a lake surrounded by trees
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

You can find forests all over the world, but you can’t quite find the level of “wow” found in California’s endless national parks, from the Redwoods to Sequoia.

An outdoor trip to California is one of the greatest expeditions a traveler can take, but if you’re planning and end of summer trip, your trip may now be on hold.

California is closing all National Forest Parks for two weeks, as wildfires continue to ravage communities from Lake Tahoe to Southern California.

a mountain with snow on it
Yosemite will not be closed under the order. Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

California Closes All Forest Parks

For those hoping to chance it in a California forest over Labor Day weekend, amidst unpredictable fire conditions, that chance is now gone.

Well, if you were headed to a National Forest, and not just a National park. National Parks such as Yosemite or El Capitan Beach are not included in the closure, but may be restricted with other protocols. Forests closed in the order include…

  1. Angeles National Forest
  2. Cleveland National Forest
  3. Inyo National Forest
  4. Klamath National Forest
  5. Lassen National Forest
  6. Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
  7. Los Padres National Forest
  8. Mendocino National Forest
  9. Modoc National Forest
  10. Plumas National Forest
  11. Sequoia National Forest
  12. San Bernardino National Forest
  13. Shasta-Trinity National Forest
  14. Sierra National Forest
  15. Six Rivers National Forest
  16. Stanislaus National Forest
  17. Tahoe National Forest

California is closing all National Forests until the 17th of September to help curb raging wildfires. Authorities from the National Forest Service fear increased risk from added visitors, or new fires flaring up could tip the situation out of control, and have taken action swift action, closing parks overnight.

For travelers headed to California, it’s a somewhat expected result. Parks have been urging visitors to delay plans, despite the holiday weekend approaching. Still, many will now need to rearrange flights, deal with non-refundable hotel reservations and other woes of travel during the covid-19 pandemic and continued environmental crisis.

With unpredictable weather conditions expected to continue, rearranged trips may also need to be flexible, until the wildfire situation calms down. California’s outdoor adventures are second to none, but current conditions aren’t optimal, and likely won’t be for some time, as forests recover.

a bridge over a cliff with a body of water and hills
The coast of Northern California

If Travel Plans Need To Be Changed

Booking trips offering added flexibility is absolutely the way to go right now. Many airlines continue to offer credit vouchers with no “change fee” if your trip is messed up, which should mean most people can rebook for a later time, albeit not ideally.

Hotels continue to offer more flexible terms than usual, and paying rates which offer flexibility make more sense than ever, even if they’re a few bucks cheaper per night. Being able to cancel up until the day before travel is pretty priceless.

It’s not music to the ears of airlines or hotels, but bookings using points can be one of the best ways to travel at the moment. Airline seats booked with points can typically be cancelled up to 24 hours before flight, with all miles and money returned, minus a small fee, usually around $35.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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