Thin snow causes Vail Pass trail closures |

Thin snow causes Vail Pass trail closures

summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – The U.S. Forest Service closed some seasonal snow roads at Vail Pass Recreation Area during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend due to continued lack of snow. The trails will remain closed until there is enough snow to prevent recreation activity from causing resource damage.

“We’re evaluating the trails on a daily basis,” said winter backcountry ranger Graham Predeger. “Depending on what kind of snow we get in the next few days, we can hopefully open them back up for next weekend.”

The closures include trails 2, 9 and 10. The Ptarmigan Hill area is also closed. Wilder Gulch, a snow road that provides access to the Ptarmigan Pass area, is open.

Activity at the Vail Pass rec area has been down relative to last year, according to Predeger. The Forest Service has sold 300 season passes so far this winter, compared to about 350 passes this time last season.

“MLK weekend is historically pretty busy for us, but the parking lot didn’t fill up this year. That’s probably partly because of the snow,” Predeger said.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasts light snow over the next few days, with today’s predicted accumulations totaling 0-2 inches in Summit County and about 3-6 inches in Eagle County. The southern San Juan Mountains are predicted to be Colorado’s big winner in this storm cycle, with accumulations of 6-8 inches today. Temperatures in Summit County will be in the low 20s.

“We’re doing the snow dance daily, praying for more snow,” Predeger said.

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