Deschutes National Forest Closes Campgrounds | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Deschutes National Forest Closes Campgrounds

Trailheads remain open, but forest supervisors underline the order not to "travel for recreational purposes"

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The latest in the long list of closures around Oregon: campgrounds in the Deschutes National Forest. The closures are effective today, March 25.

Forest supervisors announced the closures this morning, in response to Gov. Kate Brown's "Stay Home Stay Safe" order issued Monday. All campgrounds in the forest will be closed through May 8, along with any available restrooms.

Sparks Lake, a popular camping area on the Cascade Lakes Highway in the Deschutes National Forest. Forest service officials have not yet opened the Cascade Lakes Highway this year, which closes each winter. - U.S. FOREST SERVICE, WIKIMEDIA
  • U.S. Forest Service, Wikimedia
  • Sparks Lake, a popular camping area on the Cascade Lakes Highway in the Deschutes National Forest. Forest service officials have not yet opened the Cascade Lakes Highway this year, which closes each winter.

Day use trails and trailheads will stay open—but in keeping with the governor's order, people should only use trails when it's possible to maintain 6 feet of space between people.

"The executive order says to stay home and to not travel for recreational purposes," a release from the forest stated. "Deschutes National Forest officials urge people to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and avoid putting undue pressure on medical and law enforcement personnel in our Central Oregon communities so we can all return to our outdoor adventures soon."

The Deschutes National Forest, along with the Willamette National Forest, has made changes this year, requiring permits on certain popular trails. In a social media post two days ago, the Deschutes National Forest reminded people that permits become available April 7 at Recreation.gov. It's not yet clear whether any changes to that system will occur as a result of the current "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order. 

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Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. (Blame her for everything since then.) Favorite car: A Trek commuter bike. Favorite cat: An adopted dog who looks like a Jedi master. Favorite things, besides responding to your comments: Downton Abbey re-runs, Aretha Franklin albums, and pink wine.

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