Forest Conditions (2019)

Amended Closure Order & Map (Signed 7/19/19)

Below Current as of July 16, 2019

Due to abundant moisture, there are hazards on the forest including wet and soft roads and trails, some culverts are washed out, trees are down on roads and trails, footbridges washed out, and there are no shortage of puddles and mud.

Districts began opening most gates to motorized trails and seasonally closed roads on June 7.  The following conditions / closures are in effect for each District below:

Hell Canyon Ranger District

Closed or Inaccessible:

  • Section of Trail #8 loop is closed to horses.
  • FSR 336.1I from County 336 to NFSR 382.  This road is approximately 5 miles south of Custer, SD.
  • FSR 336.1O is closed. 
  • FSR 504 is closed

Accessible but heavily impacted:

  • Sunday Gulch summer homes (Road on the south end of residence open. Road on north end closed due to culvert washed out)
  • The Forest Service trail crew and volunteers are working hard to get trails cleared in the Black Elk Wilderness, however, there remain broken and storm-damaged trees, making many segments of the trails inaccessible.
  • Lafferty Gulch Summer Homes 

Mystic Ranger District

Rec Area Closures

  • Pactola North Boat launch is closed.
  • South Boat Ramp at Pactola is closed.
  • Pactola Beach, also called Pactola Point Picnic Area, is closed.

Boaters should also be aware of debris and other hazards that could be in the lake.

Trail Closures

  • Nugget trail located in the China Gulch area between Hill City and Silver City is closed.
  • Portions of Trail 6210 and 6234 in the Merritt Trail system just south of Sugar Shack are closed.  Other trails in area are drying out, but springs seeping up in trail bed are causing problems in small areas. These portions will be signed at nearest intersections of other trails to provide access around but eliminate use on the troubled sections.
  • The Flume Trail from the Spring Creek Trail Head to the Sheridan Lake Dam is closed due to bridges washed out.
  • Nugget Area: 6805, 6827, 6832, 6833 remains closed. These are between NFSR 249 and NFSR 606. Signs are being put up at each intersection posting their status. All other gates will be opened in this area
  • A short segment of Trail 6069 is closed where it crosses Heely Creek.
  • The Deerfield Trail (Trail 40) has been heavily impacted by weather events. Many bridges have been washed out, and numerous trees are across the trail. Please use caution in this area.

See Mystic Trail Closure Maps

Road Closures

  • The Victoria Lake area road closures remain due to culverts washed out. 
  • Taylor Ranch Road off Sheridan Lake Road and Forest Service Road 162 are closed due to culverts washed out.
  • FSR 184.1 in Bloody Gulch is closed (boundary of Mystic and Northern Hills Ranger District)

Northern Hills Ranger District

Trail Closures

  • Trail 8028 south of Pilot Knob is closed due to water. Barricade is up until it dries.
  • Trail 8250 near Pilot Knob closed.
  • Centennial trail 8089 south of Dalton Lake is still closed due to mud and ruts. Barricades are up.
  • Trails 8228, 8202, 8218 and part of 8217 closed due to water, mud and ruts. These are in the Minnesota Ridge Trails north of Riley Hill Trailhead.
  • Trails in the Nemo area below are closed (as of 7/12/19) due to excessive moisture and erosion conditions
    • Centennial Trail 89 from Pilot Knob to Trail 8251 is closed.
    • Centennial Trail 89 from NFSR 152 to Blue Draw is closed.
    • Trail 8259 closed.
    • Trail 8260 closed.
    • Trail 8251 closed.
    • Trail 8089B closed.
  • Trail 8043 closed
  • Trail 8045 closed
  • Trail 8046 closed
  • Trail 8047 closed
  • Trail 8049 closed

Road Update (7/12/19)

  • FSR 140 Boxelder Forks to the Campground is now open.

Road Closures

  • FSR 152 (Misty Meadows) closed.
  • FSR 198 (Benchmark Road) closed.
  • FSR 213 and 216 in the Custer Peak area remain closed due to a spring in the road.
  • FSR 219 (Old Salt Road) closed.
  • FSR 741.1 closed.
  • South access from Galena Road to Camp 5 is closed.
  • The low water crossing at the north end of the Camp 5 area has been repaired and the closure for that area is lifted. However, the south end access/Butcher Gulch, remains closed. Barricades are up on the north and south end of Butcher Gulch. 

Trails and roads will need to dry out before equipment can begin repairs to prevent causing further damage. 

Crews and volunteers have cleared most of the fallen trees across the District but water, mud and ruts remain a problem in certain locations. If a trail is barricaded don’t drive on it or if you ask yourself “should I really be driving through this mud hole” then you probably shouldn’t.

Bearlodge Ranger District

  • Bearlodge, Reuter, and Sundance campgrounds are open. 
  • Cook Lake is closed (July 8, 2019) for construction of a new dam and spillway.
  • FSR 830.4Z is closed in order to prevent further natural resource damage to the area and to protect the safety and health of visitors. The continuing rain showers have saturated the ground causing this road to have standing pools of water and deep ruts. 
  • Conditions vary on system roads that are presently open to public travel. Please be advised that some of these roads remain saturated, with isolated cases of downed trees across roads. Crews continue to assess road conditions and clear them of obstacles.