Memorial Day weekend: Statewide campground status, safety tips

SOUTHERN UTAH – Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff for the summer and, traditionally, a very busy weekend at campgrounds and picnic areas in the national forests of Utah. Most campgrounds are now open throughout the state. Some higher-elevation campgrounds, roads and trails will remain closed due to snow and extremely wet and muddy conditions.

Safety is always a concern. Rivers, streams and creeks are running very high and fast and are extremely dangerous. Be careful and keep a watchful eye on children and pets while recreating in these areas.

Off-highway vehicle users are reminded to ride only where permitted. Remember to always be a responsible rider.

Anyone planning to use livestock on National Forest lands should remember they are permitted to use only certified weed-free straw, hay or pellets.

When hiking, always carry extra water, food and a coat, just in case you get stuck on the mountain for the night and in case the weather turns bad. Always let someone know where you are hiking and approximately what time you will return, and don’t hike alone.

Exercise caution with fire and always check fire restrictions for your destination. Clear flammable vegetation and debris 5 feet away from fire rings; have a full bucket of water close to campfires; have a shovel on hand and available; have an adult present; never have a campfire when it is windy, hot and dry; and always make sure campfires are completely extinguished.

The following is a listing of Forest Service campgrounds that will be open for Memorial Day weekend. Before heading out for the holiday weekend, check with local Ranger District offices for the most current information concerning the area you are planning to visit.

Ashley National Forest: 435-789-1181 or online

  • Vernal Ranger District: 435-789-1181. The following areas will be open for the Memorial Day weekend: Taylor Mountain road is open to Kaler Hollow. FS 20/18 Red Cloud Loop/East Park is open to the East Park turn. The Red Cloud loop is open to Kaler Hollow. The Yurts won’t be open until June first. All yurts and cabins may be reserved online.
  • Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area: 435-784-3445. All campgrounds are open with fees except Spirit Lake, Greendale East Group, East Park, Dutch John Draw, Lodge Pole and Red Springs. Visitors using the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area will have to pay a use fee in designated areas. Day passes are $5, seven-day passes are $15 and annual passes are $35. Passes are available in Manila, Utah; in Mountain View, Rock Springs and Green River, Wyoming; and local businesses in and around the Flaming Gorge area.
  • Duchesne/Roosevelt Ranger Districts: 435-738-2482. All campgrounds are open with fees. All roads are open and free from snow except Hades Canyon (FRS) road 315. Dry Ridge road (FRS) 225, Petty Mountain road (FRS) 196, Elk Horn Loop road (FRS) 110, and Blind Stream road (FRS) 134 have wet and muddy conditions. Please call the Ranger District for more info on roads and campgrounds.

 Dixie National Forest 435-865-3700 or online

  • Pine Valley Ranger District: 435-688-3246. Oak Grove and Honey Comb Rocks campgrounds are open. For the most current information about these campgrounds, call the St. George Interagency Office at 435-688-3246.
  • Cedar City Ranger District: 435-865-3700. All campgrounds and picnic areas will be open with water and fees for Memorial Day weekend. Please call the Cedar City Ranger District for the most recent information.
  • Powell Ranger District: 435-676-9300: Red Canyon is currently open, Coyote Hollow Equestrian is currently open (water will be turned on at a later date but is not potable). Kings Creek campground will be open with water on May 23. Please call the District office for current information.
  • Escalante Ranger District: 435-826-5400. All campgrounds will be open with fees. Water should be on in all campgrounds by Memorial Day weekend. Please call the Escalante Ranger District or the Visitors Center for the most recent information. The Visitors Center is open five days a week, Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Visitors center: 435-826-5499.

 Fishlake National Forest 435-896-9233 or online

  • Beaver Ranger District: 435-438-2436. Little Cottonwood, Mahogany Cove, Kent’s Lake and Little Reservoir campgrounds, and Ponderosa picnic area will be open with water and fees. City Creek campground will be open with no water or fees. LeBaron and Anderson Meadow campgrounds will not be open. Most roads and trails are open. For current conditions contact the Beaver Ranger District at 435-438-2436.
  • Fillmore Ranger District: 435-743-5721. Maple Grove, Adelaide and Maple Hollow campgrounds will be open with water and fees. Chalk Creek picnic areas (Copley’s Shingle Mill and Pistol Rock) and Maple Hollow picnic area is open. Some roads and trails at higher elevations are closed due to snow and wet muddy conditions. Contact the Fillmore Ranger District for the most current information.
  • Fremont River Ranger District: 435-836-2800. All campgrounds are open with fees. Tasha Equestrian and Eklhorn Campgrounds are still weather dependent. Please call the Fremont River Ranger District Office for the most current and up-to-date information.
  • Richfield Ranger District: 435-896-9233. Gooseberry campground and Monrovian picnic area will be open for the holiday weekend. Water at Gooseberry will be off until June 12.

