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Shadow of the Giants burned bridge - photo USFS

Damage From Railroad Fire Closes Trail In Nelder Grove Area

OAKHURST – The devastation of last year’s Railroad Fire has forced the closure of a popular hiking trail in the Nelder Grove area.

The Shadow of the Giants National Recreation Trail will be closed until further notice.

The Railroad Fire started Aug. 29, 2017, in the Sierra National Forest (SNF) south of Yosemite National Park, along Highway 41 near Sugar Pine.

The effect of this fire on several recreation opportunities enjoyed by visitors traveling through to Yosemite National Park, has caused Forest Officials to close the Shadow of the Giants, National Recreation Trail, located off of Forest Service Road 6S90 (see map below).

Due to the severity of the fire, many hazard trees now exist, including a burned sequoia snag (standing dead tree) and burned sequoias that have dropped large branches posing a safety concern for the public.

Forest Order No. 05-15-51-18-01 (see below) Sierra National Forest Shadow of the Giants National Recreation Trail Closure Forest Trail No. 22E06 has been issued.

Most of the recreation facilities and trail infrastructure were burned including the trailhead toilet building, both bridges, log retainers, log water bars, and all but three interpretive signs.

Approximately 600 feet of trail was damaged by burned-out stumps and sloughing of the trail’s outer edge.

Measures have been put in to place addressing the hazards caused by the fire, and are still ongoing. Funding for reparations have been received for the Shadow of the Giants trail and other infrastructure damaged by the Railroad Fire.

Until hazards are minimized, the SNF will continue to maintain a closure order of the trail to prevent access and keeping public safety as the priority.

Even in non-closure areas where the Railroad Fire burned, trees along the road leading to the trail head can pose a risk to public safety. Please be advised that falling trees are becoming more and more prominent in the forest.

For further information regarding the Sierra National Forest and recreational activities please contact the High Sierra Ranger District office in Prather at 559-855-5355; the Bass Lake Ranger District in North Fork at 559-877-2218; or the Forest Supervisors Office in Clovis at 559-297-0706.

(Photos courtesy US Forest Service)

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