Tip of the Month
Your Destination Could Be Closed
When temperatures heat up in Denver, many head up into the mountains expecting everything to be open – it could be too early for many areas in the high country. Many higher elevation roads and campgrounds are still closed.
There are campgrounds that stay open year round. Many campgrounds open in May but some located at higher elevations may not open until June. Check the At-A-Glance Campground Tablefor campground status.
The U.S. Forest Service often can open lower elevation roads by Memorial Day weekend – but some years the wet conditions prevent that from happening. Some roads are not gated but this does not mean they are ready to for your vehicle. The chances of getting and stuck are higher earlier in the season. Changes in weather or snow left over from the winter could make roads impassable even if they are open. In addition, when a roadbed is soft or wet, vehicle travel can cause considerable damage to the route leaving it rutted and in need of repair. By June many gated U.S. Forest Service roads begin to open, but a few remain closed until July and occasionally longer. Remember, some roads damaged by the 2013 flood remain closed. To learn if a road is open or closed please call the local Ranger District office near your destination. You may also check the Road Status Table.
A map of four-wheel drive roads is available online (Motor Vehicle Use Map webpage) or pick up a free copy from your local Ranger District office.