Outdoors

Many campgrounds closed, several facilities open in Eldorado National Forest

A number of campgrounds in the Eldorado National Forest remain covered with snow and will not be open for the Memorial Day weekend.

Several facilities, however, will be open:

Ice House and Strawberry campgrounds and the boat ramp on Ice House Reservoir.

Sunset, Wench, Yellow Jacket, Wolf Creek and West Point campgrounds and the boat ramps on Union Valley Reservoir.

Stumpy Meadows and Black Oak campgrounds and the boat ramp on Stumpy Meadows Reservoir.

Middle Meadows group campground and Hell Hole campground, but without water.

Sand Flat, Lovers Leap and China Flat campgrounds, the Bridal Veil picnic area and the parking lot at Twin Bridges/Pyramid Creek trailhead off the Highway 50 corridor.

Pipi Campground off Highway 88.

"Forest roads and trails may also have wet conditions and the high elevation routes of the national forest are still covered with snow and will not be passable until the snow melts, including Mormon Emigrant Trail," Duane Nelson, acting forest supervisor, said in a news release.

Although the seasonal road a trail closure has been lifted, many routes may still be muddy and people should not drive on them, Nelson said. Anyone who damages roadbeds may receive a citation.

Forest Service officials also report that streams are running at high volume, due to snow melt. Visitors should not attempt to cross swollen streams and should use caution when traveling along stream banks.

Visitors planning to camp outside of developed campgrounds must park their vehicle on the side of a designated road or within a reasonable distance of the route so as not to block the roadway, create a safety hazard or damage vegetation. A free map of roads and trails designated for vehicle travel are available at all Eldorado National Forest offices.

Campers also are reminded that 2010 campfire permits are required to use wood, charcoal or gas fires on national forest land outside of designated, developed campgrounds. The permits are available for free at any U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry or Bureau of Land Management office.

Wilderness permits also are required year-round for overnight camping in both the Desolation and Mokelumne wilderness areas.

For more information about campground and road conditions, go to the Eldorado National Forest website at www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado.

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