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: 191774

Reported Deaths: 2533
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38030585
Washington25362229
Marion21859306
Clackamas17262209
Lane12861146
Jackson10739135
Deschutes875974
Umatilla814084
Linn485267
Yamhill442875
Klamath433061
Polk371352
Malheur350461
Josephine331669
Douglas323170
Benton306019
Jefferson217434
Coos205033
Columbia172726
Union144423
Lincoln137120
Wasco137128
Hood River118330
Morrow110115
Crook107620
Clatsop9768
Baker94714
Curry6459
Tillamook6423
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3418
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3760303

Reported Deaths: 62334
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123582824026
Riverside2991734588
San Bernardino2966554707
San Diego2781823725
Orange2708005008
Santa Clara1189322086
Kern1090521373
Sacramento1044911676
Fresno1017291682
Alameda876371546
Ventura809051011
San Joaquin731741391
Contra Costa68638806
Stanislaus620081056
Tulare49579839
Monterey43595382
San Mateo41903568
San Francisco36669543
Santa Barbara34323456
Solano32864250
Merced31821459
Sonoma30002318
Imperial28388722
Kings22977246
Placer22610291
San Luis Obispo21293260
Madera16444242
Santa Cruz16238206
Marin14040228
Yolo13897209
Shasta12110226
Butte11985199
El Dorado10141113
Napa985781
Sutter9421111
Yuba625346
San Benito605663
Lassen570124
Tehama556362
Nevada473675
Tuolumne412966
Mendocino407249
Humboldt398040
Amador365547
Lake347143
Glenn238225
Colusa223216
Siskiyou220523
Calaveras212553
Inyo142838
Del Norte13808
Mono12804
Plumas7106
Modoc4984
Mariposa4477
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned390
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