Be prepared for busy Memorial Day weekend, summer in national forests

Scenic Byway 12, Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah, July 13, 2007 | Photo by Joseph Cesare via Wikimedia Commons, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — This Memorial Day weekend promises to be the first of many busy weekends in the national forests of Utah.

Some higher-elevation campgrounds, roads and trails will remain closed due to snow and extremely wet, muddy conditions. A listing of Forest Service campgrounds that will be open for Memorial Day weekend can be found here; however, before heading out for the holiday weekend, check with local ranger district offices for the most current information regarding the area you are planning to visit.

This file photo shows accelerated flow at the confluence of the Virgin River and the Santa Clara River, St. George, Utah, Sept. 9, 2014 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

Safety is always a concern with rivers, streams and creeks running very high and fast this time of year. Fast running water is extremely dangerous.

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 protection of bears, the Forest Service is also encouraging campers and visitors to practice Bear Aware safety while visiting the forest. Wild Aware Utah offers several tips for safe camping and hiking practices, as well as what to do in case of an encounter.

Stock image, St. George News

Forest users are reminded to ride only on designated routes. Remember to always be a responsible rider. You can obtain Motor Vehicle Use Maps that display the roads and trails are open to motorized vehicles here.

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

When hiking, always carry extra water, food and outer wear. Let someone know where you are hiking and approximately what time you will return, and avoid hiking alone. Be prepared for a change in weather conditions.

Make sure campfires are completely extinguished. Most importantly, enjoy your national forests.

Local resources

  • 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.
  • 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 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting May 26.
  • Dixie National Forest: 435-865-3700 or website.
  • 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 seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors Center 435-826-5499.
  • Fishlake National Forest: 435-896-9233 or website.
  • 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, open six days a week from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 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 26. 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 435-676-2676, everyday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A complete listing of the 2017 Memorial Day Forest Service campground status report and safety tips can be accessed here.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.