Closure area around Mt. Elden to significantly reduce next week

Contact(s): Flagstaff Ranger District, 928-526-0866


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., June 20, 2019 - Coconino National Forest officials are planning to reduce the closure area around Mt. Elden that was put in place in late January so that helicopter logging and forest thinning operations could be conducted safely as part of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project.

FWPP Closure Modification Map 6-26-19NewsTHMBThe Flagstaff Ranger District plans to reduce the closure area Wednesday (June 26), which will allow public non-motorized access to Schultz Pass Road (Forest Road 420), Elden Lookout Road (FR 557), and most of the trails in and around Mt. Elden.

Mountain bikers and hikers should use caution when using open trails, as no maintenance has been completed since 2018, and forest debris may be scattered across some trails.

The closure area will continue to affect all or portions of the following trails due to extensive forest slash and logs still present, which results in dangerous conditions or inaccessibility:

  • Brookbank Trail

  • Schultz Creek Trail

  • Upper Oldham Trail

Motorized vehicles will not be allowed on Schultz Pass or Elden Lookout roads, as large logging equipment and trucks will be using the roads to haul timber. These vehicles are too large to allow other motor vehicles room to drive on the roads safely that they occupy. Mountain bikers are warned to watch for large logging trucks and other equipment whenever they are using these roads. In addition, the logging trucks will also be using U.S. Highway 180 to transport logs.

“We know how important these trails are to the community and will continue to reduce the closure area as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Flagstaff District Ranger Matt McGrath. “As people come back into the Mt. Elden area, they are going to notice quite a difference in some parts of the forest. Areas that have been thinned will have forest debris scattered around, and the ground may look a bit rough, but the forest rebounds incredibly well. The work that has been done here plays an important part of securing Flagstaff’s forests and watersheds for the future.”

Logging operations are continually changing in the Flagstaff Ranger District, and closures or modifications will change often this year in areas of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project.

The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project began after Flagstaff voters approved a $10 million bond in 2012, resulting in a partnership between the state, city, and Coconino National Forest to help reduce the risk of wildfires that could threaten local watersheds.

The public can monitor the progress of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project online at www.flagstaffwatershedprotection.org.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD639963