Recreation Alert: Upcoming seasonal closures on DNR-managed lands

Volunteers at Jones Creek. Winter 2011
While Jones Creek ORV trails are closed for the winter, volunteers brave all kinds of weather to get trails ready for spring. Photo: DNR

It’s the time of year when some recreation facilities and trails on DNR-managed state trust lands close for the winter season. Before you head out, make sure you know what’s open and what’s closed. Here’s the lowdown:

Clark County

Jones Creek ORV Trails / Trailhead, Yacolt Burn State Forest
Beginning December 1, the Jones Creek ORV trail system is closed to off-road motorized use. The trailhead area will also be closed. Forest roads are still open to off-road.

Grays Harbor, Thurston counties

Capitol State Forest
Beginning December 1, Capitol State Forest motorized trails are closed to off-road vehicle (ORV) and equestrian use. You can still ride the forest roads in the winter.

In addition to the trail closures, the following campgrounds and trailheads close for the winter:

  • Mima Falls Trailhead and Campground
  • Fall Creek Campground
  • Margaret McKenny Campground
  • Middle Waddell Campground
  • Rock Candy Trailhead
  • North Creek Campground
  • Sherman Valley Campground

Pend Oreille County

Skookum Creek Campground will be closed beginning December 16.

Stevens County

Areas now closed for the season:

  • Lake Spokane (aka Long Lake) Campground
  • Douglas Falls Campground
  • Flodelle Creek Campground
  • Starvation Lake Campground
  • Rocky Lake Campground
  • Sheep Creek Campground

Yakima County

Ahtanum State Forest:

  • Ahtanum Meadows campground is closed for the season.
  • Snow Cabin campground is closed for the season.

Other closures may affect your plans
In addition to these seasonal closures, several other recreation areas are closed temporarily due to a number of reasons including maintenance activities, public safety issues, and timber harvests.

The best way to find out what’s open or closed is to visit These web pages are updated as needed to keep you informed about the status of recreation trails and facilities.

Winter recreation opportunities on DNR-managed lands
With winter just around the corner, DNR will soon be opening up trailheads for motorized and non-motorized winter recreation activities such as snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

 This year, there will be a change in what kinds of permits and passes you’ll need.

For most DNR-managed winter recreation trailheads (formerly known as Sno-parks), you will now need either an annual or day Discover Pass, instead of a Sno-park permit. These trailheads are:

  • Ahtanum Guard Station
  • Ahtanum Meadows
  • Lily Lake
  • Rattlesnake

(Note: Manastash is also a DNR-managed winter recreation trailhead, but is closed for this season due to storm damage.)

Look for more information on this blog site about winter recreation requirements in the coming weeks.

For more information about the winter recreation Sno-park program, visit

If you have any questions, contact Mark Mauren, DNR Recreation Program Manager, 360-902-1047.

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