CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
JULY 1, 2010
June 21 marked the first day
of summer. If you are looking forward to recreating in the Nez Perce and
Camping is allowed at sites outside developed campgrounds. If you camp at a dispersed site, leave no trace of your stay. Use existing fire rings if available, and pack out your trash.
Whether you choose a developed campground or a dispersed site, your stay is limited to 14 days at any one site.
opportunities may be found by visiting
www.recreation.gov or calling
Campgrounds with good access and sites for RV campers include O’Hara, Fish Creek, South Fork, Castle Creek and Spring Bar.
Roads and Trails
Due to snow conditions in the higher elevations, many roads and trails are not accessible.
As of June 28, from Highway
14 to the Orogrande "Y", the Crooked River Road on the Red River Ranger District
is open and in good shape. The road from Orogrande "Y" to Orogrande Summit is
open and in good shape, for all vehicles. Orogrande Summit campgrounds are
clear of snow and open. The road from Orogrande Summit to
The Meadow Creek Trail #726 located on the Moose Creek Ranger District is closed to stock due to a landslide that removed 30 feet of the trail. The closure starts at Little Creek and ends at the junction with Indian Hill Trail #603. The trail remains open to foot travel; hikers are advised to proceed with caution.
In Grangeville, the Forest
Service Office is at
For additional information
call the Nez Perce National Forest Headquarters in Grangeville at
Dozens of campsites in
several Clearwater National Forest Service campgrounds will be open for
visitors. Most campgrounds offer first-come, first-served site selection, but a
few campgrounds have sites that you can reserve; Wilderness Gateway, 49 miles
east of Kooskia along U.S. Highway 12; Powell, 12 miles west of the
Idaho-Montana state line along Highway 12; and Elk Creek, one mile north of Elk
River. Call toll free at
Campgrounds with good access and sites for RV campers include Powell, Wendover and Whitehouse (a few miles west of Powell), Wilderness Gateway and Elk Creek. Powell and Elk Creek also have several electrical hookup sites.
Along the North Fork Clearwater River, the popular Washington Creek, Weitas, Noe and Kelly Forks Campgrounds are up and running and waiting for Independence Day visitors. There are no overnight camping fees at Weitas Campground.
The Hidden Creek Campground and The Cedars Campground are also open and ready for happy, high-country campers.
The Aquarius Campground is open, but work is winding down on the North Fork District’s Aquarius Campground/Purple Beach Improvement Project and there’s a chance that quiet camping spots and isolated beachfront venues may be hard to come by. A new group site and a picnic area are being constructed and improvements, such as tables, fire rings, a concrete toilet and water distribution system, are being installed.
North Fork District Ranger
Doug Gober said that
Palouse Ranger District, the Giant White Pine,
Forest Service Road 250, the
Road 255, which runs from the
Forest Road 500, the Lolo
Motorway, and Road 581, Toboggan Ridge, remains closed due to snow. The last
quarter-mile of Elk Summit Road 360 is also blocked by snow and may not be
melted out prior to the 4th of July. Call the Powell Ranger Station
Fish Lake Trail 419 is temporarily closed to all motorized vehicles. The trail will reopen later in July, when the trail’s surface dries out.
For more information, call
the Clearwater National Forest Information Desk in Orofino at
Many of the forests’ rivers and streams are flowing higher than normal for this time of year. Visitors are encouraged to use caution near river and stream edges and use life jackets when boating or tubing.
Please keep these fire safety tips in mind: build small and contained campfires; never leave fire unattended; make sure it is Dead Out before leaving; state law requires having a bucket and shovel handy when lighting a campfire; all types of equipment and vehicles are required to have spark arresters. This includes; chainsaws, portable generators, cross-country vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and farm equipment.
Possessing, discharging or using any kind of fireworks on public lands is strictly prohibited. Please report violations to the nearest Sheriff’s office.
Employees of the Nez Perce
Don’t let fire ruin your Independence Day celebration
responsible for starting wildland fires can be billed the cost of suppressing
the fire. When the guilty party is not identified, the cost of firefighting
often falls upon the