Here is a list of announcements and events at various California state parks.
Now Hiring: Seasonal Visitor Services Park Aide
This is a uniformed position that reports to the Antelope Valley Indian Museum. Additional shifts may be available, but are not guaranteed, at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve or Saddleback Butte State Park, as directed by the supervisor. Under the supervision of the Supervising State Park Ranger and Museum Curator I and the general direction of the Ranger, Museum Curator I, or Interpreter I, the Park Aide is responsible for fee collection, providing visitor information, informing visitors about park rules, money accountability, revenue reporting, attendance documentation, traffic control, interpretation and education, answering phones, performing housekeeping and light cleaning, and assisting visitors and staff with any emergency situations as needed.
Applicants should be at least 18 years old. This position requires a valid California driver’s license. This is a 9-month-long seasonal appointment. The starting wage is $10.28 an hour. For additional questions about this position, contact Peggy Ronning at Peggy.Ronning@parks.ca.gov or (661) 946-6900.
Complete a State Application form (https://jobs.ca.gov/pdf/std678.pdf). Applications must be received by 11/9/2017. Submit application to:
ATTN: Peggy Ronning
Antelope Valley Indian Museum
15701 East Avenue M
Lancaster, CA 93535
Mitchell Caverns Reopens
After being closed for nearly seven years due to major infrastructure upgrades, Providence Mountains State Recreation Area will reopen on Friday, Nov. 3. Outdoor enthusiasts will once again be able to enjoy one of the most iconic historic parks in California. This unique and remote travel destination offers a frontier experience of timeless landscapes and breathtaking views. The park is also home to the beautiful Mitchell Caverns, with unique limestone cave formations and wildlife.
There are a number of day-use activities available for the public including tours of Mitchell Caverns and park trails. Also, Providence Mountains State Recreation Area is located within the Mojave National Preserve; visitors can visit Providence Mountains in the morning and then explore the other wonderful sites within the Mojave National Preserve, including camping under the stars.
Park entrance Fees: $10 per vehicle, $5 with seniors (62 and up) on board. Note, the park is closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
· To ensure the natural integrity of the caverns and animal habitats, only two tours per day will be given.
· Tour Times: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Fridays through Sundays (including holiday Mondays). Reservation holders must arrive and pay for their tours at least 15 minutes before they are scheduled to depart. Make sure to arrive early. Give yourself plenty of time to journey to the park as road conditions are primitive and subject to delays.
· The 1.5 hour tour involves a 1.5 mile moderate roundtrip hike to/from Mitchell Caverns.
· Costs: $10 per adult, $5 per child (16 and below), $5 per senior. Credit card or cash accepted; because of the remoteness of the park, please have exact change.
· Reservations are required. Reservations will be taken by phone only on Mondays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You must speak with a staff member to make a reservation at (760) 928-2586; phone messages and emails will not be accepted. For school and group tours, please call during reservation hours for more information. Do not expect to get a spot on a cave tour without a reservation; space is limited to 15 people and tours fill up very quickly.
Trails: Two trails are available to the public at Providence – Mary Beal Nature Trail and Niña Mora Trail.
· Mary Beal Nature Trail located near the park’s visitor center, is a self-guided half-mile moderate walk through a diverse array of desert plants.
· Niña Mora Trail is named for the child of a Mexican silver miner who worked here in the early 1900s. The half-mile moderate trail passes near the child’s grave marker and offers matchless views of desert grandeur.
Safety Tips: If you are planning a trip to Providence Mountains, you will need to take some extra preparation and special precautions to make sure you will be able to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Keep the following factors in mind:
• Make sure to have plenty of water, more than you think you would need.
• Bring food. There is none available at the park or within 25 miles.
• Bring sunscreen and use it.
• Cell phone coverage is spotty or nonexistent. Bring a map and know your route before leaving home.
• Dress appropriately. Bring layers of clothing. The desert can be very warm or very cold, and weather patterns can often shift within the same day.
• Wear appropriate shoes for hiking such as close-toed shoes.
