Tonto National Forest Has Opened Many Recreation Sites
June 1, 2020
As of May 15, many of the Tonto National Forest's developed recreation sites have opened for use. This includes all developed sites for the lower Salt River and Saguaro Lake, most developed sites at Apache, Canyon, and Roosevelt Lakes. Bartlett Lake sites are also open.
"In conjunction with Governor Ducey's phased reopening of Arizona, we are opening many popular sites on the forest for public use and enjoyment," Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth said. "We recognize the importance of providing recreational opportunities to forest visitors while providing for the safety of our employees and the public."
If you are planning to visit the Tonto National Forest, we ask that you keep the following in mind:
• We ask visitors to our nation's forests be good stewards of public lands and natural resources. Please recreate responsibly.
• We ask visitors avoid crowded areas and parking illegally. Over the past month, the entire forest has seen unprecedented visitation numbers. While opening additional recreation sites will help address crowding and parking issues, we anticipate visitation will continue to exceed capacity in some areas.
• Recreation passes are required. Purchase of passes is available at machines located at some sites across the forest, at participating vendors, and virtually by contacting a district office during normal business hours.
• We ask visitors to provide for their own hygiene and safety when using these facilities. It is important to note that restroom cleaning may be limited in some areas; cleaning schedules will be posted at each site. This will also be the case for picnic tables and other areas that may be touched often by others.
• Use common courtesy and "Leave No Trace" principles related at recreation sites to avoid creating a public health hazard for employees and other forest users.
• Visitors to national forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the CDC, such as practicing social distancing and limiting group sizes.
Some sites on the Tonto National Forest remain closed due to shortages of personal protective equipment for employees, shortage of sanitizing products, and small spaces that force congregations of large groups in violation of Center for Disease Control guidelines.
Additional recreation sites that can be safely opened and maintained will open guided by conditions on the ground, seasonal availability and facility conditions.