The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has announced that it will not open its campgrounds, group day use sites or visitor centers in Nevada over the Memorial Day weekend. At this time, these same facilities are closed on the California portion of the Forest, but this could change based on state and county reopening plans.
“While we have traditionally opened many of our campgrounds by Memorial Day weekend, this year is different due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger in a press release. “The Forest is aligning with each state’s reopening plans.”
Currently, all trailheads, trails and general forest areas are open for public use in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, but Forest officials are encouraging people to limit their outings to day trips. “We all need to do our part to honor states’ Stay at Home directives, maximize social distancing and recreate responsibly close to home. We look forward to welcoming the public to their National Forest to camp as soon as conditions allow,” said Dunkelberger.
Visitors who decide to recreate on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest should come with all the essentials for a day trip, including food, emergency supplies and resources to pack out trash.
Visitors should be aware that trailheads and trails on the Carson Ranger District west of Reno and Carson City, Nevada, and Spring Mountain National Recreation Area (Mt. Charleston area) near Las Vegas are experiencing high visitation. The public in these areas are being encouraged to consider some of the Forest’s lesser-known trailheads and trails.
Hikers on the Thomas Creek and Whites Creek trails near Reno, Nevada, need to keep their dogs on leash, while on these two trails. Forest Order 04-17-20-05 (https://bit.ly/FO-04-17-20-05) is in place to prevent dogs from harassing or harming sheep that are grazing in the area to reduce hazardous fuels. Anyone that violates this Forest Order could be subject to fines of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail. In addition, if a dog injures or kills a sheep the owner could be held civilly and criminally liable.
The public should also be aware that many of the Forest roads, trails, and wilderness areas are not accessible due to wet, muddy, and snowy conditions until the end of May or later, especially on the high elevation Ranger Districts. Before taking a drive on Forest roads or motorized trails, please check their status by contacting the local Forest Service office (https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/htnf/about-forest/offices) or consult the Forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) to determine when roads and motorized trails are open. MVUMs can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/htnf/maps-pubs/?cid=STELPRDB5127750.
Forest-wide fire restrictions are in place and prohibit the following on the Forest in Nevada and a portion of eastern California:
- Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and sheepherder’s stoves.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.
- The current fire restrictions do not allow open fire pits or open flame devices (e.g. portable propane fire-ring), but gas grills and portable gas stoves that have an on/off switch are allowed.
For up-to-date information on fire restrictions on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Division of Forestry, visit https://www.nevadafireinfo.org/restrictions-and-closures. In California, please check with the agency that manages the land for current fire restrictions.
For information and updates on recreation closures and fire restrictions on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, visit fs.usda.gov/htnf, facebook.com/HumboldtToiyabeNF or twitter.com/HumboldtToiyabe.