-Tailed Roost, after the Red-Tailed Hawk.
LMVA responded with enthusiasm. Are first headquarters was a small building across the road from the Red Tail Roost,  We loved it, and had years of fun there.  We provided $100,000 in funding to pay for the removal of asbestos and to re-roof the building. Volunteers pitched in and helped remodel the interior, right down to the kitchen and main room floors. The Forest Service allowed us to remove the stained and warped wood from the lanes in the bowling alley on the Air Force Base, which was going to be demolished anyway. We enlisted the help of an inmate crew from Barratt Honor Camp to install and re-finish the floors, who charged us the whopping sum of 9 pizzas and all the soda they could drink. 
Our Volunteer Activity Center consists of a large meeting room, separate berthing facilities with about 20 beds, a fully equipped kitchen, and male and female bathrooms. With full showers.  There are three RV hook-ups in the parking lot outside (a nominal fee is charged for electricity on the honor system). LMVA members volunteering that day or the following day are welcome to use the center free of charge. It is requested that you leave it cleaner than you found it, and replace any consumables.



The Laguna Mountain Recreation Area is located about 60 miles east of San Diego, California.  It is atop Laguna Mountain at about 6,000 feet in elevation.  The Sunrise Highway snakes through the Rec Area, in places offering
stunning views of the desert floor far below.
The area is classified botanically as Pine/Oak Woodland.  It is part of the Peninsular Mountain Range, which extends south into Baja California.
A note on Adventure Passes:  The Adventure Pass program applies in High Impact Recreation Areas (HIRAs) such as parts of the Laguna Mountains.  A Day Pass ($5) or Annual Pass ($30) must be displayed on the dash of parked vehicles in certain areas.


Please contact for information

LMVA President

(619) 948-1130

Forest Service

(619) 445-6235


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