Some Tonto National Forest rec sites reopen May 15

Independent Newsmedia
Posted 5/13/20

Beginning Friday, May 15, much of the Tonto National Forest’s developed recreation sites will be open for use, according to a release.

Included are all developed sites for the lower Salt …

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Some Tonto National Forest rec sites reopen May 15

Posted

Beginning Friday, May 15, much of the Tonto National Forest’s developed recreation sites will be open for use, according to a release.

Included are all developed sites for the lower Salt River and Saguaro Lake. Most developed sites at Apache, Canyon, and Roosevelt Lakes will also be open.  Additional Bartlett Lake sites will open on Saturday.

“In conjunction with Governor Ducey’s phased reopening of Arizona, we are opening many popular sites on the forest for public use and enjoyment,” Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth stated in the release.  “We recognize the importance of providing recreational opportunities to forest visitors while providing for the safety of our employees and the public.”

If you are planning to visit the Tonto National Forest, keep the following in mind:

  • Be good stewards of public lands and natural resources. Recreate responsibly.
  • Avoid crowded areas and don't park illegally. Over the past month, the entire forest has seen unprecedented visitation numbers. While opening additional recreation sites will help address crowding and parking issues, officials anticipate visitation will continue to exceed capacity in some areas.
  • Starting May 15, recreation passes will be required. Purchase of passes will be available at machines located at some sites across the forest, at participating vendors, and virtually by contacting a district office during normal business hours.
  • Use own hygiene and safety when using these facilities. Restroom cleaning may be limited in some areas; cleaning schedules will be posted at each site. This will also be the case for picnic tables and other areas that may be touched often by others.
  • Use common courtesy and “Leave No Trace” principles related at recreation sites to avoid creating a public health hazard for employees and other forest users.
  • Take precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, like practicing social distancing and limiting group sizes.  

Some sites on the Tonto National Forest remain closed due to shortages of personal protective equipment  for employees, shortage of sanitizing products, and small spaces that force congregations of large groups in violation of CDC guidelines.

Additional recreation sites that can be safely opened and maintained will open guided by conditions on the ground, seasonal availability and facility conditions.  Click here for a detailed list of what remains closed.

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