Some of the company’s campgrounds are expected to open in late May or early June. Additional boat ramps and day-use areas may begin opening in mid-May.
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Power could reopen some campgrounds as soon as May 29, as long as COVID-19 cases in Idaho remain low and the company feels it is safe to do so. Other recreational sites such as boat ramps and day-use areas may open sooner.
The company owns more than 60 recreational sites along the Snake River, including campgrounds in Hells Canyon and at C.J. Strike and Swan Falls reservoirs. All were closed in mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, a handful of boat ramps and day-use areas have reopened, and the company hopes to open additional outdoor recreation sites May 15.
The openings parallel the second and third 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.
Some of Idaho Power’s Oregon sites could open later based on that state’s timeline.
A full list of open sites is available at idahopower.com. Visitors should check the 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.
The company has taken a cautious approach to reopening facilities in order to protect its essential employees, customers and nearby communities. Many boat ramps, fishing access spots and campgrounds are near the company’s hydroelectric plants.
“The more people we have in those areas, the more likely it is that someone will need help or will interact with our employees there,” said Fred Noland, Recreation Supervisor for Idaho Power. “Our main goal is to ensure that all employees, especially people who work 24/7 to keep the lights on, can remain healthy and keep doing their jobs.”
The company urges visitors to follow social distancing guidelines, especially when using common spaces such docks and picnic areas. Portable restrooms will be available.
Campground restrooms, showers and fish cleaning stations will remain closed until further notice.
“We are still in very uncertain territory, and we will continue looking to the governors and public health officials for guidance as we move forward,” Noland said.
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.
“Making sure those things were in place and our people were ready to safely serve the public was a critical piece of our reopening plan,” Noland said. “We are eager to reopen our recreation sites to the public. I know people are anxious to get outdoors and enjoy these places that have been closed for the past two months. We appreciate everyone’s patience.”
People with campground reservations affected by the closure will automatically receive a full refund or be given the opportunity to reschedule at no additional charge.
About Idaho Power
Idaho Power, headquartered in vibrant and fast-growing Boise, Idaho, has been a locally operated energy company since 1916. Today, it serves a 24,000-square-mile area in Idaho and Oregon. The company’s goal to provide 100% clean energy by 2045 builds on its long history as a clean-energy leader that provides reliable service at affordable prices. With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects at the core of its diverse energy mix, Idaho Power’s residential, business and agricultural customers pay among the nation’s lowest prices for electricity. Its 2,000 employees proudly serve more than 570,000 customers with a culture of safety first, integrity always and respect for all.