Forest service offers safety tips, campground information for Memorial Day weekend

Dixie National Forest, date and location not given | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — It is time to gather the kids and camping gear and head to your favorite camping spot. This Memorial Day weekend promises to be the first of many busy weekends on the national forests of Utah, and the Forest Service wants to make sure everyone has an enjoyable, safe weekend and leaves the national forests in a condition for others to do the same.

Camping and hiking safety

Safety is always a concern in the national forests. Rivers, streams and creeks are running very high and fast and are extremely dangerous. Please be careful and keep a watchful eye on children and pets while recreating in these areas, especially in campgrounds near water sources.

For the safety of the public and bears, the Forest Service is encouraging campers and visitors to practice “Bear Aware” safety while visiting the forest.

Also, be aware of falling rocks on roadways. Forest users are reminded to ride only on designated routes. Remember to always be a responsible rider.

Some higher-elevation campgrounds, roads, and trails will remain closed due to snow and extremely wet muddy conditions. You can obtain Motor Vehicle Use Maps that show what roads and trails are open to motorized vehicles at the following Forest Service web page. Scroll down to “Utah” and select the appropriate national forest.

When hiking, always carry extra water, food and a coat. Be sure to let someone know where you are hiking and approximately what time you will return, and whenever possible, avoid hiking alone. Always be prepared for a change in weather conditions.

Make sure your campfires are completely extinguished.

If you are planning to use livestock on National Forest System lands, remember that you are permitted to use only certified weed free straw, hay, or pellets.

Most importantly, enjoy your national forests!

Campground information

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.

Dixie National Forest

Telephone: 435-865-3700

  • Pine Valley Ranger District 435-688-3246. All campgrounds in the Pine Valley recreation area will be open with water and fees. Oak Grove and Honey Comb Rocks campgrounds are open. For the most current information, call the St. George Interagency Office at: 435-688-3200 from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
  • Cedar City Ranger District 435-865-3700. All campgrounds and picnic areas will be open with water and fee. Please call the Cedar City Ranger District for the most recent information. The Duck Creek Visitor Center will be open seven days a week starting May 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Powell Ranger District 435-676-9300. Red Canyon is currently open with full amenities. Coyote Hollow Equestrian is currently open for dry camping. Water will be turned on at a later date but is not potable — horse use only. King Creek will be open with water on May 27. Please call the District office for current information Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or the Red Canyon Visitor Center at 435-676-2676 every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Escalante Ranger District 435-826-5400. All campgrounds will be open with water and fees. Please call the Escalante Ranger District or the Visitors Center for the most recent information. The Visitors Center is open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors Center: 435-826-5499.

Fishlake National Forest

Telephone: 435-896-9233

  • Beaver Ranger District 435-438-2436. Little Cottonwood, Mahogany Cove, Kent’s Lake and Little Reservoir campgrounds are all expected to be open with water and fees. 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. Roads and trails at higher elevations may be closed due to snow and wet muddy conditions. For current conditions, contact the Beaver Ranger District.
  • Fillmore Ranger District 435-743-5721. Maple Grove and Adelaide campgrounds will be open with water and fees. Oak Creek campground will be open, and the water system may be operational. Plan accordingly; use fees apply. Chalk Creek picnic areas (Copley’s Shingle Mill and Pistol Rock) and Maple Hollow picnic area are 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 in the Fish Lake Basin and on Boulder Mountain are open with water and fees. Thousand Lake Mountain – Sunglow campground is open with water and fees. Elkhorn campground is scheduled to open June 15, weather dependent. Please call the Fremont River Ranger District Office for the most current information.
  • Richfield Ranger District 435-896-9233. Gooseberry campground and Monrovian picnic area will be open. Water may be off at Gooseberry campground until June. Call the Richfield Ranger District for the most current information.

Ashley National Forest

Naturalist Basin in Ashley Nation Forest, Date not given | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, St. George News
Naturalist Basin in Ashley Nation Forest, Date not given | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, St. George News

Telephone: 435-789-1181

Wet spring weather, with snow at higher elevations, has delayed access to many high altitude destinations across the Ashley National Forest. Many lower elevation campgrounds will be available.

