Camping at Idaho State Parks Pushed Back Until May 30
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Idahoans eager to head out to Lake Walcott or Three Island Crossing state parks to camp will have to wait until the end of May as the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation revised the reopening date for overnight stays.
On Friday, the Parks Department announced it would push back the opening of Idaho owned campgrounds to realign with Gov. Brad Little's Rebound Idaho reopening plan that extends through the end of June; originally, campgrounds were slated to open as early as May 15. Many state park facilities stayed open since late March for day-use when the governor ordered a statewide stay-at-home order because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Last week the department said it estimated about 75 percent of visitors had not been paying the $5 entry fee since the stay-at-home order went into effect. Many employees were sent home and closed entry booths leaving visitors to use the honor system and deposit the entry fee in the drop boxes. Idaho State Parks will remain open for day-use with social distancing guidelines in place until May 30.
The department is stocking up on personal protective equipment for employees to wear to clean restrooms and other shared-use facilities more often. However, showers at campgrounds will remain closed because they cannot be cleaned as thoroughly as recommended by health professionals, according to the Parks Department. Premium cabins with dishes, linens and bathrooms will not be available as well because of the difficulty cleaning them; the basic camper cabins will be available.
The Parks Department noted that resuming camping at State Parks is dependent on if Idaho is able to continue to see a downward trend in COVID-19 infections.