State Parks to Reopen for Camping on May 30th

Friday May 1, 2020

Idaho’s 30 State Parks will welcome campers back on May 30, 2020 in keeping with Gov. Brad Little’s Idaho Rebounds Plan and the progress made containing the COVID-19 outbreak.

Camping closed in late March to help stem the spread of the virus but the parks have remained open for day use, although with limitations to enhance safety. Assuming continued progress containing the epidemic, camping will reopen with new COVID-19 precautions.

The Parks Department is stocking up on personal protective equipment to conduct enhanced and more frequent cleaning of restrooms and other shared-use facilities. Campground showers will not be opened at this time because of the difficulty cleaning them to the extent recommended by public health experts.

Visitor Centers at the Parks may have updated operating hours and rules designed to encourage social distancing, such as occupancy limits.

Originally, the closure was to last until May 15th but was extended to match Gov. Little’s reopening plan and to allow park staff to ready campgrounds to receive guests – including the hiring of seasonal employees, something delayed by the outbreak. Gov. Little’s plan anticipates lifting the requirement that out-of-state visitors quarantine for 14 days upon entry to the state on May 30th.

Refunds will be given to anyone having a reservation canceled between May 16th and May 29th.

Some lodging at parks will remain closed. While camper cabins will open, premium cabins – those with dishes, linens and bathrooms – will stay closed because of the difficulty in providing enhanced cleaning at this time.

Group camps and shelters will be opened on a case-by-case basis, following the social distancing and allowable group sizes based on guidance from the Idaho Rebounds plan.

Interpretive programs will again be available, although without hands-on activities and with appropriate social distancing.

While the parks will reopen, visitors are encouraged to:

  • Stay home if sick
  • Engage in physical distancing of at least six feet from non-family members or housemates
  • Wear face covering in public places
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Cover coughs and sneezes