  • Vernal Ranger District 435-789-1181. The Paradise and East Park Reservoir campgrounds remain closed on the South Slope of the Uinta Mountains above Vernal and LaPoint.
  • Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area 435-784-3445. Several campground openings have been delayed until May 26 due to road and weather conditions, including Lodgepole, Red Canyon, Greens Lake & Group, Greendale Groups, Firefighters Memorial, Arch Dam and Antelope Flats & Group.
    • Please call the Flaming Gorge Ranger District for campground and road conditions. 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; 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 except Pole Creek. Some campgrounds may not have water available. Please call the ranger district for more info on roads and campgrounds.

Manti-LaSal National Forest

Telephone: 435-637-2817

Please call districts for the most current conditions, which can change rapidly in spring. Avoid travelling on roads and trails when muddy.

  • Price 435-637-2817 and Ferron Ranger District 435-384-2372: All campgrounds in Huntington Canyon are open to camping along state Route 31, with the exception of Forks of Huntington campground which is open to day use only. Joes Valley campground is open, and drinking water is available. Indian Creek and Fish Creek will be open with no water. Access along the Miller Flat road to Lake Canyon Recreation Area and Potters Ponds is unknown at this time. Access to Gooseberry Reservoir and campground is expected to be open with no water. The Ferron to Mayfield road is expected to be gated beyond Willow Lake due to snow. Please contact the district for up-to-date information.
  • Sanpete Ranger District 435-283-4151: Lake Hill and Manti-Community campgrounds are open. Lake Hill has drinking water available. No drinking water will be available at Manti Community this season. Maple Canyon and Twin Lake campgrounds are open with no water. South Skyline Drive is closed due to snow, as is access to Twelve Mile Flat campground. North Skyline Drive will be open from both state Road 31 and state Road 6, but through access is likely to be blocked by snow. Please contact the district for up-to-date information.
  • Moab Ranger District 435-259-7155: Buckeye Reservoir campground is open with fees and no water. Warner Lake and Oowah Lake campgrounds are closed due to snow. Geyser Pass and La Sal Pass are closed at higher elevations due to snow. Please call for the most current conditions.
  • Monticello Ranger District 435-587-2041: Nizhioni campground is open with water. Buckboard, Dalton, and Devil’s Canyon campgrounds are open without water. Please call for current road conditions.

