Camping Utah’s national forests; campground schedules, safety tips

SALT LAKE CITY — Summer is finally upon us, and it is time to gather the kids and camping gear and head to your favorite camping spot for Memorial day weekend. Most campgrounds are now open throughout the state.  Some higher-elevation campgrounds, roads, and trails will remain closed due to snow and extremely wet muddy conditions.

Safety tips

Safety is always a concern.

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.

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.

With the predicted precipitation this weekend, please be aware of falling rocks on roadways.  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 show what roads and trails are open to motorized vehicles in Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Dixie National Forest.

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.

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

Exercise caution with fire and check fire restrictions for your destination and make sure your campfires are completely extinguished.  Most importantly, enjoy your national forests!

Open Campgrounds

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

  • Vernal Ranger District | 435-789-1181 | The Paradise and East Park Reservoir campgrounds will remain closed on the South Slope of the Uinta Mountains above Vernal and LaPoint.
  • Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area | 435-784-3445 | All campgrounds are open with fees except Spirit Lake, Lodgepole, and Carmel.  Carmel campground will remain closed as work is completed renovating the fire rings and picnic table.  Spirit Lake campground is inaccessible due to wet roads and snow drifts.  Lodgepole campground will remain closed due to water issues.
  • Duchesne/Roosevelt Ranger Districts | 435-738-2482 | All campgrounds are open except Pole Creek Campground.  Some campgrounds may not have water available.  Please call the Ranger District for more info on roads and campgrounds.

Dixie National Forest | 435-865-3700, websiteFacebook |

  • Pine Valley Ranger District | 435-688-3200 | Oak Grove and Honey Comb Rocks campgrounds are open.
  • Cedar City Ranger District | 435-865-3700 | All campgrounds and picnic areas will be open with water and fees for Memorial Day weekend.
  • 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).  Kings Creek campground will be open with water on May 22.
  • Escalante Ranger District | 435-826-5499 | All campgrounds will be open with water and fees.

Fishlake National Forest | 435-896-9233, website |

  • Beaver Ranger District | 435-438-2436 | Little Cottonwood, Mahogany Cove, Kent’s Lake, and Little Reservoir campgrounds.  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.
  • 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 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.
  • Fremont River Ranger District | 435-836-2800 | All campgrounds are open with fees. Elkhorn campground is still weather dependent.
  • 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, website |

  • Price | 435-637-2817 | Ferron Ranger District | 435-384-2372 | Huntington Canyon is closed to camping on either side of State Route 31 from the Forks of Huntington to North Hughes Canyon.  Joes Valley campground is open with fees; drinking water is available. Indian Creek, Lake Canyon, Little Bear, Miller Flat Reservoir, Potters Pond, Willow Lake, Gooseberry, Gooseberry Reservoi, and Fish Creek are open but with no water.  The Ferron to Mayfield road is gated beyond Willow Lake, due to snow.  Campsites in lower Huntington Canyon (below Forks of Huntington) will also be open with no water.  Other road gates are expected to be open for the weekend.
  • Sanpete Ranger District | 435-283-4151 | Lake Hill and Manti-Community campgrounds are open with water.  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.
  • Moab Ranger District | 435-259-7155 | Warner Lake, Oowah Lake and Buckeye Reservoir campgrounds are open with fees and no water.  Geyser Pass and La Sal Pass are closed at higher elevations due to snow.
  • Monticello Ranger District | 435-587-2041 | Nizhioni campground is open with water.  Buckboard, Dalton, and Devil’s Canyon campgrounds are open without water.  All major roads are open except North Creek Pass Road.

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest | 801-999-2103,  website |

  • 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 no water at Granite Flat campground and Mt. Timpanogos.  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 turn around space.  Trails in American Fork Canyon are open to foot traffic only. Trails closed to all uses except hiking 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, Grove Creek) are clear of snow and open (There may be some intermittent snow on the higher end of these trails).
  • Spanish Fork Ranger District | 801-798-3571 | Payson Lakes, Blackhawk, 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. Vernon Reservoir and Cottonwood campgrounds are open with no water or fees.  All roads are open.
  • Logan Ranger District | 435-755-3620 | All campgrounds and picnic areas will be open with fees, except Tony Grove, Red Banks, and Sunrise campgrounds.  Low elevation roads and trails are open.  Mid-elevation road gates (Second 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 Left Hand Fork of Blacksmith Fork, Franklin Basin or Providence Canyon.
  • Ogden Ranger District | 801-625-5306 | All campgrounds are open with fees, except Monte Cristo.  All boat ramps and picnic areas around Pineview Reservoir are open with fees.  State Highway 39 is open.  Access to the 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.
  • Salt Lake Ranger District | 801-466-6411 | Tanners Flat campground in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Spruces campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon will be open May 22 with fees.  All reservations sites have been booked for the weekend.  Upper, Main, and South areas in Box Elder picnic site are open with fees, no water.  The Farmington Canyon road will remain closed until the saturated soils can dry out.  The road is closed to all uses until further notice for public safety.  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) is open to Boy Scout campground and Medina Flat. The road is closed until further notice for public safety above the Boy Scout campground due to a rock slide near the Narrows campgrounds.
  • Heber-Kamas Ranger District | 435-654-0470, 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 2015 season due to removal of hazardous trees in and around the campground. The Strawberry Visitor Center and Wolf Creek Pass (Utah SR 35) is open.  The Mirror Lake Highway (Utah State Road 150) from Kamas, Utah, to Evanston, Wyoming, is open.  Yellow Pine, Lower Provo, Shingle Creek, Shady Dell, Soapstone (there has been some flooding in the campground the lower loop will be closed), Cobblerest, Smith and 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 still inaccessible. Visitors parked or camping along the mirror Lake Scenic Byway must display a fee pass.
  • Evanston/Mountain View Ranger Districts | 307-789-3194, 307-782-6555 | Evanston:  Bear River, East Fork, Christmas Meadows, Meeks, Stillwater, Beaver View, Hayden Fork and Sulphur campgrounds on the Evanston Ranger District 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. Whitney Reservoir is accessible, some snow and lots of wet spots.  Use care when selecting a place to camp. Lyman Lake campground and Elizabeth Pass are not open.  Trails above 9,000 feet are wet, muddy or snow covered. Forest crews are doing maintenance work to remove dead trees in campgrounds.  Visitors recreating or primitive camping along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway must display a fee pass. 
  • Mountain View | Stateline, Hoop Lake, Bridger, Marsh, and Deadhorse trailhead campgrounds will be open for Memorial Day with no water and fees.


Related posts

Email: [email protected]

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.