The West Fork Trail to the Rainbow Hot Springs and into the Weminuche, is open to public use; however, the Forest Service urges extreme caution because of impacts from the West Fork Fire and spruce bark beetle epidemic. It passes through dense trees killed or weakened by fire or beetles. Crews cut 250 dead and downed trees in the first five miles of the trail. Half of the trail has safety issues, and travel by pack animals is dangerous. Near the hot springs is washed out and not recommended for stock. Crews plan to work on this section this month. Burned stumps have left holes making stock travel treacherous and foot travel difficult. The bridges are in good shape. Camping near the hot springs can be dangerous because the roots of dead trees may not be intact and are very susceptible to wind. Past the hot springs, crews have cleared trees, but the trail is washed out and deemed impassable to stock travel.
Visitors should be aware that special orders regarding many uses and activities may be in effect on the San Juan National Forest. Forest Service Regional orders should also be reviewed as some activities are prohibited on a Regional level. Click on the heading to view current special orders.