Campsites still available for Memorial Day Weekend
Although pass sales for the Arapaho National Recreation Area are 10 percent behind normal for this time of year, the reservations for campsites for this Memorial Day Weekend are encouraging, according to U.S. Forest Service Recreation Manager Brad Orr.
Out of the 129 campsites at Stillwater Campground, about 42 have already been reserved and more have been reserved at Green Ridge.
With the sun of springtime just barely baring itself in Grand County, “I was a little surprised that many had been booked,” Orr said.
As far as lagging pass sales, “good weather and a high lake could change that,” he said. “I’m not worried.”
Hazardous tree removal at campgrounds has been a district priority for foresters, as dead beetle-kill trees can pose a danger to tenters.
“We will not open a campground if there are any hazard trees,” Orr said.
Repeat campers at Stillwater Campground on Lake Granby were especially shocked last year to see the popular lakeside campground denuded of trees. “Certainly, people don’t prefer it, they prefer trees,” Orr said. “But I think they understand the reason.”
U.S. Forest Service workers and volunteers have since been replanting trees in both Stillwater and Green Ridge.
Orr warns campers and hikers about hazardous trees: “Avoid being in a dead forest when it’s windy and do not park or camp under dead trees.”
And because of hazard trees, there exists limited primitive car camping at present, according to Orr. Those who prefer to camp outside of campgrounds are encouraged to contact the Sulphur Ranger District office in Granby at 970-887-4100 to find out where those opportunities exist.
National Recreation Area fees remain the same as they have been for the past eight years, and most campground fees have remained the same save for three in the Arapaho district.
St. Louis Creek, Idlewild and Byers Creek campground fees went up $2 this year due to increases in costs, according to Orr.
The average cost to camp in a U.S. Forest Service campground in Grand County is $18 per unit.
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail email@example.com.
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