Cook Lake Recreation Area Open for Day Use
Sundance, WY – Black Hills National Forest officials announced the opening of Cook Lake Recreation area near Sundance, Wyoming.
The area is now open to the public for day use only between the hours of 7am and 7pm. Day use will continue unless monitoring indicates changes in landslide conditions or there is significant precipitation duration or intensity causing the land to become unstable.
“Although the recreation area is open, a closure order for the slide area on the southwest side of the lake has been enacted prohibiting public access and use including a portion of the Cook Lake Trail (#88) for purposes of public safety,” said Steve Kozel, Bearlodge District Ranger.
Cook Lake recreation area has been closed since May 2014 for public health and safety concerns from landslide activity on the west hillside of the recreation area.
“Forest officials have worked with researchers from the Colorado School of Mines to assess the stability of the landslide and potential impacts to the campground,” said Kozel. The Colorado School of Mines recently provided the U.S. Forest Service with a landslide stability analysis report. Information from this report was used by Forest officials to complete a risk assessment and a recommendation report for public use of the area.
Monitoring equipment will be installed to provide real time information on landslide conditions at the site. Forest officials will monitor precipitation amounts, lake levels, and the landslide activity to make timely decisions on continued operations and use at the site to reduce potential risk to the public.
Cook Lake recreation area consists of 32 campsites and 12 picnic units. The complex includes two hiking trails, Cook Lake Trail and Cliff Swallow Trail.