Some Southern Idaho Campgrounds Will Be Closed Memorial Day Weekend
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) Idaho campers this Memorial Day holiday may find their favorite campgrounds a bit soggy and inaccessible, while others are open and ready to go.
The Sawtooth National Forest sent out an update on the status of many campgrounds in southern Idaho that will be, or not, open for the long camping weekend traditionally marking the start to the camping season. Officials say many facilities are open and ready for guests. Other areas however, continue to see wet, and in some cases are still snow covered in higher elevations. Some campgrounds might be open without full service. Campers are encouraged to take their own water and trash bags.
Forest officials ask people to avoid driving on wet and muddy roads to prevent damaging them. Also, some trails will be closed off to travelers. The Forest Service says people should check for updates because conditions are always changing. Officials have provided some resources for people to know current conditions before they pull out of the driveway. You can go pick up the latest Motor Vehicle Use Map from any Forest Service office. Some campsites can be reserved, follow this LINK or call 1-877-444-6777, otherwise they are first come-first serve.
Here is the current state of most campsites in southern Idaho provided by the Sawtooth National Forest:
Minidoka Ranger District
- South Hills
o Schipper, Steer Basin, Lower and Upper Penstemon, Big Bluff, 3rd Fork, Porcupine Springs, Bear Gulch, FS Flats and Harrington Picnic Area are open. Diamondfield Jack sites are snow covered, parking in the parking lot is open, Father and Son and Bostetter Campgrounds are closed.
o Campground fees will be in effect. Bring drinking water and provision for packing trash back home.
o Roads and Trails are wet so we encourage users to stay on designated roads and trails to prevent damage. FS Road#500 – Bear Gulch to Magic Mtn. is not open as of this notice.
o Sublett Campground, the dispersed site between reservoir and campground (3)
o Mill Flat Campgrounds are open – no fees.
o North Heglar Snowmobile Parking lot is open
- Raft River (Northern Utah)
o Clear Creek Campground is open. Dispersed campground sites upstream from Clear Creek Campground are open. No fees, no water.
o Bennett Spring Campground is closed and all other developed campgrounds and trailheads are closed due to snowdrifts.
o Independence Trailhead is still closed due to snow.
- Road to the top of Mt. Harrison is not opened beyond Pomerelle Ski Area.
- Oakley – Elba Road is open.
- Independence Trailhead is not accessible.
- FS Road 728 is closed due to snow.
Current road and trail conditions can be obtained by calling the Minidoka Ranger District at 208-678-0430.
Ketchum Ranger District
- Boundary Campground will be open with full service.
o Full services are available at Boundary Campground.
o Fees will be charged - $10/night single unit.
o The District will enforce dog leash and dog waste pickup regulations at Boundary. Campground, Adams Gulch and Trail Creek Trailhead.
Current trail conditions for the Ketchum Ranger District can be found at: www.trails.bcrd.org.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area
All of the following campgrounds will be open with full service.
- Wood River Valley
o North Fork – Campsites 20-28 are open
o Wood River – Campsites 1-8 are open
o Easley – Closed indefinitely due to snow drifts and flooding
- Alturas Lake Complex
o Pettit – June 1st opening
o Smokey Bear Campground due to snow conditions may not be open until June 1
o Alturas Inlet – June 9th opening
o North Shore – June 9th opening
o Tent Sites – June 9th opening
- Redfish Lake Complex
o All Redfish Campgrounds will be open
- Salmon River Campgrounds east of Stanley
o Salmon River – riverside only
o Casino Creek
o Riverside (river side only)
o Mormon Bend
o Upper and Lower O’Brien – closed indefinitely due to hill slides
o Whiskey Flats will not open until June 15
o Holman will not open until June 15
- Stanley Lake
o Stanley Lake
o Stanley Lake Inlet – only 4 campsites are open due to flooding
Highway 21 west of Stanley
o Sheep Trail
o Trap Creek
o Elk Creek – June 9th opening
o Iron Creek – June 9th opening
All dump stations will be opened. There are Road Closures in effect on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. For those Closures you can go to http://fs.usda.gov/Sawtooth. Current conditions for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area can be obtained at 208-727-5000.
Fairfield Ranger District
o Forest Road #227 from Featherville to the Camas County line is closed to the public due to snow and damage caused by flooding. Couch, Fleck and Wells Summits are open but please use caution. Expect to encounter snow, high water and downed trees on most trails. Trails have not been cleared yet. Currently Hunter Creek Transfer Camp, which provides horse corrals, fire rings and a restroom, Bear Creek Transfer Camp and Canyon Campground are open. As the week goes by we will update new openings on our Forest Facebook Page. There are Road Closures in effect on the Fairfield Ranger District. For those Closures you can go to http://fs.usda.gov/Sawtooth. No fees are charged at this site. Call the Fairfield Ranger District at 208-764-3202 for up to date information regarding campgrounds, roads and trails.