Manti-LaSal National Forest 435-637-2817 or online

  • Price and Ferron Ranger District: 435-637-2817 and 435-384-2372, respectively. Joes Valley campground is open with fees; drinking water is not available. Campsites in lower Huntington Canyon (below Forks of Huntington) will also be open with no water. High elevation roads are gated or closed due to snow. Please contact the district for up-to-date information.
  • Sanpete Ranger District: 435-283-4151. Maple Canyon, Twin Reservoir, Chicken Creek, Lake Hill and Manti Community campgrounds are open with fees. No water will be available. High elevation roads are gated and/or closed due to snow. Please contact the district for up-to-date information.
  • Moab Ranger District: 435-259-7155: Warner Lake, Oowah Lake and Buckeye Reservoir campgrounds are open with fees and no water. All roads are open except Geyser Pass, La Sal Pass and Miners Basin Roads. Burro Pass and Moonlight Meadows bike trails will remain closed due to snow.
  • Monticello Ranger District: 435-587-2041: All campgrounds are open with fees. Please call to see if water is available. All major roads are open except North Creek Pass Road.

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest 801-236-3400 or (801) 342-5100 or online

  • Pleasant Grove Ranger District: 801-785-3563. Hope, Mount Timpanogos, Timpooneke, Little Mill and Granite Flat campgrounds will be open with fees. Altamont will not be opened. There will be water at Granite Flat campground and Mt. Timpanogos only. The Alpine Scenic Loop (USR 92) will be open for the Memorial Day weekend. Tibble Fork road is open to Mineral Basin. Silver Lake Road is opened. Squaw Peak road is open to Rock Canyon. North Fork road is open but no trailers will be allowed due to limited turnaround space. Trails in American Fork Canyon are open to bicycles, motorized vehicles and livestock. A recreation pass is required for the American Fork Canyon-Alpine Scenic Loop area and is available at Forest Service offices or at the entrance stations to the Scenic Loop. The special use fee is $6 for one three-day pass per vehicle, $12 for a seven-day pass and $45 for the annual pass.
  • Trails Associated with the Wet Trail Closure (Trails closed to all uses except hiking):
    • This includes: Mill Canyon 040, Tibble Fork 041, Salamander Flat 150, Ridge Trail 157, Mud Springs 173, Willow Hollow 159, South Fork Little Deer Creek 252, and Pine Hollow 047. There may be small wet sections still, travel through these areas respectfully to reduce trail damage.
    • Front country trails (Bonneville Shoreline, Dry Canyon, Battle Creek, Grove Creek) are clear of snow and open. (There may be some intermittent snow on the higher end of these trails.)
  • Wilderness Trails: Timpanogos will still have significant snow and possible snow bridges crossing river drainages. People are cautioned not to continue past their skill level for traveling on snow and have appropriate gear needed for snow travel.
  • Spanish Fork Ranger District: 801-798-3571. Diamond, Maple Bench, Ponderosa, Cherry, Balsam and Whiting campgrounds are open with water and fees. Bear Canyon and Maple Lake campgrounds are open with fees, but no water. Blackhawk and Payson Lakes campground opened May 22. Vernon Reservoir and Cottonwood campgrounds are open with no water or fees. Pole Heaven opened May 21. The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is open 9 miles on the north side from Payson Canyon and opened 16 miles on May 22. On the south side (Nephi) it is open to Devils Kitchen.
  • Logan Ranger District: 435-755-3620. All campgrounds and picnic areas will be open with fees for the holiday weekend except Tony Grove and Sunrise. Low elevation roads and trails are open. Mid-elevation road gates (seconnd gate in High Creek, second gate in Green Canyon, Cowley/Herd, first gate in Temple Fork, Forestry Camp, and Pole Hollow) are scheduled to open June 1. Upper elevation roads (Marie Springs, second gate in Temple Fork, Twin Creek and Dip Hollow) are closed with gates scheduled to open on June 15. The best opportunities for undeveloped camping will be in Franklin Basin or Providence Canyon. The yearly mountain man rendezvous will be in the Lefthand Fork of the Blacksmith Fork over the holiday, so expect crowds if camping there.
  • Ogden Ranger District: 801-625-5306. All campgrounds are open with fees except Monte Cristo. The Avon to Liberty road is also open. Please TREAD LIGHTLY and avoid traveling on roads when muddy.
