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Eldorado National Forest sees surge of visitors amid coronavirus pandemic

U.S. Forest Services officials said in a press conference the Eldorado National Forest is seeing three times the number of people from previous years.

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — According to forest officials, many people are flocking to Eldorado National Forest to take a break of feeling trapped inside cities. Many of them are visiting the park for the very first time.

Officials are giving the public tips on what they should know before they take their break from civilization for a trip to mother nature.

"We have a lot more people up here a lot of folks are cooped up they've been cooped up I was cooped up at home and they want out and it's understandable," said U.S. Forest Service Dispatch Captain Nathan Thompson said in a news conference.

Thompson said the Eldorado National Forest is seeing three times the number of people from previous years and the park is not meant for large crowds of visitors.

There are signs placed signs on the road to ask to park on the side of the road so first responders could respond to an emergency. Thompson said it could take hours for emergency workers to get to you if they don't have access to the forest.

Thompson recommends visitors to purchase a physical map. Also, let someone know before you make your trip to the national forest park.

"This might sound silly to folks who come out into the wilderness a lot," Thompson said. "You don't have cell coverage out here."

Forest Recreational Officer Charis Parker said those who are visiting are practicing what is called dispersed camping, which would not have trash service or a working bathroom. Campers would then need to plan ahead.

Parker recommends bringing their own heavy-duty trash bags and pack out your toilet paper.

"I want to see wildflowers in the forest and not paper daisies," Parker said.

Zach Fuentes contributed to this article.

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