Low elevation recreation sites are great alternatives as challenges affect high elevation sites on the Plumas

With the July Fourth holiday weekend upon us, Plumas National Forest recreation staff and concessionaires are still working to open sites at high elevation recreation areas following a winter with historic snowpack.  However other recreation sites are open and are great alternatives.

Campsite at Lakes Basin. Photos submitted

While some sites at high elevation will be able to at least partially open, others will remain closed until at least mid-July.

Wyandotte, Tooms, Peninsula Tent, Tooms Boat Launch and Pancake Beach Day Use Area in Little Grass Valley will open June 30.  Black Rock, Horse Camp, Running Deer, Red Feather and Little Beaver campgrounds do not have an estimated opening date at this time.  However, the boat launch at Black Rock is available but may need to be closed at any time.

Hazard tree removal and fuel reduction is continuing in the area, as well as other critical work for public health and safety in the recreation on the eastern shore of the reservoir.

Conditions at Lakes Basin Recreation area are admittedly rough and visitors should manage their expectations.  Recreation staff, firefighters and concessionaire Outdoors in Plumas are working hard to get as much done as possible to open most of the area by June 30.

There are still patches of snow in the recreation area, with larger amounts visible on nearby mountains.  Conditions are wet and muddy in several areas as a result.  There may still be broken picnic tables, downed signs and, in some places portable toilets until facilities can be pumped.

Some sites at Bucks Lake remain closed this weekend due to numerous hazard trees, water system problems and other maintenance issues.  Recreation staff on the Mount Hough Ranger District are working with campground operator PG&E to address these problems and hopefully open later in July.  However, at this time there is no estimated date for opening.  This includes Sundew and Mill Creek campgrounds.  Hutchins Group Camp will remain closed all season.

Efforts are being made to open Grizzly Creek and Whitehorse campgrounds by June 30.   Sandy Point, Indian Rock and West End Cove day use areas are open.

“This has been a challenging year for us, with the impacts of historic snow pack, storm damage, and the increased number of hazard trees that need to be removed to secure our recreation sites,” said Plumas National Forest Recreation and Lands Program Manager Erika Brenzovich.  “Our employees and concessionaires are doing their best to open sites as quickly as possible and are disappointed that some sites are still closed as we start the Fourth of July weekend.”

In the Feather River Canyon, Hallsted and Spanish Creek campgrounds are open.  The campgrounds on Caribou Road – Queen Lily, North Fork and Gansner Bar – are still closed due to landslides on Caribou Road.  There is no projected date for those sites to reopen.

Recreation areas at lower elevations, including Lake Davis, Frenchman Lake and Antelope Lake, are open.

The culvert replacement and road repair project on Forest Road 29N43, also known as Antelope Lake Road, between Genessee and the Antelope Lake Dam is ongoing.  However, the road is being reopened weekends during the summer recreation season between 5 p.m. Fridays and 6 a.m. Mondays.

Campers and other recreational users should plan on bringing plenty of drinking water in case water systems aren’t cleared for potable water.

At Sly Creek Reservoir Recreation Area and Strawberry Campground, visitors should bring all of the water they will need, as the water systems at these sites need to be repaired.

Even though temperatures are becoming more seasonable, water temperatures are colder than normal.  Caution should be used in lakes and rivers to avoid hypothermia and other safety hazards from cold and fast waters.

Area residents and visitors are reminded to use caution with anything that can spark a wildfire.  This includes never leaving a campfire unattended and making sure it is dead out and cold to the touch before leaving.  Trailer chains need to be secured and tires properly inflated to avoid throwing a spark.  Motorized equipment should have properly functioning spark arresters.

All fireworks, including poppers and sparklers, are prohibited on public lands, including the Plumas National Forest.

For more information on the Plumas National Forest, visit fs.usda.gov/plumas or on Facebook at facebook.com/USFSPlumas.