Home » Bass Lake » 4th of July Holiday Safety in the Sierra National Forest
Image of a campground at sunrise.
We anticipate that Independence Day 2023 will be a very busy one in the SNF, and we would like all visitors to be prepared before you head out to the forest this holiday weekend. Read on for more information!

4th of July Holiday Safety in the Sierra National Forest

MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — Will you be celebrating our nation’s independence over the 4th of July holiday weekend with a visit to the Sierra National Forest (SNF)? Activities such as camping, backpacking, fishing, picnicking and so many more in the great outdoors, are available for you in the SNF!

Image of the United States Forest Service logo. Due to tremendous efforts by Forest Service, contractor, and volunteer personnel and in spite of a record setting winter a remarkable 95% of the SNF is open to the public! If your top choice is not available, there are numerous alternatives to meet your recreational needs. The SNF is very much OPEN for your enjoyment.

Some tips to recreate and enjoy the forest responsibly and safely
  • The Forest Staff would like to remind visitors that while campfire restrictions are not currently in effect in the SNF, responsible campfire use is critical to all our safety, and the preservation of the forest. Fire permits are required, so please ensure the campfire is thoroughly extinguished before departing. Forest visitors are also able to use pressurized liquid or gas devices (stoves, grills, lanterns, or rings) that produce a flame with shut-off valves, in areas at least three feet from any flammable materials with a valid campfire permit. To obtain your campfire permit, please visit one of the district offices, or online at www.preventwildfireca.org.
  • The use of fireworks is strictly prohibited in the Sierra National Forest. Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited on national forest lands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Forest Service Fire Prevention and law enforcement patrols will check campsites and strictly enforce the prohibition on fireworks. Violators may be cited, and fireworks confiscated. You can and will be held liable for the cost of fire suppression and damages caused by any wildfire that starts through campfire and/or fireworks negligence.
  • Pack out your trash and leave with what you brought in.

The SNF has very popular and easily accessible lakes, where visitors enjoy a variety of watersports and swimming. As inviting as the water seems on a hot day it can be very dangerous. Be cautious any time you or your family are near lakes, rivers and streams.

Image of people outside at night.

Image by Joshua Woroniecki.

Some tips for recreating in or around water safely and responsibly
  • Inquire about swimming regulations. At some recreation sites swimming is not recommended or may even be prohibited. Follow “No Swimming” signs.
  • Where allowed, choose swimming areas carefully. Often hazards are not visible in what may seem like a good place to swim or wade.  The water can also be much colder and moving more swiftly than it appears. Rocks in or adjacent to water bodies can be extremely slippery, so please have appropriate footwear and select your steps carefully.
  • Wear a properly fitting personal floatation device (life jacket) for all water activities, especially boating.
  • When boating be sure to follow the established rules of the waterways. Do not mix alcohol and boating together.
  • Keep a close watch on children even if they are far from the water. Water safety for children is especially important as they can quickly enter the water when your attention is diverted for only a moment.
  • For more tips on swimming safely in rivers, lakes and streams, please click here.
Image of tents outside at night.

Image of Kanenori.

As a reminder our forest roads were severely hit by last year’s winter storms. The Forest Service is still working to repair and restore access into portions of the forest that were hit the hardest, and some roads are still inaccessible due to snow. Please use extra caution when driving through forest roads. This season not only do you have to be mindful of wildlife unexpectedly crossing roads but you also need to watch out for hazardous road conditions. There is still plenty of snow on some higher elevation roads that can cause roads to become single lane due to snow drifts encroaching on the road. Please exercise extreme caution when going around blind curves.

Now that many more roads are open and accessible there is plenty of opportunity for dispersed camping. SNF is pleased to announce that the following developed recreation opportunities are now available for your enjoyment.

Bass Lake Ranger District

Developed Campsites

  • Chilkoot, Forks, Lone Sequoia, Lupine-Cedar, Redinger Lake, Soquel, Spring Cove, and Summerdale by reservation only.
  • Greys Mountain is available on a first come first served basis.

Picnic Sites

  • Denver Church, Fall Beach, Indian Flat, Lakeside, Little Denver Church, McClendon Beach, Pine Point, Pine Slope, Rocky Point and Willow Cove.

Hiking Trails

  • Goat Mountain, Lookout, Hite Cove, Lewis Creek National Rec Trail, Savage Lundy, Way-of-the Mono interpretive trail, and Willow Creek trail.
High Sierra Ranger District

Developed Campsites

  • Lower Billy Creek, College, Rancheria, Deer Creek, Dinkey Creek, Dinkey Creek Group, Dorabelle, Kirch Flat Group by reservation only.
  • Bolsillo, Bear Wallow Group, Black Rock, Bretz Mill, Gravel Flat Group, and Kirch Flat are available on a first come first served basis.

Picnic Sites

  • McKinley Grove, Billy Creek, Florence Lake, Dowville, Trails End, Dinkey Fisherman and Dorabelle.

Hiking Trails

  • Please call the High Sierra District office for information regarding hiking trails at 559-855-5355.

The Sierra National Forest has developed a map that shows forest roads and recreation sites that are affected by storm damage or forest closure. The most recent map and closure order can be found on the Forest website. For additional information a dedicated phone line has been establish to answer questions specific to road closures. Please contact the Sierra National Forest at 559-343-3090 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

Image of a woman outside in front of a tent at sunrise.

Know Before You Go

Become familiar with the area that you are visiting. Call the local Forest Service office near the area you will be visiting to check conditions, restrictions and availability.

Sierra National Forest Office Numbers
  • Main Office: 559-297-0706
  • High Sierra Ranger District: 559-855-5355
  • Bass Lake Ranger District: 559-877-2218
Check out this great video on how to stay safe while camping! 

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online