• Fill your car’s gas tank. Nearest town with amenities is 56 miles away.
• Know symptoms and treatment of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
• Watch out for snakes, scorpions, spiders and other animals. Also be aware that most desert plants have thorns or spines for defense.
• Pack a first aid kit and become familiar with it.
Caution- be prepared to travel in the desert! The nearest fuel station to the park is 24 miles away in Fenner. Carry water in your vehicle in case of an unexpected situation. Food is not available at the park, so plan ahead for meals.
Location/Directions: The park is located in the eastern Mojave Desert off of Interstate 40, 56 miles west of Needles, 116 miles east of Barstow, and 16 miles northwest of the Essex Road exit. Located at an elevation of 4,300 feet, the park is surrounded by one of the newest National Parks, Mojave National Preserve.
Red Rock Canyon State Park: Fall 2017 Campfire Program & Nature Walk Schedule
Red Rock Canyon State Park’s visitor center is currently open from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and Sunday; Saturday hours are 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The modern visitor center features colorful displays and dioramas illustrating the unique geology, fossils, Kawaiisu Indian culture, early settler history, flora and fauna, and Red Rock’s Hollywood connection. The gift shop offers books, toys and souvenirs.
Please note: Programs are subject to cancellation without notice. Check www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonStatePark for latest updates.
Sat., November 4th: “A Walk through Time” – Meet at the Visitor Center at 9am
Sat., November 4th: Campfire Program “Many Colors of the Desert” in the visitor center at 7pm
Sat., November 11th: “Volunteer Park Clean Up Day” sign up at the visitor center Kiosk at 9 am
Sat., November 11th: Ridgecrest Astronomy Club conducts a “Star Party” at the visitor center parking area beginning at Dusk
Sat., November 18th: “Ricardo Trail Nature Walk” from the visitor center at 9 am
Sat., November 18th: Gene Albrite give a talk about “Native American Living Culture” in the visitor center at 7pm
Sat., November 25th: “Ricardo Trail Nature Walk” on from the visitor center at 9am
Sat., November 25th: Campfire Program “Red Rock Railroad” in the visitor center at 7pm
Sat., December 2nd: “Ricardo Trail Nature Walk” from the visitor center at 9 am
Sat., December 2nd: Campfire Program “Many Colors of the Desert” in the visitor center at 7pm
Sat., December 9th: “A Walk through Time” – Meet at Desert View Nature Trailhead near campsite 50 at 9am
Sat., December 9th: Campfire Program “Red Rock Railroad” in the visitor center at 7pm
Sat., December 16th: “Ricardo Trail Nature Walk” from the visitor center at 9 am
Sat., December 16th: Ridgecrest Astronomy Club conducts a “Star Party” at the visitor center parking area beginning at Dusk
Sat., December 23rd: Nature Walk To Be Determined
Sat., December 23rd: “Reading Stories in Stone”, in the visitor center at 7 pm
Sat., December 30th: “A Walk through Time” Meet at Desert View Nature Trailhead near campsite 50 at 9am
Sat., December 30th: Campfire Program “Red Rock Railroad” in the visitor center at 7pm
#OptOutside on Green Friday Hike at Red Rock Canyon State Park –
“Will You Go Out With Us?”
REI is bringing back #OptOutside to give Americans an alternative to stress and consumerism on Black Friday, Nov. 24th. The outdoor co-op is asking every lover of the outdoors to invite someone else to choose the outdoors over fighting it out in the aisles. “Being outside makes us our best selves – healthier and happier, physically and mentally. We are doing this again to unite people and to find common ground in the outdoors,” said REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “Right now, I think people are looking for a moment to take a breath, reground themselves and come together.”
