Former Beaver Creek Campground now converted to day-use only

John Eblen, day use host at the Beaver Creek picnic area, says he is not pleased with having to send people away from what was formerly the Beaver Creek Campground. VVN/Bill Helm

John Eblen, day use host at the Beaver Creek picnic area, says he is not pleased with having to send people away from what was formerly the Beaver Creek Campground. VVN/Bill Helm

Visitor injury and death from flooding on national forest campgrounds in other parts of the country triggered a nation-wide Forest Service review. It was determined that Beaver Creek Campground was located in a flood zone - and that, says the Forest Service, is why it is no longer a campground.

According to Coconino National Forest, Wet Beaver Creek has potential to flood on both sides of this recreation area, cutting it off from emergency access. In 1995, floodwaters covered the area and caused severe damage.

The Forest Service converted Beaver Creek campground to a day-use picnic area in March, citing concern for visitor safety during flash flood events. Floods can occur in winter during rain on snow events and during summer thunderstorms. Such flash floods played into the difficult search for a 2-year-old boy who died at the site in 2010 and was not found until many days later.

Now, the area is managed as a Fee Picnic Area by Recreation Resource Management, Inc. under a special use permit issued by the Coconino National Forest.

There is an on-site host. Amenities at each site include parking, picnic tables, barbecue grills and fire pits. Drinking water and restrooms are available.

For more information on Beaver Creek Picnic Area or other day use sites and campgrounds contact the Red Rock Ranger District at 928-203-2900.

However, for those who do want to camp somewhere in the vicinity, the Forest Service has listed other locations:

• Lawrence Crossing: Small free campground next to creek, with toilet and fire rings, located 2 miles away: FR 618 to FR 121.

• Dispersed camping along Forest Road 618: Numerous locations, no facilities.

• Clear Creek Campground: Fee campground with all amenities, located on West Clear Creek; follow FR 618 to SR 260 to Beaver Creek Campground. Approximately 13 miles from here on dirt road.

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