Some campgrounds now open on Mount Graham

Riggs Flat Campground and Riggs Lake are both open for use on Mount Graham.

By Jon Johnson

MOUNT GRAHAM – For those wanting to escape the heat for Memorial Day weekend but don’t want to travel too far, the Forest Service has opened three campgrounds on Mount Graham. However, other popular campground sites remain closed.

In the Safford District, the Arcadia, Noon Creek, and Riggs Flat campgrounds were opened Thursday, with portable toilets for use. Other popular spots such as Shannon and Hospital Flat remain closed.

U.S. Forest Service Public Affairs Officer Heidi Schewel told the Gila Herald that the Coronado Forest was opening sites in phases depending on available personal protective equipment, sanitizer, and how things go with physical distancing.

While the three campgrounds are now open for use, fire restrictions remain in place. The following are prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove including fires in developed campgrounds or improved sites.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
  • Discharging a firearm except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations.
  • Operating any internal combustion engine, except operating motorized vehicles on designated roads so long as you park in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.
  • Welding, or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame.
  • Using an explosive.
  • Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forests.

 The Forest Service reminds campers to be “good neighbors and recognize quiet time” at 10 p.m. and to remove trash and leave clean campsites.

Dispersed picnicking and camping outside of developed recreation areas is allowed unless otherwise posted. Visitors must provide their own water and pack out their garbage. Off-road/off-trail vehicle travel is prohibited.

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