July 4 weekend recreation opportunities on Coronado National Forest

June 28, 2017 - 8:45 am

Coronado National Forest ranger district and Forest Supervisor offices will be closed for the July 4 holiday on Tuesday.  The Sabino Canyon Visitor Center will remain open.

Forest officials expect large numbers of visitors to the Forest’s most popular campgrounds and picnic areas over Fourth of July weekend.  Although some rain has fallen in isolated areas of the Forest, most areas are dry, and campfires and smoking are prohibited (see below).  The following are tips for safe and enjoyable weekend outings. 

With summer monsoons come thunderstorms, which can be isolated in nature and may materialize quickly.  Recreationists are advised to check weather forecasts and seek shelter in buildings or vehicles during storms (avoid sheltering under trees).  Visitors should avoid low-lying areas, washes and stream channels, which can become flooded without warning.

Camping.  Campers are encouraged to be good neighbors and recognize “quiet time” at 10:00 p.m.; to pitch tents in areas that are well-drained and avoid low spots; to bring drinking water, as not all areas supply potable water; to remove trash, and not leave litter behind.

Campfires, Smoking and Fireworks.  Coronado National Forest is under Stage 2 fire restrictions. Until rescinded, the following are prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire, including within a developed recreation site, or improved site.
  • Using an explosive.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building. (Smoking is prohibited in all federal buildings.)
  • Operating or using any equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, except motor vehicles.
  • Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  • Discharging a firearm, air rifle or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal law, and regulations.
  • Possessing operating motor vehicles off National Forest System roads, including but not limited to cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and ATVs, except for when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway, and except for parking overnight in Forest Service developed campground and trailheads.

Fireworks are prohibited year-round on all National Forest lands.

WildlifeThe Coronado is home to many wildlife species.  Visitors should be “bear aware” and maintain clean campsites.  Store food away from sleeping areas, and “bear-proof” food and garbage by using metal storage boxes in recreation sites.  In dispersed areas stow food and garbage out of sight- and smell-range of bears.  Cookware and dishes should be washed and stored promptly after meals.  Clothing with food or cooking odors, as well as odorous items such as toothpaste and lotions should not be taken into sleeping areas.  Wildlife should not be fed intentionally or accidentally. For their safety, pets should be leashed at all times.  “Keep wildlife wild.”

International Boundary Travel Caution.  Forest visitors traveling in remote areas of the Coronado National Forest in the vicinity of the International Border with Mexico are advised to remain alert to their surroundings as illegal smuggling activity is known to occur in some areas.  Visitors are advised not to attempt to intercede should they witness illegal activity, but to contact the nearest law enforcement agency with a location, descriptions of persons, vehicles, date/time and other pertinent information.                                          

Dispersed Use/Off-Highway Vehicles.  Picnicking and camping outside of developed recreation areas on the Forest is allowed unless otherwise posted.  Visitors must provide their own water and pack garbage out. Off-road/off-trail motorized travel is prohibited. 

For Ranger District And Recreation Area Information: Affected recreation sites may be closed due to current or recent wildfires. Know before you go.

  • Douglas Ranger District (Chiricahua Mountains, Dragoon Mountains) – (520) 364-3468.
  • Nogales Ranger District (Santa Rita Mountains, Madera Canyon; Atascosa Mountains; Tumacacori Mountains) – (520) 281-2296.
  • Safford Ranger District (Mt. Graham) – (928) 428-4150.
  • Sierra Vista Ranger District (Huachuca Mountains, Miller Peak Wilderness) – (520) 378-0311.
  • Santa Catalina Ranger District (Mt. Lemmon, Sabino Canyon) – (520) 749-8700.