Several Idaho Power campgrounds, additional recreation sites to open Friday
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Several Idaho Power campgrounds, additional recreation sites to open Friday

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Hells Canyon

Copperfield Park is one of four parks Idaho Power maintains in the Hells Canyon area.

BOISE — Idaho Power said it will reopen several parks, boat launches and day-use areas on Friday, including Twin Falls Park and boat ramp and the company’s park at Thousand Springs in the Hagerman Valley.

Other popular areas, including some in Hells Canyon and at C.J. Strike Reservoir south of Mountain Home, are among those expected to reopen after closures that started in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notable exceptions are Copperfield Campground in Hells Canyon and Scout Park at C.J. Strike. Those campgrounds will remain closed until further notice. Access across Swan Falls Dam and to the museum there also remains closed. They will be among the last sites to reopen because they are close to Idaho Power facilities where power plant employees are most likely to come into contact with visitors.

An updated list of which sites are open is available at idahopower.com/whatsopen.

The company urges visitors to follow social distancing guidelines, especially when using common spaces such as docks and picnic areas. Portable restrooms will be available. Campground restrooms and showers will remain closed for now.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors back to our campgrounds and other public recreation facilities,” said Fred Noland, Idaho Power’s Recreation supervisor, in a statement. “The early phases of our reopening have gone smoothly, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and their efforts to follow the health guidelines with respect to social distancing.”

Idaho Power’s recreation staff has received additional training and protective equipment to enable them to work with visitors as safely as possible, but the company continues to urge visitors to practice proper social distancing.

The company owns more than 60 recreational sites along the Snake River. All were closed in mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The company began a phased reopening of these sites May 1. The openings parallel the phases of Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s reopening plan, which gradually relaxes rules on the size of gatherings. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation previously announced it will reopen its campgrounds May 30.

Visitors should check the company’s website to make sure their destination is open before traveling, as dates could change. This will not affect access to the company’s offices, which remain closed to the public.

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