Campsites going fast
By BILL KETTLER
Photo by JIM CRAVEN
Timothy Carlson, 9, of
Camas, Wash., looks at ducks at his campsite at Howard Prairie
Lake on Wednesday. He and his family got their campsite earlier
in the week. Spaces are going fast in advance of the Fourth of
Mild weather on tap for 4th
If you want a place to camp this long Independence Day weekend,
you'd better get busy.
Campgrounds were filling fast on Wednesday as Southern Oregon
prepared to celebrate the July 4 holiday. Vacant space was
expected to disappear at most campgrounds by late today because
many businesses have given their employees a Friday holiday to
compensate for July 4 falling on Saturday.
Jackson County's campgrounds were already half-full by
Wednesday, said county campground manager Randy Hutton.
"I think everybody's ready to go because Memorial Day was such a
washout," Hutton said. "Everybody's two months behind on their
Lake of the Woods campground "is going to be full if it isn't
already, by Thursday night," said Frank Erickson, of the Winema
Cool air that settled over the Rogue Valley Wednesday should
persist through the weekend, making for pleasant weather and
"We're not forecasting anything over 85 (degrees) for the next
couple of days," said Marc Richard of the National Weather
Service's Medford station.
Richard said the cool, moist air could bring morning clouds and
scattered afternoon thundershowers through the weekend, but the
likelihood of rain in any given area would only be about 20 to
"The odds that you're going to get wet on this weekend are kind
of long," he said. "It really is going to be a fairly
Besides the usual holiday parades scheduled for Ashland, Eagle
Point and Central Point, fireworks will light up the twilight
sky in Ashland, Eagle Point, Central Point, Lake of the Woods
and Diamond Lake.
The displays traditionally start at dusk -- about 9 p.m. -- or
At Crater Lake National Park, deep winter snow has prevented
road crews from opening the scenic Rim Drive around the lake.
The north entrance to the park off Highway 230 is open, however,
and the road is drivable between Rim Village and the north
"This is the most snow this late in the season I can remember at
Crater Lake," said John Miele, a park employee for 12 years.
Miele said the park's Mazama Campground is open, but snow is
just now disappearing from some campsites and mosquito
populations are healthy.
"Bring along some insect repellent," said Miele, "and definitely
bring some sunglasses."
On Mount Ashland, Forest Road 20 (the road east of the Ski
Ashland parking lot) has been opened to vehicle traffic as far
as the Grouse Gap shelter. But farther east much of the road and
parts of the Pacific Crest Trail are still buried in snow, said
Steve Johnson of the Rogue River National Forest.
Johnson said most south- and west-facing mountain slopes are
snow-free below 7,000 feet, but northern and eastern slopes
still may have substantial snow accumulations above 6,200 feet.
Johnson said most Forest Service campgrounds will fill during
People can get last-minute information about campsite
availability by calling ranger district offices in Prospect
(560-3400), Butte Falls (865-2700), Ashland (482-3333) and