Like a bear in winter, Mojave River Forks Regional Park will be taking a nap for a few months, closing its gates for 10 weeks.


"We're doing a winter closing, of sorts, this year just this year only," said San Bernardino County Regional Parks spokeswoman Kathi Payne.


The park will be closed from Jan. 16 through March 31.


"We currently have no reservations (for) that time, and our walk-up business is very minimal," Payne said. "We're paying more to man the booth (at the park's entrance) than we are to run the park."


"It's in our backyard and we go out and use it a lot with the scouts," said Chris Lindsay, Scoutmaster of Hesperia's Boy Scout Troop 725.


His troop doesn't do a lot of camping during the closure period, he said, but he suspects some scouts will be inconvenienced.


"We've met scouts that have come from as far away as Anaheim," Lindsay said. "We love it because we can take kids out, new kids included ... and if something (goes) wrong, we can go back (to town) and get things."


When the park reopens, it'll likely feature several new programs to cut costs and allow the county to keep it open. Chief among them: trading the time and labor of active volunteers for free camping.


"That'll allow us to keep the parks open year-round," Payne said. "We have no intentions of closing it permanently."


Mojave River Forks Regional Park is located at 18395 Highway 173 in Hesperia's Summit Valley. It's open most of the year, anyway from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (760) 389-2322 for more information.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.