LOGAN – This weekend, many people may be looking for an escape from the madness of life with kids in the neighborhood, the stress of teaching their children at home or the craziness of COVID-19. With the chance of blue skies and sunshine, folks may head to the local forests to breath some clean air and find some relaxation.
Many of the U.S. Forest Service’s lower elevation campgrounds have opened on May 15 for the public to use. Those campgrounds include Box Elder, Guinavah-Malibu, Bridger, Pioneer, Preston Valley, Spring, Spring Hollow, Friendship, Lodge, Smithfield, and Wood Camp.
“Single campsites are limited to eight people per site,” said Kristen Johansen, a Forest Service customer service representative. “Inside of the developed campgrounds, campfires are allowed only in established fire rings and the fire must be completely extinguished before it is left unattended.”
She said, for now, Preston Valley, Spring, Lodge, Smithfield and Wood Camp are first come, first serve only. Many of the other campsites that people have not been able to reserve in the past have been changed to allow online reservations and payment.
“We encourage people to make reservations by visiting www.recreation.gov, but reservations need to be made at least four days in advance,” she said. “Any campsites that are not reserved in advance of this time will default to first come, first serve.”
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest officials are advising visitors to use extra caution for the next several weeks, while recreating in the forest. They offer these important visitor safety guidelines:
-Parents: watch your children and pets – swift water is a natural, but a potentially deadly magnet for curious children and pets.
-Don’t wade across cold, swift water. Fast-moving water can be deceivingly dangerous, especially for anglers.
-Stay off unstable stream banks. Added weight can unexpectedly cause them to collapse.
-Be aware of wet soils on steep slopes. This may produce falling rocks that are dangerous for both hikers and vehicles.
-To protect at-risk roads and trails from unnecessary rutting and erosion, wheeled vehicles and horses are prohibited on many forest roads.
-Please tread lightly. Forest officials remind OHV users that they are responsible for knowing which roads and trails are open to motorized use. Motor Vehicle Use Maps, which show what roads and trails are open to motorized vehicles, are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/uwcnf/maps-pubs