Oregon announces temporary campground closures at state parks, forests, and wildlife areas

Reservations at all state parks will be canceled from April 3 through May 8 and site fees refunded, state officials announced.

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 9:53 AM
Updated: Mar 19, 2020 10:04 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Campgrounds operated by three Oregon state agencies will be shut down on different timelines in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus, state officials announced on Thursday.

Campgrounds operated by the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department will stay open for current overnight guests through April 2. However, reservations for all state park stays from April 3 through May 8 will be canceled and site fees refunded.

"Before May 8, the department will review the state park campground closure to decide whether it should be extended," the agency said. "The decision affects all individual and group overnight facilities: campsites, yurts, cabins, tepees, and services operated by concessionaires. The suspended service also affects reservations for group day-use areas."

Most of the Oregon Department of Forestry's campgrounds in the Clatsop, Santiam, and Tillamook State Forests are already closed for the season, and will not re-open. Year-round campgrounds will be closed starting Monday, March 23.

"All day-use and campground restrooms are temporarily closed due to limited janitorial services. A reopening date for all restrooms and state forest campgrounds has not yet been determined," state officials said. "During this time, trails, forest roads and trailheads on state forestlands will remain open to the public."


RELATED: California State Parks temporarily close all campgrounds in state park system


The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife will close its wildlife areas to overnight camping on Sunday, March 22. The closure affects both dispersed camping and established campgrounds. Several wildlife areas are currently fully or partially closed to all visitors as part of annual seasonal closures to protect wintering wildlife.

While camping will be prohibited, wildlife areas that are currently open remain open to visitors for day-use activities including wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation.

"State park, forest, and wildlife area camping areas are built into relatively small areas by design," Oregon Parks & Rec said. "Maintaining social distance is difficult. Working with fewer staff and volunteers is becoming a reality, making it difficult to maintain proper cleaning procedures. To support the state goal of reducing transmission of COVID-19, temporary campground closures are necessary. The details of these actions — such as dates and affected programs — are under constant review and will change as new information develops."

Officials acknowledged that this will reduce long-distance travel for many people, but they reminded Oregonians that a local outdoor experience "can improve our mental and physical health, especially now." Daytime activities are still widely available and encouraged. The usual reminders, plus the new COVID-19 guidelines, apply:

  • Prepare for your visit with the clothing, supplies, and knowledge you need to have a safe visit.
  • If you're ill, stay home.
  • Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue (then throw it away) or inside of your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wash regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It's up to you to practice good personal hygiene, and not every place at every park can be kept clean all the time.
  • If place is so crowded you can't maintain a healthy social distance — at least six feet — find a different place to go.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 135142

Reported Deaths: 1832
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28678460
Washington18867175
Marion16394242
Clackamas11789138
Lane8467110
Jackson700485
Umatilla685671
Deschutes507339
Yamhill322846
Malheur316453
Linn314949
Polk249240
Klamath246944
Josephine178535
Benton174314
Jefferson171225
Douglas170943
Union112516
Wasco109123
Columbia105418
Lincoln100417
Hood River96121
Coos95215
Morrow94510
Clatsop6925
Crook62911
Baker5765
Tillamook3692
Curry3235
Lake2365
Grant2131
Harney1784
Wallowa973
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3074812

Reported Deaths: 35060
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103873814416
San Bernardino2569141560
Riverside2510002676
San Diego2185552174
Orange2165092508
Santa Clara949051129
Kern87240572
Fresno83200968
Sacramento811831128
Alameda68649788
Ventura62774462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43121766
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo32887309
San Francisco29502266
Solano25983107
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25333474
Merced24570316
Sonoma24184242
Kings19588148
Placer17490184
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13528151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10789138
Shasta9750123
Butte9528128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa767244
Lassen519916
San Benito500346
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323474
Mendocino319232
Amador302431
Lake262531
Humboldt242725
Glenn194820
Colusa17969
Calaveras162123
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
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