Fort Tejon State Historic Park

UPDATE (March 31, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access. The park remains open for locals who wish to walk, hike and bike (in parks with bike trails) in the park, provided they practice social/physical distancing of 6 feet or more. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), State Parks has implemented the following safety measures to date:
  • Closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.
  • Closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding.
  • Closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers.
  • Cancelled all events.

A list of closures is available online at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. The list is dynamic and updated on a regular basis.

Phone Number

(661) 248-6692

Park Hours

Park Open: Sunrise to Sunset

Visitor's Center and Interpretive Exhibits Open: 8:00am-4:00pm Daily

Driving Directions to Fort Tejon SHP

The park is 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles, near the top of Grapevine Canyon, via the Fort Tejon exit off I-5.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
En route Campsites
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
RV Access
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

Fort Tejon is located in the Grapevine Canyon, the main route between California's Great Central Valley and Southern California. The fort was established to protect and control the Indians who were living on the Sebastian Indian Reservation, and to protect both the Indians and white settlers from raids by the Paiutes, Chemeheui, Mojave, and other Indian groups of the desert regions to the southeast. Fort Tejon was first garrisoned by the United States Army on August 10, 1854 and was abandoned ten years later on September 11, 1864.

There are restored adobes from the original fort and the park’s museum features exhibits on army life and local history. The park also has a number of beautiful 400 year-old Valley Oak trees.

Check out this YouTube video of Fort Tejon.


Location - Directions

The park is approximately 76 miles northwest of Los Angeles along the "Grapevine" section of the I-5 freeway, via the Fort Tejon exit (Exit 210 heading north or south).

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing
The weather can be changeable. Layered clothing is recommended.


Experience frontier California life of the 1850s and 1860s

Soldiers and a horse Talk with soldiers who grumble about fatigue details. Visit the blacksmith at his forge, the carpenter in his shop, or the soldiers in the barracks. Servants, cooks, officers, laundresses, and laborers are eager to share their stories with you.

Surround yourself with the sounds, sights and colors of the past. Smell and hear the bubbling stew simmering over an open hearth fire place. Hear the musketoons fire, the blast of the cannon, and see clothing of the era. You can witness women mending clothes, soldiers polishing brass, people stomping around in the adobe brick pit, cooks churning butter or children playing a game of graces.

Come take a step back in time and join with the men, women and children of Fort Tejon. Relive a day out of the past. These Living History demonstrations take place on the first Saturday of each month year around. At Fort Tejon visitors are always welcome and the modern world is checked at the gate. 


1857 Fort Tejon Earthquake

The 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake was one of the greatest earthquakes ever recorded in the U.S. (Magnitude was about Mw 8.0). The earthquake left a surface rupture scar over 350 kilometers in length along the San Andreas fault. Despite the immense scale of this quake, only two people were reported killed by the effects of the shock.
For more information:
Southern California Earthquake Data Center
The Fort Tejon earthquake of 1857
http://scedc.caltech.edu/significant/forttejon1857.html

District Superintendent Orders

The following District Superintendent Orders have been implemented:

  • Fort Tejon SHP Campground Closures [Download Superintendent Order] (3/18/2020)
    Campgrounds in California State Parks Great Basin District in Los Angeles, Kern, Tulare and Ventura Counties are immediately closed until further notice under authority of Department of Parks and Recreation Director’s Order for COVID-19 health emergency.

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