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Being prepared and aware while recreating in the SNRA

The fires have started to creep into our beloved Sawtooths once again this summer. And as stressful, nerve-racking, and sad as it may be to watch parts of our SNRA be damaged, there’s another impact to this area that is of concern. Drought. Fires and a lack of water go hand-in-hand. And while this is something largely out of our control, you can do your part and be prepared and aware when recreating during a drought season.

  • Boat launching can become an issue. The shorter concrete launch pads can become more difficult for boats to launch and load – especially towards the end of July and into August.
  • Ramps from stationary docks and floating docks can become very steep and difficult to navigate.
  • Using any type of floatation device can have negative impacts on creeks and rivers during low water years. Stress to fish habitat occurs when these devices drag in many places causing resource impacts.
  • Be prepared to have plenty of water with you. Plan ahead. Freeze water in containers beforehand as many retailers can run low on ice- especially during high temperatures.
  • Water temperatures at some lower elevations can affect fish health. Higher alpine lakes in the SNRA are deeper, cooler, and give most fish some protection.  Fishing becomes a bit tougher for anglers.
  • Rafting can start to be more challenging as well and it might be best to hire a guide. Low water years bring many more exposed river elements that can be hazardous to the inexperienced rafter. 
  • Do not drive over fields, off-road, or in other dry areas where a vehicle can easily ignite dried-out vegetation.
  • Wildlife of the SNRA can become stressed as they move higher to find cooler temps and better water sources. Be respectful and keep your distance from animals trying to stay calm and cool during a difficult season.