Tip of the Month

Cars parked near a snowy entrance to a closed road.

It’s Still Winter in the High Country

Spring is here! With the warm weather, many of us are ready to hit the road.  We get our vehicles checked, resupply our provisions, gas up and call the U.S. Forest Service – it could be too early for many roads to be open.

The mountain roads take a long time to dry out after the winter. Even on the plains, pockets of wet areas can keep an entire road closed. 

The U.S. Forest Service endeavors to open some lower elevation roads by Memorial Day weekend – but some years the wet conditions prevent that from happening.  When roads are wet, vehicle travel can cause considerable resource damage by creating deep ruts. Road widening can also occur when vehicles drive around deep pools of water and deep mud. The chances of getting stuck are higher earlier in the season.  

By June many US Forest Service roads begin to open, but some remain closed until July and sometimes longer for many reasons. To learn if a road is open or closed please call the local Ranger District office near your destination. You can also visit Road Status Page from your home computer. Please visit the our Flood Recovery webpage for the latest information about roads damaged by the the September 2013 Flood.

Once roads open remember to not attempt routes above your skill level and be prepared in case you get stuck. Be aware of damage driving on wet roads can cause, including deep ruts and unauthorized routes.  Changes in weather can result in impassable conditions even when roads are open.

The free Motor Vehicle Use Map (www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/mvum) for the districts within Arapaho Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland is available online or from your local Ranger District office.

Other Motor Vehicle Use Maps for the state can be viewed at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r2/recreation/travelmanagement.