It's the time of year when travelers can drive into the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest and find that snow has melted at the lower levels. 

National Forest spokesperson Robin DeMario says many people see the dry conditions and mistakenly think conditions are favorable for hiking and camping. 

"Conditions just aren't favorable for that right now for those types of activities," said DeMario. "That's why we're asking folks to have a little bit of patience, wait until things dry out and firm up, so conditions are better for those activities." 

DeMario says campgrounds don’t usually open until Memorial Day weekend, and trails become available as the snow melts.  

The only snow-free hikes in the forest right now are in the low-elevation areas or on south-facing slopes. 

Demario also says drivers heading into the forest are going to hit snow blocking the road at some point. 

"You can head up to Lake Wenatchee," said Demario. "You can head up to the Entiat, up to Chelan. There are many points to access the national forest from the greater Wenatchee area, which is wonderful. But it's being prepared and knowing what to expect when you get there." 

Vehicles with wheels are not allowed on forest roads that still have groomed trails for snowboarders. 

The forest service is asking people to continue to have patience and let forest trails and roads dry out and firm up before attempting to use them. 

Meanwhile, conditions for winter recreationists are beginning to deteriorate with the warmer weather.  

DeMario says recreationists can expect to encounter some bare spots in the snow as it slowly melts. 

She's advising that anybody in the snow will need to be careful as rocks, treetops, and branches will be poking out of the snow as it melts.  

In addition, snow groomers are saying the groomed trail conditions are rougher and bumpy even immediately after grooming occurs.  

They say those conditions are the result of frequent thawing and freezing and the warmer limited snowpack.  

Image of forest snow melt from Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest
Image of forest snow melt from Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest

They have also seen water and flowing streams that are partially covered by snow. 

They're advising people on snowmobiles, skis, or snowshoes to be especially cautious as there's a danger of falling through the snow into the water.  

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