The opening of the McPhee and House Creek boat ramps has been delayed until June 1 to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
The decision is part of the San Juan National Forest’s closures on April 7, which included recreation sites such as boat ramps and campgrounds.
Hand-launched non-motorized and non-trailered watercraft are allowed to launch on McPhee. They are exempt from the Aquatic Nuisance Species inspection program but should follow guidelines for clean, drained and dry craft.
Shoreline access to McPhee Reservoir remains open, reports Esther Godson, San Juan National Forest public information officer. The Dolores River also is open to boaters using Forest Service launch sites upstream of Dolores.
The McPhee ramp typically opens around April 15; and the House Creek ramp, on May 1.
Earlier this spring, the opening of the McPhee boat ramp and inspection station was delayed two weeks, until May 1.
Hiking, dispersed camping, and river use on the San Juan National Forest outside developed sites are allowed, but discouraged, forest officials say.
Closed developed recreation sites include campgrounds, day-use areas, picnic areas and any other constructed facility amenity, such as potable water stations, fire rings/grills, picnic tables, restroom facilities with flush or vaulted toilets, and trashcans and trash collection services.
“While we know that going outside provides forest and grassland visitors needed space, exercise and satisfaction, we are taking the risks presented by COVID-19 seriously,” said Acting Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien.