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Tonto, Kaibab National Forests open recreation, campground sites

(Facebook Photo/ Kaibab National Forest)

PHOENIX – National forests in Arizona are beginning to open recreation and camping grounds for the season.

Tonto National Forest began reopening recreation sites Friday at the Salt River, and Saguaro, Apache, Canyon and Roosevelt Lakes.

Sites at Bartlett Lake will open on Saturday.

Select recreation areas had previously been shut down to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

“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 in a press release Thursday.

“We recognize the importance of providing recreational opportunities to forest visitors while providing for the safety of our employees and the public.”

Tonto officials are asking visitors to avoid crowded areas and parking illegally.

With the recreation areas starting to open, recreation passes will be required, which are available at machines at some sites in the forest, participating vendors and virtually by contacting the district office during normal business hours.

Meanwhile, Kaibab said in a press release Friday the forest service will begin opening developed campgrounds next week for single-family use.

Dogtown Lake, Kaibab Lake, White Horse Lake and Ten-X campgrounds will open May 18. DeMotte and Jacob Lake campgrounds will open May 19.

Until federal, state and local public health guidelines can be implemented, group camping will be closed at Jacob Lake, Ten-X, Dogtown Lake, Kaibab Lake and White Horse campgrounds.

Reservations can be made in advance online.

According to the press release, most day-use recreation sites are open or will be open before Memorial Day weekend.

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