Tuesday, 23 May 2017
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Sparks, Nev. May 22, 2017 – It is time to gather up the family and gear and head to your favorite recreation spot. Memorial Day weekend is the kick off for the summer, and traditionally it is a very busy weekend on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Forest visitors can enjoy biking, camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking and many more recreations activities this summer.

With its 6.3 million acres, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is the largest national forest in the lower 48 states. The Forest has 40 campgrounds, 14 picnic areas, and 46 trailheads throughout Nevada and portions of eastern California. The public can also visit the forest’s two visitor centers: Galena Creek Visitor Center in Reno, Nevada and the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway in Mount Charleston, Nevada. In addition, there are 24 wilderness areas, 1,698 motorized trails, and 1,872 non-motorized trails to explore.

The public should keep in mind that most areas on the Forest experienced above normal snow accumulations this winter, so many high elevation recreation facilities, roads, and trails will not be accessible for another month, depending on weather conditions. Lower elevation recreation facilities, roads, and trails that are open may be wet and muddy due to recent snowmelt. Also, forest users should be aware that even if a recreation site is accessible, all amenities may not be available yet.

To ensure public safety and prevent resource damage, the Forest urges the visitors to refrain from driving or hiking on soft, muddy roads or trails and choose more hardened designated routes until ground conditions change. Proper and responsible use of the Forest’s road and trail systems are important to ensure roads and trails remain in good condition for all visitors.

“The public should also exercise caution when traveling on Forest Service roads and trails that run along streams and rivers,” said Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger. “Warming weather will cause rapidly increasing snowmelt and runoff as the day progresses. This can cause stream levels to rise quickly without warning.”

Dunkelberger advises against driving over a road or bridge that is covered by flood waters because vehicles can be easily swept off a road or bridge by fast moving water. It is also dangerous for hikers to cross flood waters. Flooding streams and rivers can carry hidden debris such as logs and rocks and are filled with heavy silt, creating hazardous conditions.

The public should always use defensive driving techniques while on Forest Service roads. This includes adjusting speed to current weather and road conditions. Stay alert for unexpected hazards, including other vehicles, livestock, ruts, rock slides, fallen trees, and washouts. 

Forest users planning to use livestock on National Forest lands are permitted to use only certified weed free straw, hay or pellets. The Forest is also asking equestrians to stay off higher elevation trails until conditions become dryer.

Memorial Day weekend is a time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. However, it is important for forest users to celebrate responsibly and to be careful with fire. The Forest is encouraging visitors to follow several fire safety tips for safe celebrating this holiday:

  • Do not leave campfires unattended.
  • Clear vegetation and dry debris down to bare soil within 10 feet around your campfire.
  • Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling.
  • Ensure cigarettes, cigars and tobacco pipes are fully extinguished when not in use.
  • Use caution when operating vehicles in close proximity to vegetation.
  • Spark arresting devices must be properly installed and maintained on all internal combustion engines.

Also, before venturing on to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, please pick up a map with the appropriate level of detail for your planned activities:

  • For motorized travel: Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) are available at all Forest Service offices, and may be downloaded from http://bit.ly/2rkkvdK. In addition, the MVUM can be downloaded to a mobile device, such as an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or Android (4.0.3 or newer), directly through the Avenza PDF Maps Mobile App. For detailed instructions, visit: http://bit.ly/2qLjnCT.
  • For hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding: Topographic maps are recommended. Visit the US Geological Survey for online purchases: https://store.usgs.gov/.
  • Forest visitor maps and wilderness maps: Are available at all Forest Service offices. Visitor maps are also available online at: www.nationalforeststore.com.

For additional information on how to obtain a MVUM or other maps or on the status of Forest campgrounds, trails, and roads during this Memorial Day weekend, please contact any of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s offices:



Austin-Tonopah Ranger District

Austin Office - 775-964-2671

Tonopah Office - 775-482-6286

Bridgeport Ranger District


Carson Ranger District


Ely Ranger District


Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger District

Elko Office  - 775-738-5171

Wells Office - 775-752-3357

Santa Rosa Ranger District

775-623-5025 ex. 4

Spring Mountains National Recreation Area


Supervisor's Office


Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

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