Umtanum Recreation Area

The suspension bridge at Umtanum Recreation Area in the Yakima River Canyon. (Yakima Herald-Republic file)

The Bureau of Land Management became the latest agency to shut down recreation facilities Tuesday morning because of the coronavirus pandemic.

All day-use facilities in the Yakima River Canyon — Umtanum, Big Pines, Lmuma Creek and Roza recreation areas — will be closed, effective immediately, according to a news release. The BLM joined other agencies earlier this month in closing campgrounds through April 30 but had kept its facilities open for day use.

“Those sites specifically, they don’t allow for social distancing when there’s a decent-sized crowd just because there are so many bottlenecks at those locations,” spokesman Jeff Clark said. “We’re just trying to be in line with our local and regional partners.”

The closure also applies to the Liberty Recreation Site and Chopaka Lake Campground.

Many lands owned or managed by BLM remain open to the public, including several of the trails managed by the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy in Yakima.

Reach Luke Thompson at and on Twitter: @luketscribe

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