From Lava Lake to Soda Creek,, snow remains — and reservations are canceled into mid-June
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Late-season snowfall and continued cool temperatures have left much of the Deschutes National Forest under lingering snow, particularly at mid to upper elevations of the Cascades, where still-closed campgrounds have led to canceled reservations for the holiday weekend and beyond.
Snow depths along popular routes such as the Cascade Lakes Highway vary from one to four feet, officials said Monday.
The lingering snowpack has impacted the ability of the Deschutes National Forest’s campground concessionaire, Vista Recreation, to conduct its annual preseason safety inspections, maintenance and repairs, and hazard tree removal within several campgrounds.
In many cases, access roads to campgrounds remain impassable and campgrounds themselves are still under snow.
While some areas have very recently melted out, the short timeframe has not provided enough time for critical safety work to be completed ahead of this Friday, officials said.
“Vista Recreation’s staff is working incredibly hard to open facilities where accessible,” Monday’s news release stated.
Given the late-season snow conditions, many campgrounds that were slated to open this weekend will remain closed at this time. These facilities include:
Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District
Cultus Lake Campground (under assessment – may open if annual hazard tree removal can be completed by 5/27)
Elk Lake Campground
Lava Lake Campground
Little Cultus Campground
Little Fawn Campground
Little Lava Lake Campground
Mallard Marsh Campground
Quinn Meadow Horse Camp
Soda Creek Campground
South Campground (Hosmer Lake)
Crescent Ranger District
Contorta Flat Campground
Contorta Point Group Camp
Crescent Lake Campground (under assessment – may open if annual hazard tree removal can be completed by 5/27)
Princess Creek Campground
Simax Group Camp
Trapper Creek Campground
Whitefish Horse Camp
Windy Group Camp
Sisters Ranger District
Three Creek Meadow Campground and Horse Camp
Whispering Pines Horse Camp
Visitors with reservations should have received an email from Recreation.gov notifying them of their cancelled reservations. Reservations have been canceled through June 16, with a new tentative opening date of June 17, for these facilities.
During the spring and early summer recreation season, the Forest Service reminds visitors that it’s extremely important to “Know Before You Go.” This means confirming that your destination is open for use, checking to see if routes of travel are open and reviewing predicted weather forecasts. Forest Service roads are not plowed or maintained during winter conditions.
You can visit the Deschutes National Forest website (https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/deschutes/home) to check on the operational status of our recreation sites.
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