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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, June 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Crowds Are Going Fourth This Weekend Weather Cooperates Unless You’re A Hiker

By Tracy Ellig And Susan Drumheller S Staff writer

The holiday weekend gods will smile on campers and boaters in Eastern Washington, but hikers won’t be so lucky.

June’s cold weather preserved plenty of snow in the high country, blocking lots of trails and shutting down Mount Spokane State Park, 30 miles northeast of Spokane.

Back-country paths to other popular destinations in the region are out of reach due to downed trees.

But campsites are still available and boat ramps are open at most lakes.

Fourth of July revelers are welcome at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, although boaters and water skiers are warned to on the lookout for floating hazards.

“We have more debris in the lake than we like,” said Dan Hand, chief of visitor services.

In Spokane County, no-wake restrictions have been lifted on all lakes.

However, a new county life-jacket requirement is in effect. Children who are 9 or younger must wear a life jacket in boats under 19 feet in length. Previously, only 7-year-old children were required to wear a jacket. The fine for breaking the law is $66.

Riverside State Park is filling up quick. On Tuesday, only 25 of the park’s 101 campgrounds were still available for the holiday weekend. For reservations, call 1-800-452-5687.

All Colville National Forest campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, with the exception of Sullivan Lake, which is fully booked.

In the Colville and Kettle Falls ranger districts, all campgrounds are open. In the Newport Ranger District, all campgrounds except Panhandle are open. The Browns’ Lake campground does not have water.

In the Republic Ranger District the following campgrounds are closed: Ferry Lake, Boulder, Deer Creek and 13 Mile.

Campers and hikers should bring bug spray to ward off this summer’s bountiful crop of mosquitoes and other biting critters.

Leave fireworks at home. Shooting them off in a national forest is illegal.

In North Idaho, most campgrounds and beaches will be open for the holiday weekend. Counties, the state and the Forest Service are spending this week doing as much as possible before swarms of people descend on area campgrounds, parks and boat launches.

In Kootenai County, that means trying to replace no-wake signs that were washed away when the Spokane River reached flood stage, and other last-minute preparations.

“We are no means 100 percent ready for our summer stage,” said Kurtis Robinson, Kootenai County waterways supervisor. “We’re still trying to catch up.”

But all boater parks, bathrooms and boat launches are open, he said.

The Bureau of Land Management, state parks and state Fish and Game boat launches are all open and ready for use, as are campgrounds and other facilities.

Sandpoint city parks workers have been scrambling since Lake Pend Oreille dipped below flood stage to get the city’s beach-front park ready for Fourth of July festivities, which include a fireworks display and a carnival.

The parks department hauled off 25 dump trucks full of debris from the beach last week, and is replacing docks and signs that were lost or taken apart during the flooding.

In Post Falls, the city finally opened its boat launch and beach at Q’emiln Riverside Park after weeks of flooding kept the area off-limits to boats and swimmers.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

MEMO: Changed from the Idaho edition

Changed from the Idaho edition

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