Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WA Campgrounds weeks late in opening due to cool spring

The Wenatchee World Online - Wenatchee,WA,USA
LEAVENWORTH — The picnic tables, fire rings and tent pads at Johnny Creek Campground were still buried under a few feet of snow in places late last week.

Snow still blankets the entrance to Upper Johnny Creek Campground in the Icicle Valley. The campground is normally open and snow-free by now.

The campground in the Icicle Valley southwest of Leavenworth is normally open for early-season campers by now.

But the prolonged winter has left many recreation sites in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest still blanketed in snow and weeks behind in opening.

Snow, cold temperatures and blustery winds are preventing the snow and ice from melting off campgrounds, roads and trails.

"We haven't seen weather conditions like this since the 1980s," said Greg Thayer, manager of developed recreation for the Wenatchee River Ranger District.

Campgrounds that would normally be open at Apple Blossom Festival time are still under snow.

"Some folks want to camp out in the forest so badly that they actually hiked in and shoveled snow out from some of our campsites," he added.
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