District urges caution on trails

MEEKER I This year’s heavy snowpack and cool spring temperatures are affecting travel on roads and trails across the White River National Forest. Many roads and trails that normally open in late May are still covered with snow. Several roads and trails have been covered by landslides. Soils in the high country are saturated, making it much more likely that trees, with their shallow root systems will fall over. Many trees are down across roads and trails.
Ron Taussig, natural resource specialist in charge of recreation on the Blanco Ranger District, provided this update on trail conditions:
n The Skinny Fish and Pattison Park trails have both been damaged by slumps of saturated soils. They are currently impassable to livestock.
n There is still two feet of snow on the Pagoda Lake and Snell Creek trails. The Forest Service is considering closing these trails to motorized use until conditions improve.
n There is a slide across the Deadhorse Loop, FR#230, on the east end at the switchbacks. The east end will remain closed until the damage can be repaired.
n We hope to open the gate at the east end of Wilson Park this week. The #260 road to Sawmill has washed out. It is passable on ATVs, but closed to full-sized vehicles.
n All trails and roads are open on the south side of the district and we suggest visitors use these trails until the north side dries out.
n We are monitoring conditions and opening gates as roads and trail dry.
According to Taussig, “The Blanco District appreciates the many individuals that have offered assistance and thanks the public for its patience in this unusually wet year.”
Users of forest trails and roads are urged to respect closed gates, and to be aware of potentially dangerous trees and unstable ground. Contact the Blanco Ranger District at (970)878-4039 for current road and trail conditions.