Fort Tejon State Historic Park

UPDATE (June 4, 2020) - As California State Parks begins its phased reopening of parks and beaches in compliance with state and local public health ordinances, it is important for visitors to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with people outside their immediate household. Everyone has the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some guidelines for people visiting Fort Tejon State Historic Park:

What is open now?

The following is open at the park:
  • The park is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to active recreation with restrictions in place to encourage social distancing and reduce group gatherings.
  • Very limited parking is now available to the public. 
  • No transactions at entrance station. APM is available.
  • Active recreation will be permitted such as walking, hiking, running and wildlife watching. Use rules and regulations are now posted at the main entrance and will continue to be enforced.
  • Only restrooms in the proximity of the parking lots will be available.
     
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?

Statewide:
  • Campgrounds.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?

Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking is very limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.  
  • Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.

Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(661) 248-6692

Park Hours

Park Open: Sunrise to Sunset

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

Dogs Allowed?

Yes

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.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

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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