Branch Library Hours
Fri 9am-12pm, 1-4pm
Mon 10-11:40am, 12-1:40pm
Tue 8-9:40am, 10-11:40am
Fri 10-11:40am, 12-1:40pm
Sat 9-10am, 10:20-11:40am
Current Park Status
Baker County's Holcomb park on the Brownlee Reservoir is now closed for the winter. Nearby Hewitt Park remains open year round for boat launching, and there is a porta-potty available for visitors. Dry camping and boat launching is allowed with the $4 per day parking fee.
All Idaho Power Company campgrounds, parks, boat ramps, and recreation access sites remain open during the winter months as well. Restrooms have re-opened with social distancing guidelines in place, but showers remain closed. Early-season visitors should bring their own water as well, as water won't be turned on until April 1. Idaho Power asks all visitors to follow social-distancing guidelines, including when they interact with Idaho Power staff. Demand for campsites has been high, so please visit the Idaho Power website to reserve a spot before heading out.
Idaho Power Campgrounds
Camping fees at Idaho Power parks in Hells Canyon range from $10 for a tent space to $16 for an RV space. At this time, drinking water has been shut off for the season at all individual campsites, but will be turned on April 1. Potable water is available outside the restroom buildings at Woodhead and McCormick parks ONLY. Visitors to all other locations must bring their own water.
Discounts are available for campers over 60 and active duty military and veterans, but only if paying by credit card in advance or at the park. Discounts are not available for cash payments. For a full rate schedule, maps, and other park information, visit the Parks link at the Idaho Power website.
You may now make in-season campsite reservations on-line as much as nine months in advance. There is a fee for reserving on-line, and reservations may be made for visits scheduled between the first Friday in April through the last Sunday in October. A phone reservation option is also available for $15; call 1-844-472-7275.
Smaller overnight campsites are not included in the reservation system. In Hells Canyon, Carter's Landing and Moonshine Mine remain available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Idaho DEQ has issued a health advisory for waters near the Big Bar camping area on Hells Canyon Reservoir and the Woodhead Park area in Brownlee Reservoir. Recent samples indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, commonly known as a toxic algae bloom, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Visitors are urged to use caution when recreating in or near the reservoirs: avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Keep children, pets, and livestock from the water. Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can actually increase risk. Wash hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water, and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. For more information, visit the Idaho DEQ website.
If you are going to spend time on the water, the Baker County Sheriff's Office would like to remind boat operators and passengers to pack extra supplies and be prepared for water-related outings. Weather can change drastically in a matter of hours, and water rescues are especially dangerous at night due to decreased visibility and often high winds on the reservoir.
Be sure to make friends and family members aware of your plans, including departure times and specific travel routes or destinations. This will significantly decrease rescue time if something happens. Plan ahead, be prepared, and enjoy your boating activities.
Brownlee Reservoir Update
As of May 4, Brownlee Reservoir is at 2041 feet, 35 feet below full pool level of 2077. The boat ramps at Hewitt and Holcomb Park are now accessible, as are Woodhead and Moonshine Mine. Only Steck Park and Spring Recreational boat ramps are not usable at this time.
For current reservoir elevation information, check the Idaho Power website.
Current Snow Depth
The Schneider Meadows SnoTel site, elevation 5400 feet, is reporting a snow depth of 27" and total precipitation accumulation of 34.1" as of Tuesday, May 4.
Check the recent weather and snowpack reports from Schneider Meadows SnoTel site and the Sparta Butte RAWS site for updates. More information is also available from the Wallowa Avalanche Center. The WWNF also has snowmobile trail maps and condition reports available on their website.
New Outdoor Recreation Website Shows COVID-19 Risk Information
A new app called ParkPulse is now available through the Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC) as a web tool to help plan outdoor recreation opportunities during the pandemic.
ParkPulse is an online mapping tool which provides information about most of Oregon's publicly-accessible recreation areas, including city, county, state, and federal lands. It shows detailed information for each site selected, such as available amenities, the potential for encountering crowds, and an estimate of site-specific COVID-19 prevalence based on spatialized county health data.
During the current pandemic, this tool is a community asset to help individuals make informed decisions for outdoor recreation; in the future, it can help people find underutiized gems to enjoy.
Permits are required to park in a Sno-Park between November 1 and April 30. There are three types of permits available: a $25 seasonal permit; a $9 permit good for three consecutive days, and a $4 daily permit. Oregon Sno-Park permits are also valid in California and Idaho.
Permits are available through the Oregon Department of Transportation website, permit agents at winter resorts, sporting goods stores, and other retail outlets. They may also be obtained by mail by sending a written request with a return address, phone number, and check or money order to DMV, Vehicle Mail No. 1, 1905 Lana Avenue, Salem, OR 97314.
A list of permit agents is available under the "Travel Center" menu at the TripCheck website.
New Antlerless Elk Damage Tags
ODFW has announced that a new general season tag will replace 19 controlled hunts and the need to obtain specific landowner damage tags from local ODFW offices. Hunters will need permission to hunt on private land to use this tag, because the majority of land included is privately owned. No application is necessary, and this general season tag is available as long as the hunter has not purchased another tag, such as archery. The season runs August 1 to November 30 in Pine and Eagle valleys. For more information, call the ODFW Baker City Field Office at 541-523-5832, or visit the website.
ODFW Electronic Licensing System
ODFW launched a new electronic licensing system on December 1, 2018, with the sale of 2019 licenses and tags. The system allows hunters and anglers to carry their documents electronically on their smart phone or tablet and tag fish and wildlife with a mobile app that will even work off-line. An FAQ about the system is available at the ODFW website.
Eagle Bar Access Restricted
Public access to the Eagle Bar recreation site will be limited through the spring of 2021. Idaho Power will be using the southern half of the area as a construction staging area for upgrades being performed on the Hells Canyon Dam hydroelectric plant. The boat launch will remain open and dispersed camping will still be allowed within a reduced area. Visit the Idaho Power website for updates and further information.
Kirkwood Creek Bridge Closure
The bridge located at the Kirkwood Historic Ranch about 5.5 miles south of the National Recreation Trail #102 trailhead at Upper Pittsburg Landing is closed. A new bridge is in process, but will most likely be built after the 2020 field season.
An alternative crossing for hikers may be available at the footbridge near the mouth of the creek, approximately 300 feet downstream of the closed bridge. This is a small bridge, not suitable for stock use, and high water flows during the spring may submerge the deck at times.
For more information, contact the Forest Service offices in Joseph (541-426-5546) or Riggins (208-628-3916), or visit the website.