HAMILTON — The Bitterroot National Forest is working to get developed campgrounds back online following the COVID-19 outbreak, and most are projected to open by Memorial Day weekend.
Additionally, some of the less developed campgrounds -- such as the Gold Creek and Black Bear campgrounds -- will be open on May 8 but with limited services. Rental facilities will begin a phased reopening on May 17, based on seasonal availability and facility conditions. Until then, developed campgrounds and rentals remain temporarily closed.
Recreation crews are currently assessing sites and completing work that needs to be done prior to the sites opening.
Trails, trailheads, and day use sites remain open but people are reminded to avoid congregating at trailheads and/or parking areas and to refrain from gathering in groups of 10 or more.
Additionally, services may also be limited in some areas, so visitors will be required to “Pack it in, pack it out.”
“We are looking forward to reopening these sites for public use and enjoyment. Camping and recreating on National Forests is something individuals and families look forward to every summer,” said Matt Anderson, Forest Supervisor. “We thank everyone for their patience as we work to reopen these sites and we continue to urge everyone to follow local, state, and federal guidelines on staying safe.”
Members of the public with existing reservations for rental cabins and lookouts through Recreation.gov will be notified via email and/or cell phone text messages if there are any changes affecting their reservation.
Bitterroot National Forest spokesman Tod McKay notes that rentals and lookouts will not be cleaned in between use and as in previous years, it is up to the individual renters to bring their own cleaning supplies and to clean before and after use of the site.
The Bitterroot National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation. Click here for information on projected recreation site opening dates and locations www.fs.usda.gov/bitterroot [fs.usda.gov] or call your local Ranger Station.