Wet winter forces delays and closures of Stanislaus Forest roads
After many years of drought, California got quite the winter this year. From the spectacular wildflower blooms to the rivers overflowing with snowmelt, there have been many positive outcomes from this wonderfully wet winter. Unfortunately, not every outcome has been positive; the network of roads that provides access for thousands of recreational visitors to the Stanislaus Forest each year was heavily impacted by this winter's rains. We will do our best to keep this page current and easy to understand, including maps created by CSERC staff intended to help you understand where closures are and whether or not you can reach your destination of choice!
Updated on May 8th, 2017.
Cottonwood Road Closure
The Mi - Wok Ranger District has determined that road 1N04, also called Cottonwood Road, has been severely damaged to the point that the road will remain closed until at least 2018. Roads passing through steep terrain in the Rim Fire footprint were especially hard hit by the rains due to the minimal canopy cover and little deep rooted vegetation to hold soil in place. The map below shows which stretch of Cottonwood Road is closed. Cottonwood Road is typically accessed out of the town of Tuolumne and connects visitors to Cherry Lake. Despite the closure, visitors can still access River Ranch Campground, but the very popular swimming hole "God's Bath" on the Clavey River, won't be accessible this year, and Cherry Lake will not be accessible from the Tuolumne side this year.
Summit Ranger District Road Closures & Delays
On top of actual road damage, the increased number of dead trees on the landscape mean more trees have fallen across roads than usual. In addition, large snow drifts further contribute to difficulties opening roads in the higher elevations of the Summit Ranger District. The map below reflects the current road conditions on the Summit District. Roads indicated in purple are roads that the forest has determined are so damaged that they are unlikely to reopen until at least 2018. If you had plans to visit the Beardsley Day Use area, you might reconsider those plans this year. Roads shown in red have had the typical seasonal closure extended from April 15th to June 15th this year. Anyone with ambitions of accessing trailheads off the Herring Creek Road or Eagle Meadow Road will need to delay plans for a few weeks at least. Access to Crabtree trailhead could open as soon as May 25th, or when the roads are clear of snow and down trees, indicated by the green line on the map.
Calaveras Ranger District Road Closures & Delays
There are five major forest roads on the Calaveras District that are not anticipated to open until 2018: Spicer, McKays, Board's Crossing, Slick Rock, and Candy Rock roads. Yes, this means that everything off Spicer Road will be inaccessible this year - Utica and Union reservoirs as well as Spicer itself. In addition to these major closures, the following is an extensive list of roads that have had the seasonal closure extended from April 15 to June 15th. (Please forgive CSERC staff for not mapping these closures for you!):
05N16X 06N13X 06N45 06N51Y 06N58 06N74Y 06N77 06N78 18EV298 19DC210 FR13172 08N01A 07N91Y 06N79 06N80 06N81 06N81Y 06N82 06N99X 07N02 18EV299 19EV110
19EV111 07N40Y 07N50Y 07N52 07N61Y 07N70 07N78Y 19EV112 FR14843 08N04 07N92Y 07N05Y 07N09 07N12Y 07N13Y 07N16X 07N20 07N21 07N23 18EV300 19EV113
FR13170 20EV100 08N02 08N06 18EV301 06N99Y 07N93 07N89Y 07N79Y 08N07 08N12 08N13 08N14 16DC421 16DC424 17EV485 18EV297 18EV303 FR11079 08N01 07N90Y 07N80Y
Groveland Ranger District Road Closures & Delays
The Groveland District has an extensive list of roads that are closed, primarily among the network of roads south of highway 120. The maps below show the roads in purple that are not anticipated to reopen until at least 2018. The most notable closure is that of 1N01 in various places, including the section that provides access to the Lower Clavey River and Jawbone Ridge, where the Rim Fire began. The South Fork Tuolumne River, Lumsden Campground area is also inaccessible this year.
We used the online mapping program CalTopo to make these maps, click here and you can explore the maps above in greater detail.
You can view the Stanislaus Forest webpage here. You can always call the district office for the area you wish to visit to be sure you will be able to get there.
Summit Ranger District - (209) 965 - 3434
Mi - Wok Ranger District - (209) 586 - 3234
Calaveras Ranger District - (209) 795 - 1381
Groveland Ranger District - (209) 962 - 7825
Not sure which district? Call the Supervisor's Office - (209) 532 - 3671
Get some ideas of great places to visit on the Stanislaus Forest on our Scenic Destinations page! Be safe, leave no trace, and enjoy!