For those who decide to recreate on Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest this Memorial Day weekend, please remember to follow CDC guidelines, and be familiar with closures and group and fire restrictions that are currently in place.
Visitors should be aware that trailheads and trails on the Carson Ranger District west of Reno and Carson City, Nevada, and Spring Mountain National Recreation Area near Las Vegas are experiencing high visitation. The public in these areas are being encouraged to consider some of the Forest’s lesser-known trailheads and trails.
Hikers on the Thomas Creek and Whites Creek trails near Reno, Nevada, need to keep their dogs on leash while on these two trails. Forest Order 04-17-20-05 is in place to prevent dogs from harassing or harming sheep that are grazing in the area to reduce hazardous fuels. Anyone that violates this Forest Order could be subject to fines of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail. In addition, if a dog injures or kills a sheep the owner could be held civilly and criminally liable.
Also, visiting NFS lands while facilities are closed can leave major impacts on the environment, such as accumulated trash and human waste. Many small actions have a magnified effect. It is important to practice Leave No Trace principles which include planning ahead and being prepared, sticking to trails, disposing of both trash and human waste properly, minimizing fire impacts, leaving what is found, keeping a safe distance from wildlife and being considerate and kind to other people.
The public should also be aware that many of the Forest roads, trails, and wilderness areas are not accessible due to wet, muddy, and snowy conditions until the end of May or later, especially on the high elevation Ranger Districts. Before taking a drive on Forest roads or motorized trails, check their status by contacting the local Forest Service office at or consult the Forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Maps to determine when roads and motorized trails are open. MVUMs can be found at fs.usda.gov/detail/htnf/maps-pubs/?cid=STELPRDB5127750.
Also, “Tread Lightly” on Forest roads and trails that are wet, muddy or snowy by limiting or avoiding use to prevent damage. Causing damage can be a violation of federal regulations, which could carry a fine up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.
Forest-wide fire restrictions are in place and prohibit the following on the Forest in Nevada and a portion of eastern California: Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and sheepherder’s stoves.
Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.
The current fire restrictions do not allow open fire pits or open flame devices (e.g. portable propane fire-ring), but gas grills and portable gas stoves that have an on/off switch are allowed.
For up-to-date information on fire restrictions on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and Nevada Division of Forestry, visit nevadafireinfo.org/restrictions-and-closures.
In California, please check with the agency that manages the land for current fire restrictions.
Virtual services are available to purchase passes, maps, etc., while all Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest offices remain closed to the public.
Here is a list of services available online: Annual or Lifetime Federal Recreation Pass, including all Senior Passes (store.usgs.gov/recreational-passes); Forest maps, USGS Store (store.usgs.gov/filter-products?categories=%5B216%5D&page=1); Avenza (mobile devices) (avenza.com/avenza-maps/); and Forest Service Virtual Interactive Maps (fs.fed.us/ivm/).
Call the ranger district directly for details on how to obtain firewood cutting or other permits )fs.usda.gov/detail/htnf/about-forest/offices)
For information and updates on recreation closures and fire restrictions on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, visit the following sites: fs.usda.gov/htnf; facebook.com/HumboldtToiyabeNF/; and twitter.com/HumboldtToiyabe.