Forest Service staff will reopen parts of the Salmon-Challis National Forest on May 16 with new rules in effect, stemming from the coronavirus.
Sites along the Salmon-Cobalt, Lost River, Leadore and North Fork roads will open after Forest Service workers clear fallen trees and clean up the sites. The Morgan Creek Campground along the Challis-Yankee Fork road will also open May 16.
More sites on the Challis-Yankee Fork road will open May 22. Sites along the Middle Fork road will open May 25. For a complete list of recreation sites that will reopen, call the Public Lands Center in Salmon at 208-756-5122.
The developed sites are reopening because Forest Service maintenance workers have the necessary materials to operate safely in compliance with COVID-19 requirements. Forest Service Public Relations Officer Amy Baumer said in a news release the plan is to have about 30 sites fully or partially open by Memorial Day weekend.
Baumer said sites near local communities are targeted to open first. Forest Service workers recommend Idahoans try to stay close to home when planning a forest visit.
Maintenance work will be limited because of state guidelines regarding COVID-19, so forest users must adhere to new rules on cleanliness and physical distancing. Campers, hikers, hunters and other outdoor recreationists need to be prepared for no garbage collection or bathroom cleanings. They must pack their garbage and other waste out. Visitors are asked to bring sanitation materials with them, including hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
Groups larger than 10 are discouraged and users are asked to not congregate in parking lots or at scenic overlooks. When camping, users must disperse and maintain an appropriate distance from other campers.