Regional News

Responsible Recreation and Holiday Office Closures


May 25, 2018

Memorial Day weekend marks the kickoff of summer and is typically one of the busiest and most popular recreation weekends of the year on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Thousands of people will visit the forest to camp, hike, bike, and enjoy the great outdoors. Forest visitors are encouraged to obtain recreation information prior to the weekend as most national forest offices will be closed over the three-day holiday. The Wenatchee River Ranger District in Leavenworth will be the only Forest Service office that will be open on Saturday, May 26, and from 7:45 to noon on Memorial Day. All other Okanogan-Wenatchee NF offices will be closed over the Memorial Day weekend.

 

“This is a wonderful beginning to the summer recreation season,” said Mary Bean, recreation program manager for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. “It is so popular that it’s not uncommon for some campgrounds to be full by late Thursday evening, so we recommend planning ahead and having alternative sites in mind. No matter the weather, forest campgrounds will be full this weekend.”

                                                                                                                             

Forest visitors are reminded to please use caution when driving on forest roads. “Roads in the upper elevation areas may still have snow on them. We ask visitors to refrain from driving on muddy and snowy roads to avoid damaging them,” said Forest Engineer Jason Peterson. “Flooding has damaged some roads on the north end of the forest in the Chewuch drainage and we are looking at other areas where suspected damage has occurred. We ask forest visitors to use caution and be prepared to encounter closed or impassable roads.” 

 

Conditions may not only limit access to higher elevation roads, but many trails may also be affected.

 

“Due to fires that have occurred in recent years, winter debris covering trails, and snow at higher elevations, some forest trails may not be passable,” Bean said. “We ask forest visitors to note trail conditions and share that information with local ranger stations.”

 

Please be a good steward of your public lands and care for the places where you play. Here are some tips to help make the holiday weekend a safe and enjoyable one:

 

  • Make sure campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving the campsite. Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Rivers, streams and creeks are flowing high and fast, please stay away from riverbanks which may be unstable due to higher water levels.
  • When parking, please do not park in front of locked gates or block driveways to public property.
  • Forest wildlife is out and hungry so store all of your food properly, especially in areas prone to bears and other smaller wildlife.
  • Maintain an appropriate and safe distance from wildlife when viewing.
  • Keep a clean camp and dispose of garbage in appropriate receptacles or take it home if no garbage services are provided.
  • Share the trail and show courtesy to other recreational users.

 

For information about campgrounds and other recreation sites, road conditions and closures in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest please contact individual ranger district offices during normal business hours.

  • Chelan Ranger District, 428 W. Woodin Ave., Chelan, WA; 509-682-4900; hours M-F 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., closed for lunch 11:30 to 12:30
  • Cle Elum Ranger District, 803 W. 2nd Street, Cle Elum, WA; 509-852-1100; hours M-F 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.; closed for lunch 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.
  • Entiat Ranger District, physical address 2108 Entiat Way, Entiat, WA; 509-784-4700; hours M-F 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Methow Valley Ranger District, 24 West Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA; 509-996-4000; hours M-F 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Naches Ranger District, 10237 Hwy. 12, Naches, WA; 509-653-1401; hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; closed for lunch noon to 12:30 p.m.
  • Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Headquarters, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, WA; 509-664-9200; hours M-F 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Tonasket Ranger District, 1 W. Winesap, Tonasket, WA; 509-486-2186; hours M-F 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; closed for lunch 12:30 to 1 p.m.
  • Wenatchee River Ranger District, 600 Sherbourne, Leavenworth, WA; 509-548-2550; hours M-Sat 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Open Memorial Day 7:45 a.m. to noon.

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