Black bear sightings at Dinosaur National Monument have forced park officials to temporarily close two Ely Creek backcountry campsites located along the Jones Hole Trail. The Jones Hole Trail, which is popular with hikers and fishermen, remains open at this time.

National Parks Service/Dinosaur National Monument

Black bear sightings at Dinosaur National Monument have forced park officials to temporarily close two Ely Creek backcountry campsites located along the Jones Hole Trail. The Jones Hole Trail, which is popular with hikers and fishermen, remains open at this time.

Dinosaur National Monument’s Ely Creek campground closed due to black bear activity

— Two campsites at Dinosaur National Monument are closed until further notice because of black bear activity.

The Ely Creek backcountry campsites, located along the Jones Hole Trail, are a popular destination for anglers and hikers, and although Dinosaur doesn’t seem like the most ideal habitat for bears, several black bear sightings have been reported to monument officials during the past several weeks, according to a Dinosaur National Monument news release.

“In an effort to reduce interactions between people and the bear and to reduce the possibility that the bear will get and become habituated to human food, we have decided to close the campground at least temporarily,” Dinosaur Superintendent Mary Risser said in the release. “Park staff will not take reservations for the campsites, and any existing reservations are canceled.”

Although the campsites are closed until further notice, the Jones Hole Trail as well as the Jones Hole river campsites will remain open, the release states. The Jones Hole river campsites are reserved for river rafters until September.

Visitors to the Jones Hole Trail are encouraged to be on the lookout for black bears and to report any sightings to staff at the visitors center or at a ranger station. All monument visitors are reminded to store food, camp coolers and other items in bear-proof storage boxes or to hang such items from a tree to keep bears from becoming accustomed to human food.

For more information, call 435-781-7702.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 970-875-1794 or jmoylan@CraigDailyPress.com

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