For Green Friday, Red Rock Canyon State Park is offering a challenging 7.5 mile guided hike through the unique and beautiful rocky and sandy terrain of Hagen Canyon, Whistler Ridge, Red Rooster and Mushroom Rock Wash, including a short stretch of serious rock scrambling. The route is for moderate to advanced hikers; there will be opportunities along the route to return on your own to the parking area. Meet hike leader Alice at the Hagen Canyon parking lot at 9 a.m., on Abbott Drive just off of Highway 14 (pay the $6/vehicle parking fee at the visitor center kiosk before meeting up). Lots of water, snacks, lunch, layered clothing, sun protection, and shoes with good traction are necessary. Gloves for rock scrambling areas (gardening gloves are adequate) and trekking poles are recommended. No dogs are allowed on this guided hike, and only heavy rain will cancel.
#OptOutside on Green Friday by taking hikes at other local California State Parks too! At the heart of this year’s effort, a new experiential search engine from REI is designed to inspire millions of people to #OptOutside. It features images pulled entirely from #OptOutside user-generated content (UGC) on Instagram, augmented with real-time information about locations and experiences across the country. For example, users who click on an image of a hiker can see the name of the specific trail featured, the trail’s difficulty rating, directions to the trailhead, recent user reviews of the experience and related expert advice from REI. Beginning today and leading up to Black Friday, the co-op will release 20 films featuring this community-created imagery to connect people through their shared #OptOutside experiences.
For more information about Red Rock Canyon State Park, visit www.parks.ca.gov or www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonStatePark. For questions about the #OptOutside hike at Red Rock Canyon State Park, contact hike leader Alice at firstname.lastname@example.org, or learn about other hikes at www.REI.com/opt-outside.
Chili, Crafters, and Cowboy Songs at
“Holidays on the Homestead”
Chili heads and crafters: we have spots available for the chili cook-off and craft boutique! Email Jean.Rhyne@parks.ca.gov for applications and info.
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum will host the 7th annual Holidays on the Homestead celebration on Saturday, December 2nd from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Originally a 1930’s homestead, the historic grounds will be decorated in vintage holiday style and feature live acoustic music around a campfire, a chili cook-off, tours of the grounds, a country craft boutique, real cowboy coffee brewed over the fire, and hot chocolate or cider for the kids! Explore the unique hand-built museum and whimsical grounds at night, with soft lighting and the smell of fresh greenery, and the wintery sky sparkling over the desert.
Stay warm around the blazing bonfire while cowboy-singer Michael Tcherkassky, “The Saddle Serenader”, croons the romantic poetry about life on the range that cattlemen composed by day during their journeys across the old west, and then shared around the campfire when the sun went down. Michael has performed traditional cowboy songs and poetry for many years at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival and other events around the country.
The country craft boutique features unique gift ideas, made by local artists. The crafters carry on the artistic tradition of Howard Arden Edwards, who built the Indian Museum to display his collection of American Indian artifacts. The Craftsman-style building is decorated with his colorful representations of Indian culture and creative hand-made furniture.
Rose Edwards was known for her tasty rib-sticking chili and cornbread feasts at their holiday celebrations. Try the chili cook-off entries and Rose’s original 1930 Christmas Chili recipe, complemented by delicious cornbread generously provided by The Lemon Leaf Café.
Event admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12, and ages 5 and under are free.
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum is located at 15701 East Avenue M in Lancaster, near Lake Los Angeles. Information can be found at www.AVIM.parks.ca.gov and www.Facebook.com/AVIndianMuseum, or call (661) 946-3055 (711, TTY relay service). Please come out for this special holiday event, rain or shine, and support the museum!
Where: Antelope Valley Indian Museum, 15701 East Avenue M, Lancaster (near Lake Los Angeles)
From Hwy 14, take Avenue K east, turn right on 150th Street East, and left on East Avenue M. The museum is on the left.
Admission: $10 adults, $5 ages 6-12, ages 5 and under free.
Celebrate the New Year with “First Day Hikes”
at Saddleback Butte and Red Rock Canyon State Parks
Rejuvenate by taking a family friendly trek through a state park close to home
Lancaster – California State Parks will sponsor free guided hikes at Saddleback Butte State Park and Red Rock Canyon State Park on New Year’s Day, as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states. America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1st at a state park. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.
