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A view of Lake Davis at the dam, still covered in snow. Photo courtesy PNF

Snow delays opening of Plumas rec sites

While temperatures are becoming more spring and summer like in towns and lower elevations, snow continues to be a challenge affecting recreation sites opening on the Plumas National Forest.

This week, nearly 800 reservations for Plumas National Forest sites on Recreation.gov were canceled due to delays opening for the season.  Sites that would normally open in early to mid-May are projected to open a few weeks behind schedule.

Even as snow recedes, recreation staff and Outdoors in Plumas employees still need to assess sites for storm damage and hazard trees, make necessary repairs, conduct water testing, open bathroom facilities and other pre-season tasks for public health and safety.

Currently it is anticipated that Spanish Creek, Grasshopper Flat, Grizzly, Lightning Tree, Big Cove, Chilcoot, Frenchman, Spring Creek, Boulder Creek, Long Point and Lone Rock campgrounds will be open by May 25.  Grizzly Creek, Whitehorse and Gold Lake campgrounds are currently estimated to open June 23.

“With the warmer weather, we are all looking forward to getting outside and enjoying camping, hiking, boating, fishing and many other activities in the forest,” said Plumas National Forest Recreation and Lands Program Manager Colleen Heard.  “Unfortunately, at the higher elevations we are still getting reports of up to 11 feet of snow in places Lake Davis is still frozen and our ability to access recreation sites is being heavily impacted.  We truly appreciate the patience of our area residents and visitors while we work on opening sites for the season.”

Mill Creek and Sundew campgrounds near Bucks Lake are still not available for reservations on Recreation.gov as the transition to PG&E for site management continues.

Until reservations can be made online, Mill Creek and Sundew campground will be first come – first serve, although opening will likely be delayed due to snow.

Road conditions are currently challenging and may be hazardous as snow continues to melt and create more runoff than usual.  The public is reminded that creating damage to Forest Service roads and trails not only takes time and costly resources to repair, but is also illegal.  If you can see your tires leaving any type of rut in the road, please safely turn around and return once the ground has dried enough to prevent further damage.

Drivers should watch for damaged roads and culverts, avoid continuing to travel in these areas, and report the damage to the local ranger district office or Forest Supervisor’s Office.  Photos and location coordinates are also appreciated.

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

There’s still a lot of snow at the Gold Lake Staging area. Is it almost May? Photo courtesy PNF
The entrance to the Honker Cove Boat launch at Lake Davis. Photo courtesy PNF

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