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Telephone: 801-999-2103

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, date and location not given | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, St. George News
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, date and location not given | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, St. George News
  •  Pleasant Grove Ranger District 801-785-3563: Hope, Mount Timpanogos, Timpooneke, Little Mill and Granite Flat campgrounds will be open with water and fees. Altamont will not be opened. Rock Canyon campground is open. All picnic areas are open with fees, but water is not available. 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 open. 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 foot traffic only. A recreation pass is required at fee sites within 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; travel through these areas respectfully to reduce trail damage.
  • Front country trails — Bonneville Shoreline, Dry Canyon, Battle Creek and 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 Fork, Balsam, Maple Bench, Ponderosa, Whiting and Tinney Flat campgrounds are open with water and fees. Bear Canyon and Maple Lake are open with fees but no water. Diamond Fork to Hobble Creek will be accessible by May 27. Vernon Reservoir and Cottonwood campgrounds are open with no water or fees. Trumbolt picnic area is open with no water or fees.
    • Due to a slump that occurred earlier this spring, the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway on the north side is only open from Payson to the old ski lift, just south of the Grotto trail. Access on the south side of the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is from Highway 132 at Salt Creek, north to Pete Winward where the road is blocked due to the slump. Alternate route to access the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is via Santaquin Canyon; large trailers are discouraged. Utah County Public Works and the U.S. Forest Service will begin work this week on a temporary bypass around the Nebo Loop slump to provide access for summer use. Permanent repair of the Nebo Slump will occur in the fall of this year, pending engineering designs for a long term repair since the slump was considered a major event.
  • Ogden Ranger District 801-625-5306: All campgrounds are open with fees, except Monte Cristo and Jefferson Hunt (flooded). All boat ramps and picnic areas around Pineview Reservoir are open with fees. State Highway 39 — Monte Cristo Road — is open. Access to undeveloped areas beyond the Monte Cristo gate will be limited due to snow in higher elevations. Lower elevation roads and trails are open. Please tread lightly and avoid traveling on roads and trails when muddy.
  • Logan Ranger District 435-755-3620: All campgrounds and picnic areas will be open with fees, except Tony Grove and Sunrise campgrounds. A large portion of sites at Guinavah-Malibu campground will remain closed due to hazardous trees. Low elevation roads and trails are open. Mid-elevation road gates— 2nd gate in High Creek, 2nd gate in Green Canyon, Cowley/Herd, 1st gate in Temple Fork, Forestry Camp and Pole Hollow — are scheduled to open June 1. Upper elevation roads — Marie Springs, 2nd 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 Left Hand Fork of Blacksmith Fork, Franklin Basin or Providence Canyon. For the most current information about campgrounds, roads and trails, contact the Logan Ranger District office.
  • Salt Lake Ranger District 801-466-6411: Tanners Flat campground in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Spruces campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon will be open with fees on May 27. Storm Mountain, Ledgemere, Birches and Dogwood picnic areas in Big Cottonwood Canyon are open with fees. Upper, Main and South areas in Box Elder, Church Fork and Terraces picnic areas are open with fees but no water. Remember Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons are Salt Lake City Municipal Watersheds, and dogs are not allowed in these canyons.
    • Farmington Canyon road is open to the intersection with Francis Peak road and Skyline Drive. 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. Mueller Park picnic area in Davis County is open with water and fees. Fernwood picnic area in Layton is open with water.
    • South Willow Canyon road — Stansbury Mountains, west of Tooele and Grantsville — all campgrounds are open with fees. These campgrounds do not have water available; take your own water.
  • 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. The Strawberry Visitor Center will be open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting May 26. Wolf Creek Pass — Utah SR 35 — is open. All other campgrounds are still closed. All roads are wet and muddy or snow-covered above 7,500 feet. All high-elevation lakes and trails are inaccessible. The Mirror Lake Highway — Utah state Road 150 — from Kamas, Utah, to Evanston, Wyoming, should be open before the weekend. Yellow Pine, Lower Provo, Shingle Creek, Shady Dell, Cobblerest, Smith & Morehouse and Ledgefork 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 7,500 feet. All high elevation lakes and trails are inaccessible. Visitors utilizing recreation sites outside of the developed campgrounds are required to display a Mirror Lake Recreation 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, and Stillwater will have sites available with no water but with fees. Some sites may be too wet to camp in. The Lily Lake dump station is not open.
    • The Bear River Ranger Station will be open for Memorial Day weekend. Planned opening date is May 27. Early season hours will be Thursday to Monday 8 a.m. to noon and 12:30-4:30 p.m. The ranger station will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday for the first weeks of the season. From July to Labor Day, hours will be Sunday to Thursday 8 a.m. to noon and 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from  8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Whitney Reservoir is NOT accessible. The Mirror Lake Highway — Utah state Road 150 — from Kamas, Utahn to Evanston, Wyoming, should be open before the weekend. Christmas Meadows, Hayden Fork, Beaver View, Sulphur, Lyman Lake campgrounds and Elizabeth Pass are not open. The only hiking trail accessible is to Lily Lake from the Bear River Ranger Station. Conditions are wet and snowy on some of the trail. Other trailheads are not accessible. Call for updated information.
    • Forest crews are beginning maintenance work to remove dead trees in 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 ran) campgrounds. Passes can be purchased at Forest Service Offices in Kamas, Utah; Evanston, Wyoming; local business in Kamas, and the Bear River Lodge.
  • Mountain View: Meeks Cabin Reservoir and Stateline Reservoir campgrounds are open with no water or fees. Stateline reservoir still has ice. Bridger Lake, Marsh Lake, China Meadows and Hoop Lake campgrounds are inaccessible. The Stateline dump station will be closed. Trails have a lot of snow and are not expected to be open for the holiday weekend. We encourage visitors to not drive in wet areas due to the damage it will cause until conditions improve. Forest crews are beginning maintenance work to remove dead trees in campgrounds, so please look up and around before choosing a campsite.

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2 Comments

  • Fredric L. May 27, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Look up, look around, stay situationally aware, know where you are, observe who is around you, stay awake and aware.

    • .... May 30, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Good idea considering the there are all kinds of Real Life creeps out there that have no respect for nature or society

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