With the reopening of the Mt. Lemmon Highway July 14 at 8:00 a.m. Coronado National Forest officials expect large numbers of visitors to the mountain’s campgrounds and picnic areas over hot summer weekend. Although some rain has fallen in isolated areas of the Forest, most areas are dry, and campfires are prohibited (see below). The following are tips for safe and enjoyable weekend outings.
The recent Burro Fire occurred on the east side of the mountain range. Caution is called for when entering burned areas. Visitors are encouraged to use situational awareness on and around trails by watching out for and avoiding weakened or downed trees, burned-out stump holes, and other debris which may be present. Care is also needed on trails which bear evidence of fire suppression activities, such as digging, trenching, and removal and dispersal of vegetation.
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 while avoiding 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 Until rescinded, the following are prohibited: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.
Wildlife. The 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 developed 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” and prevent human interaction with wild animals.
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 further information please contact the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center at (520) 749-8700.