Hunting access to Buffalo Pass is from the east

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— As big game hunters begin to set up camp for the second season of combined deer and elk hunting beginning Saturday, the Routt National Forest is reminding them that access to Buffalo Pass from the west is closed because of road construction.

As spokeswoman for the Hahn’s Peak Ranger District confirmed Thursday morning that the closure is on a three-mile section of road beginning at Dry Lake Campground and continuing up to the second gate, well below the summit.

Construction crews are hoping to be finished by Oct. 31, a day after the second season ends but in time for the third season Nov. 5 to 13, the spokeswoman said.

The closure of the road from the west where it leads up the pass from Strawberry Park just outside Steamboat Springs doesn’t mean access to Buffalo Pass is closed altogether. Hunters still can access the summit from the eastern side of the Park Range in North Park. That would allow them to drive down the west side to the closure at the second gate.

The work on the three-miles of unpaved Buffalo Pass Road (Routt County Road 38 and Forest Service Road 60) is intended not only to put it in better condition, but also to make it possible to maintain a smoother road surface, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Improvements include culvert replacement, reconstruction of turnouts and a new gravel base.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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