Tips For Enjoying National Forests During Winter Season
Visitors to the Angeles National Forest should “Know Before You Go” by calling ahead about weather and road conditions during the winter months.
“We ask the public to use caution while visiting, to make sure they plan and prepare by becoming aware of forest conditions before they leave home,” said Thomas A. Contreras, Forest Supervisor of the Angeles.
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Visitors can call ahead to the following Ranger Stations:
- Los Angeles River Ranger District: (818) 899-1900
- San Gabriel River Ranger District: (626) 335-1251
- Santa Clara Mojave River Ranger District: (661) 296-9710
- Mt. Baldy Visitor Center: (909) 982-2829
- Big Pines Visitor Center: (760) 249-3504
- San Gabriel Gateway Visitor Center (626) 969-1012
If you are visiting the forest for the first time or you’re a longtime outdoors enthusiast, driving on mountain roads can be hazardous and requires your full attention.
Some Safety Tips:
- Check tires on your vehicle; worn tires make for longer stopping distance.
- Check and replace windshield wipers, if necessary.
- The first hour of rain can be the worst because oil is still on the roadway and mixed with rain, causing slick pavement.
- Always slow down when driving on rain-soaked highways.
- Give yourself extra time and distance to make safe stops.
- Hydroplaning typically occurs at speeds above 30 to 40 mph.
- Be cautious when driving empty pickup trucks. The rear drive wheels tend to put more power than necessary, and can lead to losing control.
For cold weather and snow conditions:
- Dress warmly and keep dry. Winter weather conditions can change without notice. An inadequately clothed person can get hypothermia (low internal body temperature), which can be dangerous or deadly.
- Bring along extra safety items such as extra clothing, shoes and socks, blankets, water, flashlights, maps, and a cell phone.
- Carry tire chains or traction devices. When installing, park in a safe location well off the roadway on flat ground. Never stop in traffic lanes.
- If you are involved in a traffic accident, try to immediately drive your vehicle to the roadside, but only if safe to do so. Getting the obstructing vehicles off the roadway may prevent the accident from getting worse. Immediately call 911, or ask other travelers to call 911 for you from the nearest phone.
- Park with caution; roads could ice up while you are enjoying the forest. Try to park facing downhill with your tires turned in. Park your vehicle in a safe location and do not double or triple park (blocking in others).
- Do not park in restricted or "No Parking" areas. These are posted for the safety of all travelers. Never park in front of closed gates. They may be needed for emergency access, and you could be cited or have your vehicle towed away.
- If you plan to travel in the back country, be "Avalanche Aware" – Learn the basics at the Forest Service National Avalanche Center; www.fsavalanche.org
- Be extremely careful when walking on ice-covered or slippery surfaces such as parking areas and trails and especially steep slopes. One slip could result in a serious injury.
- Stay away from ice covered lakes and streams. Falling through ice can be very dangerous and can result in drowning.
The Forest Adventure Pass must be displayed on a visitor’s parked vehicle when recreating in High Impact Recreation Areas and certain developed sites like campgrounds, snow play, and picnic areas.
For additional information, the Angeles website can be accessed by searching for the phrase “Angeles National Forest—Home”.