Leaders: Jack Trager, Gordon Lindberg
This is actually a NO TRIP REPORT but the circumstances make it of interest.
On July 4, Louis Quirarte and party planned to do Thorn Point but found the Mutau Road from Lockwood Valley closed. Thankfully, he called me that evening and told me about the closure and that the road to San Emigdio was also closed due to fire hazard. I called the Frazier Park ranger station next morning and was informed that the entire area, roads as well as much of the Las Padres National Forest, had been closed for the week of July 2 to 9th because of fire danger and that re-opening on the 10th was uncertain. I asked about the alternate access to Lockwood via the Warner Ranch Road and got the impression that they didn't want us in the area at all.
Consequently, on Saturday Gordon and I drove to our meeting point at Sylmar. There were 9 individuals there and we suggested alternate outings at Ice House Canyon and La Cañada. On to Lockwood Valley where 3 more hikers were at the Mutau Road and aware of the situation.
Stopping at the Frazier Park Station on the way back we talked with a Ranger just returned from the Santa Barbara fire. He said that the whole Forest Service was a bit jumpy over the fires but that we must have mis-understood or the person we talked with had misunderstood us. He showed us a list of about a dozen roads closed but said others were open and in any event we were welcome to walk in anywhere except for wilderness areas. Had we realized this we could have, by adding a few miles, done one of the peaks!
On the way home we scouted the trail to Slide Mountain Lookout from the old Ridge Route below Pyramid Lake. It will make a fine addition to the Lower Peaks list with views of Frenchman Creek, Cobblestone and White and looking down on Pyramid Lake. Roundtrip about 7 miles up an old fire road and trail, 2200 feet of gain to a 4916' summit.
Stopping at the Oak Flat Ranger Station to look at topos, we talked with the man on duty who was very knowledgeable of the trails in the area and recommended a number of destinations and hikes. We told him how we happened to be there and what the Frazier Park ranger had told us. He expressed surprise and said he thought when an area was under fire closure it was closed not only to vehicles so I guess it depends on who you talk to but I suggest that in any similar situations it is well to call and get definite clearance for hikes.