Friday, February 23 , 2018, 6:20 am | Fair 45º


Popular Road Reopened in Santa Barbara Ranger District

From Divide Peak to the Pendola Guard Station now accessible by vehicle

A popular road in the Los Padres National Forest’s Santa Barbara Ranger District has been reopened to vehicle traffic after extensive storm damage forced its closure throughout the spring and summer.

The road from Divide Peak to the Pendola Guard Station is now open, allowing for vehicle access as far as the Middle Santa Ynez campground. The road west of the campground remains closed until additional work is completed.

The road to Big Caliente hot springs will remain closed until crews can safely complete their rehabilitation work. In the interim, visitors can access the hot springs on foot or by bike or horseback out of Middle Santa Ynez campground.

Forest officials also announced that repairs to the Lower Oso Bridge on the Santa Ynez River Road are scheduled for this fall. The bridge sustained significant structural damage from the high water flow during the winter and spring storms, and as a result is closed to all vehicle traffic.

With the bridge closed, the Lower Oso day use area is split in half and can now accommodate only half the vehicle use. Access is restricted to first-come, first-served basis, and once the parking area is full no additional vehicles will be permitted beyond the first crossing. Visitors are allowed to park in the first crossing day use area and walk to Lower Oso, but typically the Lower Oso day use area is reaching capacity each weekend by midmorning.

The Upper Oso campground and the hiking and OHV trails that access the backcountry are open and trailhead parking is available. The Upper Oso campground is being managed on a first-come, first-served basis with no reservations being taken.

A large portion of the Lower Santa Ynez Recreation Area and all of the Upper Santa Ynez Recreation Area remain accessible only by hiking, biking or horseback riding.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and contact the Los Prietos Ranger Station for the latest conditions by calling 805.967.3481.

— Joe Pasinato represents the Los Padres National Forest.

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