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Developed campgrounds in Caribou-Targhee National Forest opening in June

Coronavirus

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Photo courtesy Caribou-Targhee National Forest

The following is a news release from Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

IDAHO FALLS – Developed campgrounds on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest are slated to open June 1. Many campgrounds on the Forest are still inaccessible due to snow and do not open until the end of May.

We are preparing campgrounds for forest visitors to enjoy the outdoors and are aligning with state orders and stages for reopening. 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.

The Forest is working closely with the concessionaire that operates many of our campgrounds and day-use sites to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal COVID-19 guidelines. For efficiency and safety, visitors currently occupying developed campgrounds will be asked to relocate so sites can be inspected, prepped, and maintained. COVID-19 has brought certain challenges the concessionaire and Forest are working to overcome. Challenges include finding additional camp hosts, procuring necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), and obtaining an adequate amount of cleaning supplies.

“More and more locations are opening across the forest as the weather warms,” said Mel Bolling, Caribou-Targhee 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, river access, and other dispersed activities are occurring all across the Forest. Parking facilities and many 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 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 to see a full list of opening dates. Visitors are encouraged to contact the respective ranger district office with additional questions. Campground reservations can be made here.

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