Wintertime trail, BLM road closures in effect
For more information about wintertime trail use, contact:
• BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office, (970) 876-9000
• White River National Forest, (970) 319-2670
• Roaring Fork Transportation Authority Trails Department, (970) 384-4975
The turn of the calendar from November to December means it’s time to close some area foot and bike trails and backcountry roads for the season.
The approximately 4-mile-long section of the Rio Grande Trail east of Carbondale between the Catherine Store Road Bridge and Rock Bottom Ranch will officially close at 5 p.m. Sunday and will remain closed until April 30.
Trail managers with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority close this section of trail for five months each year to protect sensitive wildlife habitat during the winter months and early spring. The closure applies to all users of the trail and corridor, including anglers and hunters.
Bicycles can still follow a signed detour route from Catherine Bridge, running along the Highway 82 Frontage Road, Valley Road and Willits Lane before reconnecting with the Rio Grande Trail at the Hooks Lane trailhead parking lot.
In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Colorado River Valley Field Office has already closed the Transfer Trail gate outside of Glenwood Springs in order to maintain conditions for snowmobiling access into the Flat Tops area.
Under recent new travel management guidelines for the White River National Forest, the Forest Service portion of Transfer Trail (Forest Route 602) is closed to wheeled vehicles beginning Nov. 23 each year.
Several other BLM road closures for the winter will also take effect Monday, Dec. 1, in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties, the agency announced last week.
These closures are also intended to protect critical big game winter range and to prevent road damage due to the snow and wet conditions.
Seasonal gate closures occur annually from Dec. 1 to April 30 at several points in the Castle Peak area in Eagle County, East Elk Creek in Garfield County, and on Light Hill and the Crown in Pitkin County.
However, these areas continue to be open to non-motorized recreational use, including hiking, snowshoeing, horseback riding and cross country skiing.
“We appreciate the public’s cooperation in helping us protect wildlife and public lands,” said BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Steve Bennett in a news release.
BLM’s Wolcott and Gypsum campgrounds in Eagle County are also now closed for the winter and will reopen in the spring when conditions allow.
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