With entrenched mud season, there’s scant summer-road availability for motorized vehicles | SummitDaily.com

With entrenched mud season, there’s scant summer-road availability for motorized vehicles

The intersection of the lower portion of Cataract Creek Road #1725, with Heeney Road, is seen during a snowy Monday afternoon, May 20, 2019. Cataract Creek Road #1725 is just one of three Forest Service roads within Summit County that was scheduled to be accessible for summer-season motorized use on Tuesday, May 21, the first day of the White River National Forest's summer travel season.
Antonio Olivero / aolivero@summitdaily.com

For those looking to recreate on White River National Forest trails and roads within Summit County this spring and summer, patience will be necessary.

Although the White River National Forest’s summer travel season began Tuesday, only three summer roads for motorized vehicles were scheduled to be accessible: Cataract Creek Road No. 1725, Lonesome Gulch No. 2840 and Columbine Landing No. 1870, all north of Silverthorne, near Heeney.

Typically, the White River National Forest summer travel season begins on May 21 and ends on Nov. 22. Some higher elevation roads and motorized trails have later opening dates in June.

“Some gates are still buried in snow, and roads are extremely wet and muddy,” Forest Service spokeswoman Lynn Lockwood said in a press release Monday. “Crews have been assessing snowline and many roads that are typically clear by May 21 remain inaccessible due to snowpack, debris and muddy conditions.”

The Forest Service is asking interested recreationists to be patient, responsible and contact their local ranger station for the most current information, as travel in muddy conditions creates deep ruts that damage roads and trails. The Dillon Ranger District can be reached at 970-468-5400.

Lockwood said Forest Service crews will be assessing conditions and opening gates as more routes become accessible. As updated condition reports become available, they will be posted at FS.USDA.gov/Alerts/WhiterRiver/Alerts-Notices.

The Forest Service also asks motorized-vehicle users to obtain and adhere to routes shown on the Summer Motor Vehicle Use Maps. The maps show which routes are open to motorized vehicles, which types of vehicles may be used, and season opening and closing dates. Hard copies of the maps are free and available at all forest offices and online at TinyURL.com/Motorized-Travel.

The White River National Forest’s mountain bike map can be found at TinyURL.com/Mechanized-Travel. Trails that are open to mountain bikes are marked with bike symbols at trailheads and intersections.

Also, e-bikes of any kind are considered motorized vehicles in all National Forests.

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