Summer is coming very slowly as is access to areas on the National Forest and Ashton Island Park Ranger District. This is an update on places that are accessible as well as the facilities that are open.
One big reminder: Please do not drive through mud holes if you can see the bottom. We have had many people in their vehicles stuck in a variety of areas. With the amount of water coming down during spring runoff, many areas are flooding or are very muddy.
n Upper Mesa Falls and Big Falls Inn Visitor Center is up and running and fully functioning. Our staff and volunteers are looking forward to seeing you.
n Campgrounds are open including Warm River, Grandview, Riverside, Buffalo, FlatRock, Coffee Pot, McCrea, Buttermilk. Campgrounds that are not open are Cave Falls and Big Springs.
n Warm River and Squirrel Meadows rental cabins are accessible for the summer and are ready for you to rent them. Bishop Mountain Cabin is still not accessible due to too much snow on the top of the road.
n Johnny Sack Cabin will be open to the public June 14 from 10 AM to 4PM 7 days a week
n I have closed the north side of Big Springs Road to traffic due to a large mud hole that must be filled in before the road is safe to drive. I am not sure when that will occur and will keep you posted.
n The RV dump station in Last Chance is open and functioning.
n Howard Springs water has been tested and is approved for human consumption
n West End of Island Park Reservoir can be accessed via Green Canyon road. That snow has melted!
n Most of the other roads and trails on the District higher than 7500 feet in elevation have a lot of snow on them and are not passable. As of the writing of this article Flagg Ranch Road, Fish Creek Road, Upper Chick Creek Road are still impassable due to deep snow. Conditions are changing quickly and I suggest calling the Ranger Station to determine the latest information. BE aware the roads are very muddy and you may encounter areas that are washed out.
n Firewood and post and pole permits are on sale at any Caribou-Tarhgee Forest Service office.
n All of the upper elevation trails are under snow and most of the lower elevation trails are very muddy.
n The Big Bend Ridge ATV Trail (146) will open June 15 and closed to motorized vehicles August 26
For additional information, please call 208-558-7301 or 208-652-7442.
Enjoy the beautiful wildflowers,
Liz, District Ranger