Practice winter recreation safety ahead of MLK weekend: Forest Service celebrates ‘Day of Service’ on Jan. 17 |

Practice winter recreation safety ahead of MLK weekend: Forest Service celebrates ‘Day of Service’ on Jan. 17

Avalanche Safety

With record-breaking snow accumulation throughout the state, all visitors to California’s National Forests should plan ahead and ensure your vehicles are snow ready as road conditions may impact access heading into Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

Visitors are encouraged to view the Recreate Responsibly Winter Toolkit, which provides resources on weather conditions, avalanche awareness, and Leave No Trace principles. A Spanish version of the toolkit can be found online as well, at

Know before you go

Check the weather for your destination and understand the road conditions, chain control, and potential road closures of your route. Don’t get lured into taking alternative routes around closures as travel apps and related online map services have likely not been updated to reflect the current situation and you may get lost or stuck. Recommended resource: QuickMap (

Be prepared

Check your tires’ tread and pressure; top off windshield fluid; and carry tire chains, an ice scraper, an extra blanket and provisions in your car in case you become stuck or stranded on the roadside.

Ski/Snowboard Season

Check weather conditions and facility operating status ahead of time in areas you plan to visit and remember conditions can change quickly. Hitting the slopes? Please follow all safety guidelines.

Backcountry users should take extra precautions, carry appropriate avalanche equipment, travel in groups if possible, and check the avalanche report before heading outside.

For people choosing to stay local, the USDA Forest Service invites everyone to participate in volunteerism on Monday, Jan. 17 in recognition and celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. For more information, visit

The Forest Service manages 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists State and Private forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. National Forests supply 50% of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state. For more information, visit

Source: USDA Forest Service

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