Memorial Day weekend on Coronado National Forest

Release Date: May 23, 2018  

District offices closed for the holiday, Stage II Fire Restrictions mean no open flames


Tucson, AZ (May 23, 2018) - For Immediate Release.  All offices of the Coronado National Forest will be closed on Monday, May 28, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. (The Sabino Canyon Visitor Center will remain open.) Business will resume Tuesday, May 29, during regular operating hours.


Despite the office closure, fire and recreation personnel and law enforcement officers will be on duty over the Memorial Day weekend for the safety of visitors.


Forest officials expect large numbers of visitors to the most popular campgrounds and picnic areas throughout the holiday weekend.  The following are tips for safe and enjoyable weekend outings.


Campfires, Smoking and Fireworks.  Coronado National Forest has implemented Stage II Fire Restrictions. The following are prohibited:

  •  Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire, including within a developed recreation site, or improved site.

  • Using an explosive.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building. (Smoking is prohibited in all federal buildings.)
  • Operating or using any equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, except motor vehicles.
  • Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  • Discharging a firearm, air rifle or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal law, and regulations.
  • Possessing or operating motor vehicles off National Forest System roads, including but not limited to cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and ATVs, except for when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway, and except for parking overnight in Forest Service developed campground and trailheads.

Fireworks are prohibited year-round in National Forests.


Weather. Days are warming up and high temperatures are forecast to hover near 100 degrees at some of the lower elevations on the Forest. Recreationists are encouraged to carry plenty of drinking water to stay hydrated. One quart per hour per person is the minimum recommendation, with one to two quarts per hour recommended for those engaged in strenuous activity such as hiking.


Temperatures at the higher elevations can be significantly cooler, especially at night.


Visitors to the outdoors should know the expected conditions for the area of their visit and plan accordingly.


Camping.  Campers are encouraged to be good neighbors and recognize “quiet time” at 10:00 p.m.; to avoid low spots and pitch tents in areas that are well-drained; to bring drinking water, as not all areas supply potable water; and to remove trash, and leave clean campsites.


WildlifeThe Coronado is home to many wildlife species.  Visitors should avoid contact with wildlife and utilize “bear aware” principles.  Bears and other animals may be attracted to human food and trash. Maintain clean campsites.  Store food out of sight and smell range of bears.  Utilize metal storage boxes for food and garbage in recreation sites.  Cookware and dishes should be washed in designated areas away from camping sites and stored promptly after meals.  Odorous products such as toothpaste or lotions and clothing with food or cooking odors should not be taken into sleeping areas. Wildlife should not be fed intentionally or accidentally. For their safety, pets should be leashed at all times. Prevention of wildlife encounters is encouraged. “Keep wildlife wild.”


International Boundary Travel Caution.  Forest visitors traveling in remote areas of the Coronado National Forest in the vicinity of the International Border with Mexico are advised to remain alert to their surroundings as illegal smuggling activity is known to occur in some areas.  Visitors are advised not to attempt to intercede should they witness illegal activity, but to contact the nearest law enforcement agency with a location, descriptions of persons, vehicles, date and time and other pertinent information.   


Dispersed Use/Off Highway Vehicles.  Dispersed picnicking and camping outside of developed recreation areas on the Forest is allowed unless otherwise posted.  Visitors must provide their own water and pack out their garbage using the “pack it in, pack it out” principle. Off-road/off-trail vehicle travel is prohibited.


For Ranger District and Recreation Area Information: “Know before you go.”

  • Douglas Ranger District (Chiricahua Mountains, Dragoon Mountains) - (520) 364-3468.
  • Nogales Ranger District (Santa Rita Mountains, Madera Canyon; Atascosa Mountains; Tumacacori Mountains) - (520) 281-2296.
  • Safford Ranger District (Mt. Graham) - (928) 428-4150.
  • Sierra Vista Ranger District (Huachuca Mountains, Miller Peak Wilderness) - (520) 378-0311.
  • Santa Catalina Ranger District (Mt. Lemmon, Sabino Canyon) - (520) 749-8700.