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Ready For The Holiday

National Forest campgrounds will be open for the Fourth of July

Many campgrounds, roads, and lower-elevation trails on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest will be open for the Fourth of July weekend.

Forest Road 99 leading to Windy Ridge, on the east side of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, will also be open for the Fourth of July weekend. Ranger-led interpretive programs will be offered daily at the Windy Ridge viewpoint, from July 1 through Labor Day.

Fireworks and forests don't mix: Fireworks can start wildfires. When hiking and camping this summer, remember that possessing, discharging or using fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices is prohibited on National Forest lands.

Major campgrounds open for the Fourth of July weekend include:

Adams Fork, southeast of Randle

Beaver, north of Carson

Big Creek, southeast of Ashford

North Fork, southeast of Randle

Moss Creek, north of Willard

Panther Creek, north of Carson

Tower Rock, south of Randle

Iron Creek, south of Randle

Lower Falls, northeast of Swift Reservoir

Paradise Creek, north of Carson

Sunset Falls, southeast of Amboy

La Wis Wis, east of Packwood

Oklahoma, north of Willard

Walupt Lake, south of Packwood

Trout Lake Creek, north of Trout Lake

For a complete list of developed campgrounds, visit the forest website.

Some areas above 4,000 feet are still snow covered. The heavy accumulation of snow from this past winter and spring has delayed access for forest trail maintenance crews.

Visitors should be prepared to encounter fallen trees, snow and wash outs on some trails. For the latest conditions, contact any Gifford Pinchot office or check the Recreation Report online.

The visitor centers at Mount St. Helens are open under summer hours. A Monument Pass is required for entrance. Forest visitors near the volcano need to be prepared for a potential ash fall.

The Pine Creek Information Station and Ape Cave Headquarters, providing lantern rentals and ranger programs are also open daily. Pine Creek Information Station will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ape Cave will be open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Forest Roads 23, 25, 81 83 and 90 are open. Visitors are advised to always check on current road conditions before traveling.

The Lava Canyon trail #184 on the south side of Mount St. Helens remains closed for maintenance. For the latest information on trail conditions on the forest please access the trails condition page of the forest recreation report.

For your safety, please use your headlights when driving on forest roads. Be especially cautious when traveling on repaired roads and bridges. Access remains limited in some areas at higher elevations. When traveling into the forest, check with the district office nearest your destination for the latest conditions.

Motorcycle riders need to be especially alert for cracks, depressions, wildlife and loose gravel.

A Northwest Forest Pass is needed at some facilities, trailheads or interpretive sites that the Forest Service provides to enhance your experience. These can be purchased at Forest Service offices or local vendors.

Some Forest offices will be open on July 4. For more information, call the Gifford Pinchot Forest Headquarters at (360) 891-5000, or one of the Forest Ranger District offices.

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