What the ESA Sign Means For Trail Users

I took some family and friends on a hike today.  The original plan was to travel the Silver Moccasin Trail from Angeles Crest Highway to the San Gabriel River (which I wrote about in my last post).  However, there was a newly posted ESA (Environmentally Sensitive Area) sign stating “No Entrance Permitted.”

It’s location (a few feet left of the trailhead) made the meaning a little vague–at least for me and those I was with.  If the sign was posted in the trail itself, I would have seen it as clear that the trail was off limits.  If it was further away, I would have seen it as clear that it did not apply to the trail.

In part because I know of numerous other trails close by, we decided to accept the “no entrance permitted” interpretation and hiked elsewhere.

After our hike I stopped by the Clear Creek Information Center to get an official interpretation.  It turns out that the sign only applies to areas off the trail.  So, the trail is open, one just needs to stay on it.

I also learned that the Angeles Forest website in not kept up to date.  For those who want current information regarding trail closures etc, the ranger suggested calling.  Phone numbers are on their website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/angeles under “contact information” in the left box area.

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