CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
Memorial Day on the Nez Perce–Clearwater National Forests
Snow-laden landscapes are giving way to green grass and wildflowers – a sure sign that spring has finally arrived. An early season getaway to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is the perfect way to celebrate the long Memorial Day Weekend. Welcome, warmer weather!
Most campgrounds offer first-come, first-served site selection, although you can reserve campsites at a few campgrounds managed by the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Contact your local Forest Service office for a list of local campgrounds that accept reservations.
To reserve a campsite, call Recreation.gov at
Visitors can camp at sites outside developed campgrounds called “dispersed sites.” However, campers who choose to stay in undeveloped sites should take extra care to protect natural resources, such as plant life. If you camp at a dispersed site, leave no trace of your stay. Use existing fire rings if available, and pack out your trash.
Three of the four developed campgrounds on the Palouse
Ranger District -
There is no trash service at any of the four campgrounds on the Palouse District, so please take your refuse with you when you leave.
You can reserve group picnic areas at Little Boulder and
Laird Park Campgrounds, as well as the pavilion at Elk Creek Campground, by
calling the Potlatch Ranger Station at
On the North Fork Ranger District, Aquarius Campground and Noe Creek Campground will open on Friday, May 24, just in time to welcome holiday visitors. Three popular campgrounds will remain closed through Memorial Day weekend: The Washington Creek and Kelly Forks Campgrounds are scheduled to open Friday, June 7, and Hidden Creek Campground is expected to open June 14.
If you’re looking for a shady campsite on the shores of the
Water systems have been turned on and tested at Wild
Goose, Apgar, Wilderness Gateway, Wendover, Whitehouse, Powell and White Sands
Campgrounds. Campers will have to bring water if they plan to stay at other
On the Moose Creek Ranger
District, all of the campgrounds that flank the beautiful “Wild and Scenic”
Sam Manifold, Developed Recreation Tech, describes campgrounds on the Nez Perce National Forest as “great places to enjoy the long, lazy holiday weekend.”
“Fee campgrounds situated
along the South Fork Clearwater River, including Castle Creek Campground and
South Fork Campground, are open and potable water is available. Spring Bar
Campground, located along the
On the Red River Ranger District, construction at Red River Campground has been completed and a new water system has been installed. A fee of $6 per day is being reinstated from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
River and Stream Conditions
River users will notice a few improvements at river access points along the
According to Heather Berg, the Forests’ Wild and Scenic Rivers Administrator, persons planning Memorial Day float trips are expected to exercise good judgment. “River levels are predicted to be high and the water cold for Memorial Day Weekend,” Berg said. “Boaters are encouraged to use caution and wear personal floatation devices and helmets while on the water. If in doubt of your skills or equipment, utilize of the licensed and permitted whitewater outfitters.”
Roads and Trails
For your safety and to prevent damage to the land, stay on roads and trails and avoid those that are too wet or muddy. Spring break-up can wreak havoc on roads.
Check with local ranger stations for recommended trails before planning your favorite hike, horseback ride or ATV adventure. For the most up-to-date information on road conditions and trail status, please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nezperceclearwater/alerts-notices.
Early-season trail users should do their homework before planning a trip to the backcountry. Due to a healthy snow pack and continued cool temperatures into April, only lower elevation trails and roads are currently open. Travel on all accessible national forest trails may still be slow going at times.
Most trails on the North Fork Ranger District are open for the first two to three miles. Trail users should always yield to stock.
vehicle users, note: ATVs and motorcycles driven on national forest roads
and trails are subject to state of
You can travel into the North Fork Clearwater River country via Beaver Creek Road 247. The road is open from Headquarters all the way to Bungalow, but travelers are advised to use caution. Road 247 may be narrow in places, and drivers should be wary of soft shoulders, sinkholes and slumps. Because of residual snow, it isn’t possible to access many of the spur roads that junction Road 247.
On the North Fork Ranger District, French Mountain Road
250 is open from Pierce to Cedars Campground, although the road is reduced to a
single lane near French Mountain Saddle. Road 250 through
The Kamiah-Lolo Creek-Weippe Loop, Road 100, is open from end-to-end. Road 103, Musselshell Meadows, is open for the first two miles from its junction with Road 100.
Elk Meadows Road 373 and
Granite Pass Road 595, near
Most of the roads on the
The Magruder Road Corridor
(Road 468) between
There are a handful of places you can stop for information, firewood permits, mushroom permits and maps while visiting the Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forests. All Forest Service offices will close Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.
In Grangeville, be sure to
stop by the Nez Perce National Forest Supervisor’s Office, located at
The historic Fenn Ranger
Station, located just a few short miles from US Highway 12 near
Forty-eight miles east of Kooskia, along Highway 12, stop by the Lochsa Historical Ranger Station. The station is open from to , seven days a week. Forest Service volunteers host the site and are happy to answer your questions about what life was like on remote ranger stations in days gone by.
The Kooskia Ranger Station is open from to , Monday through Friday. Friendly Forest Service employees are ready to assist holiday travelers as they make their way to favorite campsites and recreation areas.
In Orofino, the Clearwater National Forest Supervisor’s Office located along U.S. Highway 12 is open Monday-Friday.
The Potlatch Ranger Station, 18 miles north of
For more road and trail information and updates, call the
Nez Perce National Forest Supervisor’s Office at