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Hundreds head to Mount Lemmon for Memorial Day weekend

Posted at 5:31 PM, May 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-25 01:18:45-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- For several hours it was a non-stop trail of cars, bikes, and motorcycles heading up and down at Mount Lemmon.

Although visitors are welcome at more than a dozen sites in Southern Arizona, campfires, smoking; shooting and fireworks aren’t.

During Memorial Day weekend, it was busier than normal at the Coronado National Forest, which was something the Forest Service projected earlier this week.

“It is busier than usual, but also I think people are excited to get back out there again,” explained Jennifer a forest visitor.

Jennifer is spending her weekend making sure her friends who cycle through the mountain are well taken care of.

“I’m their little pit stop with some fuel for refueling, water for re-hydration,” explained Jennifer.

For others, it's about spending time with their family and getting out of the house.

"Just to be in the trees and kind of be with the little squirrels and the birds and stuff. It’s kind of fun to just do that - something different than all this virus stuff,” said Amy a forest visitor.

Amy said the only downfall is nearby bathrooms are closed.

According to the signs posted on some of the bathroom facilities in the park, it is to protect the health of employees and visitors.

Bathrooms are open at several campsites, which reopened Thursday.

Douglas Ranger District

  • Herb Martyr Campground
  • Rucker Forest Camp Campground
  • Rustler Park Campground
  • Sycamore Campground
  • Sierra Vista Ranger District
  • Reef Townsite Campground and Group Site
  • Ramsey Vista Campground

Safford Ranger District

  • Arcadia Campground
  • Noon Creek Campground
  • Riggs Flat Campground

Santa Catalina Ranger District

  • General Hitchcock Campground
  • Peppersauce Campground

Concessionaire sites open, except for group sites

  • Rose Canyon Campground
  • Spencer Canyon Campground

Also not permitted are campfires and other activities that could cause firefighter response.

The Forest Service explained it's easy for wildfires, like this one that happened earlier this week to spark in dry areas. The Forest Service is also encouraging social distancing.

Nonetheless, Amy was happy to getaway.

“It’s something different since we can’t really get out of town right now,” said Amy.