The Prescott National Forest will open most developed campgrounds and day use sites across the Forest on Saturday, August 1. Fees will resume at developed campgrounds and day-use sites with services. Developed recreation sites were closed in March to protect public health and safety and limit the spread of COVID-19.
The following developed recreation sites will remain closed: Group Campgrounds (Eagle Ridge, Playground, Turney Gulch and Upper Wolf Creek); Group Day-use Sites (Thumb Butte Group Picnic Site, Groom Creek Schoolhouse Group Day-Use and Nature Trail); Family Campgrounds (Hazlett Hollow, Powell Springs and Lower Wolf Creek); Hayfield Draw OHV Area; Horsethief Cabin; and Spruce Mountain Picnic Area.
The Prescott NF is resuming trash collection and reopening toilet facilities across the Forest. Be aware that maintenance may be limited and we cannot guarantee that facilities will be germ free. Visitors are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer and sanitary wipes with them. Water will not be available at some campgrounds that normally provide access to potable or non-potable water pending the completion of testing for contaminants. Campers are advised to bring an adequate supply of water.
Most developed campgrounds on the Prescott NF accept reservations, with a few sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations can be made online at Recreation.gov. Reservations for the group campgrounds have been cancelled through October 31, 2020. Reopening of the group sites will depend on public health orders.
If you are planning to visit the Prescott NF, please remember to:
- Be a good steward and recreate responsibly.
- Avoid crowded areas to maintain social distancing and limit group size.
- Park only in designated areas. Do not impede emergency access by blocking roadways, fire lanes or driveways.
- Follow “Leave No Trace” principles, including “pack it in, pack it out” with your trash, to avoid creating a public health hazard for forest visitors and employees.
- Follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.
In addition, shooting and fire restrictions will be lifted on August 1st.
Due to precipitation received and the potential for continued monsoon activity across the forest, the Prescott National Forest will lift all fire and recreational shooting restrictions on Saturday, August 1st at 8:00 AM. While all fire restrictions will be lifted, forest visitors are reminded that the potential for wildfires still exist and to please use caution with campfires and other potential ignition sources.
Now that campfires are again allowed on the Prescott National Forest, fire managers remind the public that abandoned campfires are still the leading cause of human-caused wildfires. Forest visitors are urged to follow campfire safety procedures. It is every camper’s responsibility to properly maintain and extinguish a campfire to prevent wildfires.
- Never cut whole trees or branches, dead or alive. Live materials will not burn and dead standing trees, snags, are often homes for birds and other wildlife.
- Do not burn aerosol cans, pressurized containers, glass or aluminum cans. They could explode, shatter and/or create harmful fumes.
- Keep the fire to a manageable size.
- Never leave your campfire unattended.
Ensure campfire is fully extinguished:
- Allow wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.
- Pour water on the fire. Drown all embers, not just the red ones. Pour until hissing sound stops.
- If water is not available, stir dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel to bury the fire.
- Scrape any remaining sticks and logs with a shovel to remove any embers.
- Continue adding water, dirt, or sand and stir with a shovel until all material is cool.
- If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.
Violators of regulations that prohibit abandoning a campfire are subject to a fine and/or imprisonment. If an abandoned campfire causes a wildfire, violators can also be held responsible for fire suppression costs.