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Tue, Sept. 22

Coconino Forest begins reopening campgrounds, recreation sites

Lake Mary in Coconino National Forest. Many campgrounds and recreation sites are reopening in Coconino National Forest. (Photo/Brady Smith, USFS)

Lake Mary in Coconino National Forest. Many campgrounds and recreation sites are reopening in Coconino National Forest. (Photo/Brady Smith, USFS)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz — After closing earlier this spring to stem the transmission of the coronavirus, Coconino National Forest will begin reopening some recreation sites May 14.

A campfire and charcoal ban is still in effect across the entire national forest, and forest managers are asking users to take extra care to clear out their trash.

“Dumping on the national forest destroys the beauty of the landscape and your natural forest heritage,” the forest said in a release. “Violations are punishable under the Code of Federal Regulations, with possible fines up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail. Additional State and Federal penalties may also be applicable.”

In the Flagstaff Ranger District, the following developed campgrounds are set to open May 20:

• Ashurst Lake Campground

• Canyon Vista Campground

• Forked Pine Campground (Ashurst Lake area)

• Lakeview Campground

• Pine Grove Campground

• Upper Lake Mary Narrows Boat Launch & Picnic Site. Note: Group ramadas and all charcoal grills will be closed, as well as the Upper Lake Mary sandy beach area.

Many recreation sites in the Red Rock Ranger District near Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon will reopen May 15.

The following will open May 15:

• Banjo Bill Picnic Site

• Bell Rock Pathway/Vista

• Bootlegger Picnic Site

• Cathedral Rock Trail

• Courthouse Butte Loop Trail/Vista

• Dry Creek Vista Trailhead and trails

• Encinoso Picnic Site

• Halfway Picnic Site

• Long Canyon Trailhead

• Mescal Trailhead and trails

Opening May 20

• Beaver Creek Picnic Site

• Call of the Canyon Picnic Site

• Cave Springs Campground

• Clear Creek Campground

• Crescent Moon Picnic Site

• Forked Pine Campground

• Grasshopper Point Swimming & Picnic Site

• Honanki Heritage Site

• Manzanita Campground

• Pine Flat Campground

• West Fork Trailhead and Trail

Palatki, V Bar V Heritage Site, and all Fossil Creek recreation sites are scheduled to reopen sometime in the latter half of June.

All of the developed campgrounds in the Mogollon Rim Ranger District remain closed at least through Memorial Day weekend. Boat ramps at Knoll Lake and Blue Ridge Reservoir remain open, but have limited space.

With the increase of dispersed camping and people visiting the forest, there has been an increase of trash left across Coconino National Forest. Each year, valuable personnel time and funds meant for important restoration and watershed protection projects are redirected to deal with trash, debris, feces, and junk left by campers and people recreating.

The current status of all recreation sites, trailheads, and developed campgrounds is listed in alphabetical order on the Coconino Recreation web page, which will be updated whenever a recreation site opens or closes.

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