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Sunday, July 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

In brief: Lake Roosevelt increasing limited camping access

UPDATED: Wed., June 24, 2020

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is increasing recreational access and services.

The National Park Service is working service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area receives approximately 65% of its annual visitation between June and September. In addition to the five counties surrounding Lake Roosevelt (Lincoln, Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, and Grant), approximately 61% of our visitors come from Spokane, King, and Snohomish counties (410,000 people).

While some counties surrounding Lake Roosevelt have entered Phase 3, King County moved into Phase 2 on Friday. With the change in King County’s status, Lake Roosevelt is now able to move into Phase 2 of Washington State’s Safe Start Reopening Plan. During Phase 2, gathering and outdoor recreation sizes are limited to no more than five people outside your household.

Beginning Wednesday, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area will reopen access to:

  • All National Park Service operated boat-in campgrounds and associated restrooms. Restrooms will not be cleaned on a daily basis, and floating restrooms will remain closed. Please bring and use your own hand sanitizer.
  • By reservation only: Spring Canyon, Fort Spokane and Kettle Falls campgrounds. We have expanded the number of campsites available through the reservation system at these campgrounds. Group campsites will remain closed until further notice in compliance with Washington State Phase 2 gathering restrictions. Reservations through
  • reopened on Tuesday for these three campgrounds. All campers must have a valid reservation to camp. There will be no first-come, first-served allowed at this time.
  • As additional campgrounds are added to the reservation system, they will be opened for camping.

Please be aware that the opening date is subject to change. The park continues to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and work closely with state and local public health officials. Campground operations may change at any time throughout the summer due to required COVID-19 mitigations.

The following spaces continue to be available:

  • Commercial Guide services with two or fewer people from the same household.
  • Marina slip rentals are open when the water rises high enough to support the operations.
  • Marina houseboat and watercraft rentals in compliance with Washington State Phase 2 guidelines.
  • Eight day-use areas (Spring Canyon, Keller Ferry, Fort Spokane, Porcupine Bay, Hunters, Bradbury Beach, Kettle Falls, and Evans). Vault toilets will be available in these day-use areas.
  • Nine boat launch docks (Spring Canyon, Keller Ferry, Seven Bays, Fort Spokane, Porcupine Bay, Hunters, Bradbury Beach, Kettle Falls, and Evans).
  • Boat launches throughout the lake – boat launch docks will not be adjusted daily.
  • Shoreline outside of the two Reservation’s boundaries. You must be fully self-contained if you are planning to camp. There are no floating restrooms available. If you pack it in, pack it out. This includes human waste and waste disposal bags, disposable gloves, and masks.

With public health in mind, the following facilities and services remain closed at this time: most bathroom areas; flush toilet facilities and water services; all fish cleaning stations; trash collection; the visitor center; and all public and education programs.

Lake Roosevelt staff will continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.

A return to full operations will continue to be phased and services will be limited. When recreating, the public should follow state health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on its website and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on

River users should take caution around East Trent Bridge area

River users beware: As part of the East Trent Bridge demolition, a river closure was put in place on June 16.

The Spokane River Forum, Spokane Riverkeeper and other river users were not informed by the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the agency in charge of the project.

“Not informing river users is a safety issue,” forum executive director Andy Dunau said. “Far worse, the signage directing river users to stay clear and exit is not fully in place.”

The forum found out about the closure on June 16. After contacting WSDOT, the forum received the safety signage plan for river users. On June 17, the forum and riverkeeper surveyed the river to see if the signage was in place.

“It’s in place just above and below Trent Street Bridge,” Julie Schultz of Spokane Riverkeeper said. “Coming downstream, it’s not in place at Iron Bridge or Mission Street Bridge, where the plan calls for a temporary take out by Avista’s headquarters.”

River users should proceed with planning and caution in the area.

Presentation scheduled detailing elk hoof disease in Washington

Kyle Garrison of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will present a webinar titled “An Overview of Elk Hoof Disease in Washington” on Thursday from noon to 1 p.m.

What was once thought to be a disease limited to southeast Washington has been found in elk east of the Cascades in Central Washington and in the Blue Mountains outside of Walla Walla.

Elk hoof disease has economic, social, recreational and ecological impacts to hunters, conservationists and wildlife viewers.

Register for the event at

Friends of Tubbs Hill, CdA Parks will sponsor July 5 cleanup

Friends of Tubbs Hill and the Coeur d’ Alene City Parks Department will sponsor an “After the 4th Tubbs Hill Cleanup” from 8 a.m. to noon on July 5.

Trash bags, trash disposal and information will be available at the Third Street trailhead. Volunteers are reminded to bring gloves and practice social distancing during the cleanup.

Conservation League will discuss salmon, steelhead recovery

The Idaho Conservation League’s Wild Idaho! Web Series: Salmon and Steelhead Recovery is the second in a four-part web series on current conservation issues.

Join ICL and special guest author Steven Hawley, creator of the 2019 documentary “Dammed to Extinction,” on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

The event will outline the ICL’s current work on this issue followed by a moderated discussion with the special guest on the urgency and opportunity around salmon, orcas, outfitters and energy in the Pacific Northwest.

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