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Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forests welcome Labor Day visitors

   You’ll find plenty of places to camp, picnic and play on the Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forests over the Labor Day holiday.  However, fire danger is high and there are numerous closures due to fire activity.

   For current fire information and closures, please go to:  www.fs.us da.gov/nezperce or www. inciweb.org/.  Or call your local forest service office for more information.

   With the continuation of hot, dry conditions throughout central Idaho, the Clear-Nez Perce National Forests will be under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, effective Tuesday, Aug. 28, beginning at 12:01 a.m.

   These Stage 1 Fire Restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.  Under the State 1 Fire Restrictions, the following acts are prohibited on the restricted state, federal and tribal managed lands, roads and trails:

         Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, stove fire except within a designated recreation site, or on their own land, and only within an owner-provided structure.

         Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or designated recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

Nez Perce National Forest

   Contact the Supervisor’s Office in Grangeville at 208-983-1950; Slate Creek Ranger Station at 208-839-2211; Elk City Ranger Station at 208-842-2245; or Fenn Visitor Center at 208-926-4258.

All offices will be closed Sept. 3 in observance of Labor Day.  Offices will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, Sept. 4. 

Hwy. 14/South Fork Clearwater River Corridor

   All campgrounds are open on the Red River Ranger District.  The Red River RV dump station located at the old Red River Station is closed, however there is potable water at the site.  Water will be shut off at the South Fork Campground around mid-September.

Selway River Corridor

   All campgrounds are open on the Moose Creek Ranger District.  Reservations can be made for O-Hara campground through the reservation system online at Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Reservations are not accepted for Johnson Bar group site during holidays, so the group site will be first come first serve basis Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Sept. 1 - 3.  The district will no longer offer garbage service at Johnson Bar after Sept. 5.  There will be limited services at O’Hara Campground after Sept. 15 with no water. 

   All roads are open including Indian Hill #290 and Falls Point #443.  Road maintenance is in progress on the Fog Mountain Road #319, so expect 2-4 hour delays.

Hwy. 95/Salmon River Corridor

   All campgrounds are open on the Salmon River Ranger District.  Water will be shut off at the Fish Creek and Spring Bar Campgrounds around mid-September.

   All maintained roads and trails are open at this time with the exception of West Fork Clear Creek road #650 due to culvert replacement and the following trails are closed, #418 (Black Trail Butte), #350 (Boundary Meadows), #351 (Johns Taylor), #321 (Peter Ready), #60 (Potters Flat), #310 (Round Top), #387 (Wild Horse Corrals).

   Please use caution on Slate Creek Road #354 road and expect 30 minute delays due to logging activity and heavy truck traffic.

Clearwater National Forest

   Contact the Supervisor’s Office in Orofino at 208-476-4541; Potlatch Ranger Station at (208) 875-1131; North Fork Ranger District at (208) 476-8267; Lochsa Ranger Station at (208) 926-4274; Powell Ranger Station at (208) 942-3113; or the Lolo Visitor Center at (208) 942-1234.

   All offices will be closed Sept. 3 in observance of Labor Day.  Offices will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Palouse Area

   Forest Service campgrounds and trails will still be open and ready for visitor use as the Labor Day holiday approaches.

   The Elk Creek Campground, located one mile east of Elk River, includes sites that have electrical hookups. The fee for overnight camping is $15/ night.

   Laird Park Campground northeast of Moscow off State Hwy. 6 and Little Boulder Campground south of Helmer along State Hwy. 8 offer both campsites and group picnic areas (call the ranger station to reserve the group picnic sites). There are also campsites at Giant White Pine Campground north of Harvard.   

   All Palouse area campgrounds will remain open through Sunday, Sept. 9, except that Little Boulder CG and Elk Creek CG will remain open thru Sunday, Oct. 28.  No water will be available at these two campgrounds effective Sept. 30, due to winter shutdown. Bald Mtn. Lookout will close Oct. 1.

North Fork Clearwater River Area

   On the North Fork Ranger District, the Aquarius, Washington Creek, Noe Creek, Kelly Forks and Hidden Creek Campgrounds are open. There is no garbage collection at these sites, so please remember to pack-it-in/pack-it-out.

   Following are seasonal closure dates for the North Fork campgrounds:  Aquarius:  Sept.13, Washington Creek:  Sept.17, Hidden Creek:  Sept.17, Kelly Forks:  Sept. 24, Noe Creek:  Sept. 24.  Kelly Cabin will close Sept. 30.

Hwy. 12 Corridor

   Elk Summit Road and Campground are closed due to fire. Jerry Johnson Hot Springs is open, but all trails after the springs are closed.  

   Apgar, Wild Goose and, Loops A, B, D of Wilderness Gateway campgrounds will close on Sept. 5.  Wendover CG and Whitehouse CG will close on Sept. 6. Wilderness Gateway CG and campgrounds west of Wilderness Gateway CG will no longer have garbage service after Sept. 5, Everything east of Wilderness CG will no longer have garbage after Sept. 3. The rest of Wilderness Gateway CG and Powell CG will stay open until Nov. 5. 

   Powell Ranger Station is open Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

   The Lochsa Historical Ranger Station (49 miles east of Kooskia) is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through the Labor Day holiday weekend. 

   The Lolo Pass Visitor Center near the Idaho-Montana state border is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PST) daily through the Labor Day weekend.  After Labor Day Weekend, the center is open weekly except Tuesdays.