Campgrounds scheduled to open May 20th

The Sawtooth National Forest is preparing to gradually open campgrounds for forest visitors to enjoy the outdoors and are aligning with state orders and stages for reopening. A number of developed recreation sites will begin to open on May 20th. As weather warms and crews can safely access the sites, maintenance operations will commence. Hazard trees will be removed, water systems turned on and tested, campsites cleaned, and vault toilets pumped and cleaned.

COVID‐19 has brought certain challenges the Forest is working to overcome. Challenges include procuring necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and obtaining an adequate amount of cleaning supplies. The Forest is targeting to have approximately 26 developed recreations site partially open or open and available for use by Memorial Day Weekend. The Forest is planning to open sites close to local communities or popular with local communities to encourage local travel.

“More and more locations are opening across the forest as the weather warms,” said Jim DeMaagd, Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor. “We will monitor the conditions on the ground and re‐evaluate as new information becomes available.” Dispersed camping, hiking and trail use, and other dispersed activities are occurring all across the Forest.

Trails and trailheads are open. Conditions at lower elevations are suitable to support vehicle traffic on many roads and some trails without causing resource damage. Users should stay on designated travel routes and use good judgment regarding travel on roads and trails not yet sufficiently dry to prevent resource damage. Avoid leaving ruts in the roads or trails and do not drive off‐road to avoid snowdrifts.

Some maintenance services are limited at this time, so we ask everyone to practice Leave No Trace etiquette and adhere to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines:

  • Prepare for limited or no services, such as restroom facilities and garbage collection (pack it in pack it out)
  • Bears are emerging so remember to store food properly and carry bear spray
  • Avoid gathering with others in parking lots, trails, scenic overlooks, and other areas
  • Stay close to home to keep other communities safe
  • To prevent illnesses like COVID‐19 wash hands often, stick to group sizes of 10 or less, and practice social distancing.

Please visit our website for more information and recreation opportunities.

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