Less than the usual amount of snow this year means access to the Uinta National Forest will begin earlier than normal.

"Forest Service personnel have been working hard to prepare for the many people who will visit the forest this year," forest spokeswoman Loyal Clark said.All campgrounds are open in the Pleasant Grove Ranger District, as is the Alpine Scenic Loop. Some areas are still muddy, so campers should be cautious when parking vehicles and trailers.

Campgrounds in the Spanish Fork Ranger District are open. Gates leading to Payson, Salt Creek and Santaquin canyons are open. There still is snow on parts of the Nebo Scenic Loop, so trailers are not advised between Blackhawk Campground and Salt Creek because of lack of turnaround spots.

Campgrounds in the Heber Ranger District are open except for Mill Hollow and Wolf Creek. These two high-elevation campgrounds are expected to be open in two weeks if rapid snow melt continues.

The Strawberry Visitors Center will provide information concerning the Strawberry and surrounding valleys.

Garbage bags will be available from all campground attendants. The Uinta National Forest's pack-it-in, pack-it-out policy asks all visitors to carry out all garbage they accumulate. "This practice saves the taxpayer thousands of dollars each year, and we appreciate the courtesy people show by taking the time to clean up around them. This allows our people to devote their time to care of the campground, trails and other forest priorities." Clark said.

For information regarding campgrounds, trails, maps and other forest activities, visitors can contact Forest Service offices in Heber, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Spanish Fork or Nephi.