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Prepare for weather, water, and mud in forest back-country

UPDATE: 5-24-19 3:30 PM
The Ashton/Island Park Ranger District has closed the North Big Springs Road from the forest boundary to the pavement at Big Springs. District Ranger Liz Davy said there are deep, muddy pot holes on the road that are causing vehicles to get stuck. Fremont County Road and Bridge crews have helped fill in some of the potholes, but she said the rain has made the road difficult to drive. Access to the area is still available on South Big Springs Road and Meadow Creek Road.


The Caribou-Targhee National Forest advises Memorial Day weekend visitors to be ready for remnants of winter in the back-country.

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest advises that many places, especially at higher elevations, will not be accessible due to heavy snows and late thaw.

Most campgrounds are open, but road surfaces may be muddy, rutty and soft.

At the same time, forest officials said rivers and creeks are running fast and at high levels, so keep a close eye on children or pets.

Visitors should also keep track of latest weather forecasts. Let others know where you’re going and when you’ll return. And always carry extra water, food, and outerwear.

The forest issued this latest assessment of conditions Friday:

Ashton/Island Park:
– Mesa Falls is open but does not have drinking water.
– Big Falls Inn is open.
– Campgrounds that will be open for Memorial Day on this district include: Buffalo, Grandview, Box Canyon, Flatrock, Upper Coffeepot, Riverside, and Warm River.
– People can get to Warm River Cabin and Squirrel Meadows.
– Bishop Road still has snow on the road.
– People can’t drive over Green Canyon Pass there is way too much snow.
– Most of our roads are impassable a few miles from Forest boundary because of all the snow.
– Reclamation or Flagg Ranch road is passable to the Wyoming boundary.

– Campgrounds on Dubois RD are open (oddard and Steel Creek).
– The roads in the Cottonwood Loop and Aldous Lake area remain imassable.
– Many roads are very wet and muddy and a lot of other locations remain inaccessible.

– All of the campgrounds on Palisades will open before the weekend.
– The RV Dump Site and Riverside Day Use are open.
– The Blowout, Big Elk, and Calamity Boat Ramps have the docks in and are good to go.
– The Elk/Jensen Road is closed. This is the road between Bear Creek and McCoy Creek.

– Minnetonka Cave is NOT open due to snow/maintenance delays.
– All Montpelier Concessionaire Campgrounds with the exception of Emigration and Summit View will be open.
– Eight Mile, Clear Creek, and Cub River are open.
– Egan Basin is not open yet.

Soda Springs:
– Pine Bar and Gravel Creek will be open by May 24th.
– Mill may be open by May 30th. This is weather dependent.
– Cabins, Stump Creek, Caribou Basin are accessible.
– Diamond Creek is not open yet.

Teton Basin:
– All campgrounds are open except for Teton Canyon (it is under snow).
– Very few Forest roads are open. Some roads are open for a couple of miles into the Forest until snow closes access.

– All campgrounds, group use sites, rental cabins and restroom facilities will be open for Memorial Day weekend.
– Due to the heavy winter and wet spring some gates will remain closed until the road base dries out. These include: Toponce Canyon, Box Canyon, and Scout Mountain. All other gates are currently open.
– Recreationists please be advised that any trails that transverse the Malad, Portneuf, or Bannock Mountain Ranges will most likely continue to be blocked with snow into the first two weeks in June.

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