Campers being steered from Diamond Lake

Hundreds of campers bound this weekend for Diamond Lake will be steered toward other High Cascades campgrounds to curb conflicts with fire crews battling two nearby wildfires.

The Umpqua National Forest this week put a temporary halt to any new reservations or walk-up use to its more than 400 campsites around Diamond Lake off Highway 138 in eastern Douglas County while crews are battling the National Creek Complex fires.

Only reservations made before last Monday will be honored through Sunday, but that deadline could be extended, forest spokeswoman Cheryl Caplan says.

About half of the Forest Service campsites at the popular fishing lake can be reserved, Caplan says. The camping restrictions are in place at Diamond Lake, Broken Arrow and Thielsen View campgrounds but does not effect Diamond Lake Resort and its RV park, Caplan says.

"This is a popular time for people to be coming to the lake," Caplan says. "It's a mixed bag of reservations and (first-come) campers, and over weekends like this it can be full to capacity."

In fact, visitors to Diamond Lake Campground likely won't see a bit of difference because the entire campground is full today and Saturday from reservations accepted before Monday, says Kevin Woods, the forest's recreation supervisor.

Likewise at Thielsen View Campground, which was half-full from reservations this past week and full this weekend, Woods says.

Broken Arrow has one group site reserved and about two dozen campsites were reserved this past week, Woods says.

Campers without current reservations are encouraged to camp at nearby Lemolo Lake or along the forest's Umpqua River corridor, which includes the Horseshoe Bend, Boulder Flat and Eagle Rock campgrounds.

The National Creek Complex fires include the 2,020-acre Crescent fire within Crater Lake National Park and the 116-acre National fire in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest about 10 miles southwest of Diamond Lake.

Guided wilderness hike planned Saturday

The U.S. Forest Service will host a guided hike Saturday, Aug. 15, into the Sky Lakes Wilderness Area for hikers looking to pick up tips and experience on backcountry hiking and camping.

Fremont-Winema National Forest Park Ranger Mike Pakes will lead the free hike on the Nannie Creek Trail. The trail has a moderate difficulty rating.

Pakes will lead discussions during the hike about backpacking and camping in wilderness areas.

Participants are asked to meet at the Nannie Creek Trailhead on the national forest’s Klamath Ranger District at 9 a.m.  Saturday.

Participants are asked to dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, bring sun protection, pack a water bottle and check weather conditions before departing.

Reservations are required due to limitations on group size. Call the Klamath Ranger District at 541-885-3400.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

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