  • Salt Lake Ranger District: 801-466-6411: Tanners Flat campground is open with water and fees. Spruces campground will be open with water and fees; all reservations sites have been booked for the weekend. Storm Mountain, Ledgemere, Birches and Dogwood picnic areas in Big Cottonwood Canyon are open with fees but no water. Upper, Main and South areas in Box Elder, Churchfork, Terraces and Maple Grove picnic sites are open with fees, no water. Remember Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons are Salt Lake City Municipal Watersheds and dogs are not allowed in these canyons. Mueller Park picnic area in Davis County is open with water and fees. Fernwood picnic area in Layton is open with water and fee. Farmington Canyon Road is open to the intersection with Francis Peak and Skyline Drive where gates are still locked due to muddy conditions and snow. Ward Canyon road is open to the intersections of Skyline Drive and Sessions Mountain, where gates are still locked due to muddy conditions and snow. South Willow Canyon road is open. Cottonwood, Intake and Boy Scout campgrounds are open with fees. Lower Narrows, Upper Narrows and Loop campgrounds will be open for the weekend with fees. (Stansbury Mountains, west of Tooele and Grantsville.) These campgrounds do not have water available.
  • Heber-Kamas Ranger District: 435-654-0470 or 435-783-4338. All campgrounds and picnic areas within the Heber area are open with water and fees except for Mill Hollow and Wolf Creek. Mill Hollow campground will not open for the 2014 season due to removal of hazardous trees in and around the campground. The Strawberry Visitor Center will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. starting Friday, May 23. Wolf Creek Pass (Utah state Route 35) is open. The Mirror Lake Highway (Utah state Road 150) from Kamas, Utah, to Evanston, Wyoming, is still closed. Utah Department of Transportation is planning to open the road Friday, May 23. Yellow Pine, Lower Provo, Shady Dell, Soapstone, and Smith & Morehouse campgrounds located within the Kamas area are open with fees. All other campgrounds are still closed due to snow. All roads are wet and muddy or snow covered above 8,000 feet. All high elevation lakes and trails are still inaccessible. Visitors parked or camping along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway must display a fee pass. One- to three-day passes are $6, seven-day passes are $12 and annual passes are $45. Passes can be purchased at the Kamas Work Center, Heber-Kamas Ranger District Office, Evanston Ranger District and local businesses in Kamas, Utah, and Evanston, Wyoming.
  • Evanston/Mountain View Ranger Districts: 307-789-3194 or 307-782-6555. Evanston: Bear River, East Fork, Meeks and Stillwater campgrounds on the Evanston Ranger District will have sites available. Some sites may be too wet to camp in. Other campgrounds may not be accessible. No water will be on in the campgrounds. Fees will be charged at a reduced rate. The Bear River Ranger Station will be open for Memorial Day weekend. The planned opening date is Friday, May 23. Early season hours will be Thursday–Monday 8 a.m.-noon, 12:30-4:30 p.m. The ranger station will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday for the first weeks of the season. July–Labor Day hours will be Sunday–Thursday, 8 a.m.-noon, 12:30-4:30 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Conditions as of May 15: Whitney Reservoir, Lyman Lake, Christmas Meadows and campgrounds south of Stillwater are not accessible. Elizabeth Pass is not open. The Lily Lake Dump Station will not be open for Memorial weekend. Trails above 9,000 feet are wet, muddy or snow-covered. Forest crews are doing maintenance work to remove dead trees is some campgrounds, so please look up and around before choosing a campsite. Visitors recreating or primitive camping along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway must display a fee pass. One- to three-day passes are $6, seven-day passes are $12 and annual passes are $45. Passes are no longer needed in developed (concessionaire-run) campgrounds. Passes can be purchased at Forest Service Offices in Kamas, Utah; Evanston, Wyoming; local businesses in Kamas; and the Bear River Lodge.
  • Mountain View: Stateline, Hoop Lake, Bridger, Marsh, and Deadhorse trailhead campgrounds will be open for Memorial Day with no water and reduced fees.

Submitted by United States Department of Agriculture

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