Cypress Loop

Many day-use sites on the Tonto National Forest are closed because of COVID-19. Much of the forest remains open, including hiking and biking trails.

Want to camp at Roosevelt Lake and fish?

You’ll have to park that RV on a nearby dirt road with all of the developed campgrounds closed. But you can still launch that fishing boat, with the boat ramps remaining open.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many day-use sites, restrooms and other developed recreation facilities on the Tonto National Forest are closed, however, the vast majority of the forest remains open.

Recreation opportunities include hiking and biking on trails, dispersed camping and other activities that support social distancing and small groups.

“Currently, we have over 900 miles of hiking trails and nearly 4,000 miles of roads across the Tonto National Forest open for recreation,” said Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth.

Trash receptacles at some sites are not going to be emptied. Trash overflowing the receptacles becomes litter and can be harmful to wildlife and attract predators. Pack all your trash out with you all the way home and dispose of it there. When you see that a restroom is closed, please do not deposit your solid wastes outside or surrounding the restrooms. This practice creates a health hazard for our employees and for other visitors.

Payson/Pleasant Valley

Established trailheads across the two districts are open for hiking, though associated bathrooms are closed/locked. Many unpaved roads are open and provide access to undeveloped areas of the forest, allowing for dispersed camping or for visitors to pull over and picnic next to creeks and rivers.

The Bob Bear Trail (formerly the Fossil Springs Trail) requires an advance permit to hike, and this area does not allow for camping, campfires, or glass containers. Fossil Creek Road is not appropriate for passenger cars.

Please note, all developed campgrounds and day use sites are closed/locked.

Tonto Basin Ranger District

There are five boat launches open and available for use at Roosevelt Lake. These boat launches are located within the following campgrounds: Schoolhouse, Grapevine, Windy Hill, Cholla, and Indian Point. Restrooms are not open or available at the boat launches, so please plan accordingly. Additionally, the campgrounds are closed.

There is one boat launch at Apache Lake within the Burnt Corral Campground. Currently, there is a rockslide across State Route 88 near the intersection with State Route 188 restricting access to the lake.

There are no trailhead closures on the Tonto Basin Ranger District. Trailheads on the Tonto Basin Ranger District provide access to portions of the Mazatzal, Four Peaks, Superstition, Salome and Sierra Ancha Wilderness areas.

“We know how much our communities and our visitors value all the recreation opportunities the national forests have to offer,” Bosworth said. “This decision was not made lightly, but we believe people understand the serious risks posed by facilities that draw large numbers of people into proximity with each other. We appreciate your patience and understanding of our efforts to mitigate those risks to protect public health and safety.”

Visitors are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as practicing social distancing and limiting group sizes. For additional tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html.

For detailed information about recreation opportunities on the Tonto National Forest, check out https://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto.

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(1) comment

Joshua Haselhorst

Is there anywhere at Roosevelt that I can take my boat as well as RV?

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