Friday, May 23, 2008

Investigate, then recreate

SNRA offers limited recreation this weekend

Express Staff Writer

Due to this year's cold spring, the thawing process in high elevations is taking more time than expected, said the Sawtooth National Recreation Area weekly recreation report. Although the Sawtooth National Recreation Area is trying to open campgrounds, the area is still quite muddy and snowy.

There is enough snow to ski on the Harriman Trail past Baker Creek but there are closure signs on Harriman from the Sawtooth National Recreation Area up to Baker Creek. The conditions will depend upon the number of sun-filled days.

Trucks and big-rig vehicles are getting stuck. Vehicles that go beyond the rope closures and become stuck are at their own risk. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area will not pay for their removal, it announced.

When forest roads start to melt back from the highway, signs will be posted for temporary road closures to prevent rutting and other damages until road services become dry enough to support traffic.

There are four campgrounds open for spring camping along the Salmon River, which include Salmon River, Mormon Bend, Whiskey Flats and Holman Creek. The sites are located down river from Stanley close to fishing areas available to the public. There are no amenities at these sites; they are considered "Pack It In and Pack It Out." Campgrounds without closures gates can be used for walk-in dry camping but there are no services or restrooms available.

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area would like visitors to park at designated pullouts on the highway and pack out all trash. Depending on how the area dries and thaws, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is the normal time for most concessionaires, restaurants and recreation facilities to open for the summer.

For campground reservations and trail and road reports, visit the Kethchum Ranger Station, or call 622-5371.

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