PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Late snow and cool temperatures are to blame for much of the Deschutes National Forest still being covered with snow, causing delays for staff and campers.
According to the USDA Forest Service, persistent snow in the mid-to-upper elevations of the Cascades has caused campground reservation cancellations for Memorial Day weekend. The lingering snowpack has impacted the ability of the forest’s campground concessionaire, Vista Recreation, to conduct annual preseason safety inspections, maintenance and repairs, and hazard tree removal within campgrounds.
In many cases, access roads to campgrounds remain impassable and campgrounds themselves are still under snow, the announcement noted.
“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,” the Forest Service said. “Vista Recreation’s staff is working incredibly hard to open facilities where accessible. Given the late season snow conditions, many campgrounds that were slated to open this weekend will remain closed at this time.”
The announcement added that visitors with reservations should have received an email from Recreation.gov notifying them of their canceled 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,” the Forest Service added. “Forest Service roads are not plowed or maintained during winter conditions.”
Here’s a list of campgrounds impacted:
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
- Point 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
- Spring Campground
- Trapper Creek Campground
- Whitefish Horse Camp
- Windy Group Camp
Sisters Ranger District
- Three Creek Meadow Campground and Horse Camp
- Whispering Pines Horse Camp
You can visit the Deschutes National Forest website to check on the status of recreation sites.