“Think of it as the start of a new and healthy lifestyle, for the whole family. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join us at one of America’s State Parks on New Year’s Day” said Priscilla Geigis, President of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD). “Studies have proven that getting outdoors is one good way to relax and recharge the body, mind and spirit. We hope that hiking along a trail in a state park will become part of an individual’s or family’s regular exercise routine.”
At Saddleback Butte State Park, staff and volunteers will lead the hikes which vary from an easy half mile to a strenuous five mile hike up the butte. Check in for all hikes at the park Visitor Center, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, near Lake Los Angeles). Kids are welcome, but dogs are not allowed on trails in California State Parks. Bring a lunch to enjoy in the park’s Picnic Area after returning from the hikes! Fundraising activities will also be offered to benefit the Support Saddleback Committee (cash or checks only). Visit www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte for more information and updates.
9 a.m. – Hike to top of Saddleback Butte
Moderately strenuous. Five miles and about three hours roundtrip; 1000 ft of elevation gain to an incredible view across the Mojave Desert. Bring water and wear good hiking shoes and layered clothing; it can be very windy at the top.
10 a.m. – Hike across the park
Easy to moderate. 4.3 miles with little elevation gain; about 1 ¾ hours. Dress for the weather; bring water and hat, walking sticks are optional. Enjoy the beautiful high desert views over the Antelope Valley; this is a great winter’s hike.
11 a.m. – Dowen Nature Trail
Easy. Ranger-lead interpretive tour along the nature trail. Learn about the unique natural and cultural history of the local area. 1/2 mile loop with mild elevation gain, about 1 hour; wheelchair/stroller accessible.
An all-day hike will also be led at Red Rock Canyon State Park, 22 miles north of Mojave on Highway 14:
9:00 a.m. – Red Rock Canyon State Park, meet at dirt lot on East side of Hwy 14, ¾ mile north of Abbot Road.
A 9 mile, all day hike into Nightmare Gulch with a side trip into the well-hidden “Secret Silent City”; participants will be back by approximately 4pm. The strenuous route option begins with a scramble over three ridges to enjoy the fabulous views, with an elevation gain/loss of approximately 3000’. This hike is not for beginners, and dogs are not allowed on this guided hike; no exceptions. Wear layered clothing and bring plenty of water and snacks/lunch; hikers are responsible for their own health and safety. Only heavy rain will cancel. Visit www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonStatePark for more information and updates.
America’s State Parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and each First Day Hike will offer an opportunity to explore the unique natural and cultural treasures close to home. From California to Maine, hikers can climb hills and mountain tops, walk along ponds and beaches, and traverse trails through forests, fields and prairies. Visitors can listen to birds, breathe in the fresh air, discover wildlife tracks, and feel the wind and the warmth of the sun or the coldness of the snow. Visitors can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, experience spectacular views and vistas and benefit from the company of a knowledgeable state park guide.
Nation-wide information about First Day Hikes offered, their difficulty and length, and tips regarding proper clothing can be found at www.naspd.org. America’s State Parks is committed to promoting outdoor recreation in state parks as a way to address obesity, especially among children. Getting kids outside and unplugged from video games and other electronic media creates a unique connection with nature that promotes physical and mental well-being and encourages creativity and stewardship of our shared resources.
Upcoming Events (more info to come):
February 3rd and 10th: Poppy Reserve volunteer training (both days for new volunteers); email Jean.Rhyne@parks.ca.gov for an application.
Have your fundraising efforts fallen flat? Need help raising money for your organization? Join JCI Santa Clarita for an interactive conversation about nonprofit fundraising with fundraising experts and JCI members Michelle Rey and Mallory Staley.
Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, affirmed the recommendation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, FDA, to expand the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents 12 to 15 years of age.
The County of Los Angeles Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and Higher Ground Los Angeles are teaming up with Carry The Load, a nonprofit organization that originated to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day and now honors fallen service members, first responders, and their families.
In response to an influx of illegal and increasingly dangerous fireworks, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger sent letters to federal law enforcement agencies to ask for their help and collaboration to stop this alarming trend.