Park Open: Sunrise to Sunset
Visitor's Center and Interpretive Exhibits Open: 8:00am-4:00pm Daily
Fort Tejon State Historic Park
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community from COVID-19 by following these prevention measures while recreating in California’s State Park System:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick.
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- Keep Your Distance – Avoid crowds. If there are too many people at a park or beach, please visit on a different day.
Wear a Mask – State Parks continues to follow guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health:
- Everyone: In indoor settings, such as museums and visitor centers, face coverings are required regardless of vaccination status.
- Fully Vaccinated Persons: Face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events.
- Unvaccinated Persons: Face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.
What is open now?
- 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.
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).
The weather can be changeable. Layered clothing is recommended.
Experience frontier California life of the 1850s and 1860s
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
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.