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SNF Increasing Public Access, Opening More Facilities

MOUNTAIN AREA — The Sierra National Forest (SNF) is increasing forest access for the public by opening additional developed recreational opportunities across the forest, including twenty-three campgrounds that will open today (June 18).

“Visitors are encouraged to check the Forest website and social media pages for the most up-to-date information on what is open so that you can plan your visit,” said a news release issued late Wednesday by SNF officials. “You can also call your local Ranger Station during normal business hours Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.”

“We continue to recommend that you not travel long distances to recreate,” the release also stated. “If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time. All visitors should practice self-sufficiency during your visits to national forests. Recreating responsibly will help ensure that expanded access to recreational facilities, services, and opportunities continues.”

SNF officials said responsible recreation practices should be maintained at all times, including:

• Maintaining at least six feet distancing from others.
• Do not gather in groups and please follow the latest guidance from officials.
• Communicate with others. Alert trail users of your presence and step aside to let others pass.
• Pack out your trash and leave with everything you bring in and use.
• All services may not be available, so please plan accordingly.

Officials will continue to phase in opening of facilities and services as “federal, state and county policies, facility preparations and conditions on the ground allow,” the release stated. 

SNF officials are beginning to open developed campgrounds for individual campsites that provide the opportunity for overnight camping for families or members of the same household. Twenty-three locations will open today. Campgrounds remaining closed under a new Forest Order effective through October 1 “will open once they meet the criteria established by the California Resilience Roadmap for a phased approach to opening,” the release stated.

“Visitors should always use advanced planning for their trip,”SNF officials said. “There may be changes in what you typically experience at your favorite campground. Some campsites may not be available in order to allow for proper social distancing between sites, and some shared areas may be closed. It is recommended that you please bring all necessary cleaning and sanitization supplies, such as hand sanitizer or soap, and a tablecloth for picnic tables that can be taken home for washing. Some activities may not be available, such as group picnic areas, swimming beaches or amphitheaters.”

For those that have reserved campsites in advance, if the campground is not able to be opened, customers will be notified via Recreation.gov and will receive a refund. Some campgrounds are opening earlier than expected. Reservations will be honored if the reservation holder did not already cancel. We thank you for your continued patience during this transition and reopening period.

“Please be aware that even without the challenges we all have faced in response to COVID-19, many of our campgrounds do not typically open until late May or June, due to winter snow, and require two – three weeks of preparation prior to seasonal opening.”

The following SNF recreation sites and campgrounds are now open:

Bass Lake Ranger District:

Wishon Boating Site
The Falls Picnic Site
Lakeside Picnic Site
Denver Church Picnic Site
Little Denver Church Picnic Site
Rocky Point Picnic Site
Willow Cove Picnic Area
Recreation Point Picnic Site
Pine Point Picnic Site
Cranberry Flat Picnic Site
Indian Flat Picnic Site
McClendon Beach Picnic Site
Redbud Picnic Site
Forks Campground
Lupine Campground
Cedar Campground
Spring Cove Campground
Wishon Campground
Summerdale Campground
Dirt Flat Campground
Dry Gulch Campground
Chilkoot Campground
Fish Creek Campground
Soda Springs Campground
Sweetwater Campground
Greys Mountain Campground
Soquel Campground
Fresno Dome Campground
Kelty Meadow Campground

High Sierra Ranger District:

Huntington Boat Launch
Billy Creek Picnic Site
Dowville Day Use
Dinkey Creek Campground
Buck Meadow Campground
Mono Hot Springs Campground
Mono Creek Campground
Vermillion Campground
Portal Forebay Campground
Ward Lake Campground

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