Stanislaus National Forest

More high-elevation roads in the Stanislaus National Forest are open as snowpack continues melting off, and five seasonal roads are going to remain closed through June 30, public information staff for the federal forest said Tuesday.

The five roads that will remain closed are Slick Rock 4WD Trail, also known as Forest Road 7Nl7 near Lake Alpine reservoir off Highway 4; Gooseberry Road, also known as Forest Road 4N34, near Dodge Ridge and Crabtree; Forest Road 4N47, which provides access to Gianelli Trailhead east of Pinecrest; part of Herring Creek Road, also known as Forest Road 4Nl2, east of Strawberry; and part of Eagle Meadow Road, also known as Forest Road 5N01, east of Herring Creek and south of Highway 108.

These roads are supposed to remain closed through June 30 or until forest personnel decide the roads are sufficiently clear of snow and downed trees to allow for safe travel and that vehicles on the roads aren’t damaging the roads and the forest.

Meanwhile most developed recreation sites in the Stanislaus National Forest, including the Pinecrest day use area, campgrounds, and marina, are to remain closed through June 15 to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a Forest Service spokesperson said Tuesday.

State public health staff put out updated guidelines for campgrounds, RV parks and outdoor recreation back on June 1 saying COVID-19 pandemic restrictions could be lifted as soon as June 12, but as of Tuesday, no one with the Forest Service or Visit Tuolumne County could say if camping will be allowed in the Stanislaus National Forest by this Friday.

A total of 20 day-use areas are open. The Forest Service is urging people to understand these areas are intended for day use only and for local residents only, in keeping with local and state public health recommendations. All campgrounds and dispersed camping remain closed.

Open day-use areas include Columns of the Giants and Donnells Vista off Highway 108, Cherry Lake reservoir and the boat ramp off Cottonwood Road, also known as Forest Road 1N04, the Merals Pool boat ramp on the Tuolumne River off Highway 120, Rim of the World and Rainbow Pool on Highway 120, and the Lake Alpine reservoir boat ramp off Highway 4.

Due to the forest closures and limited forest staffing, no trash removal is being done, so visitors need to take their trash with them. Law enforcement and search-and-rescue services may be limited.

Current forest orders do not close trails, trailheads, and general forest areas.

 

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.