BLACKSMITH FORK – The gate to Left Hand Fork of the Blacksmith Fork River on the Logan Ranger District opened today.
Visitors familiar with the area will notice some significant changes to the campgrounds with added parking areas and above-ground fire pits.
Kathy Jo Pollock, a spokesperson for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest said the Left Hand Fork campgrounds will now be restricted to designated sites with a numbered post and Forest Service-provided fire rings.
“All motor vehicles parked within a designated campsite must be within 50 feet of the provided fire ring,” she said. “These improvements are necessary due to increased visitation in the area, which is causing additional impacts such as loss of vegetation, increased soil compaction, and water quality degradation.”
Blacksmith Fork Canyon visitors can also expect an emphasis on appropriate disposal of human waste and removal of all trash from the area.
Logan District Ranger Jennefer Parker said they saw a disturbing amount of trash and exposure of campers to human waste last year.
“We’re encouraging campers to leave a clean campsite for the next visitors,” Parker said. “Additional camping restrictions may be necessary next year.”
Parker said people leave mattresses, seats from cars, couches and other debris the Forest Service has to clean up.
“There are 68 campsites and there is no limit to the number of people at each campsite,” she said. “As long as campers can fit all motorized vehicles and other camping gear within 50 feet of the campsite.”
Parker said the Forest Service campground usually fills up during April, May and June because it opens up earlier than some of the other campgrounds.
“It is a popular camping spot and it can get full,” she said. “lt’s a popular place to go.”
There are a number of new signs posted along the road by Hyrum City to keep people from camping outside of camping facilities.
“Hyrum City wants to protect the area and force people to use the designated campgrounds,” Parker said. “There is a guard station 11 miles up that people can rent purely for recreational use.”
The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are permitted to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
There is a Blacksmith Left Hand Fork brochure available from the Logan Ranger District for those who would like additional information.