JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. (KRQE) - The Jemez Ranger District in the Santa Fe National Forest has some of the most accessible campgrounds from the metro area, but this year two of five campgrounds are closed cutting available campsites in half.
Campers were filing in to the district Friday morning ahead of Labor Day. Some had the foresight to reserve a spot in the San Antonio Campground months in advance.
Reserving one of the 30 spots in the campground was the only sure way to get a campsite Labor Day weekend. The other two campgrounds open this summer, Vista Linda and Jemez Falls, are first-come, first-serve.
"Most of the campgrounds aren't full during the summer, but on holiday weekends, they do pack them in," Jeff Harris, the district recreation and lands staff officer, told KRQE News 13.
Harris said in the past year they've had to tighten their belts, so they've kept two campgrounds, representing 94 campsites, closed throughout the summer.
"To open them, we need certain resources," Harris said. "We need staffing to take care of them, to maintain them, clean them."
Two of the five picnic areas are also closed, though one of the areas is closed because the Thompson Ridge Fire made it more vulnerable to flash floods.
For those who don't score one of the 95 campsites in the Jemez, there's always backcountry camping.
Three of nine campgrounds in the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District are also closed due to fire and flooding this year. Those three closures represent almost a third of campsites there.
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