Forestry officials announce open trails | SteamboatToday.com

Forestry officials announce open trails

Staff report

— Forestry officials announced Friday they are about one month behind normal opening schedules for campgrounds and roads due to heavy snow during the winter, but many trails are ready for use.

In the Steamboat Springs area, three campgrounds are open: Dry Lake on Buffalo Pass, Dumont Lake on Rabbit Ears Pass and a portion of Seedhouse Campground on Seedhouse Road in North Routt County.

The Freeman Reservoir campground, northeast of Craig, also is open, as is Bear Lake, Cold Springs and Horseshoe campgrounds, all in the Yampa area in the Bear River corridor.

Vaughn Lake and Chapman Reservoir campgrounds also are open, and on the Gore Pass side, Lynx Pass is open. The 100 Road is open all the way from Red Dirt Road to Rabbit Ears Pass, as is the Flattops Trail Scenic Byway Trail.

The Buffalo Pass Road is open past the first gate, but motorists can’t drive through to the Walden side because a few feet of snow remains on the road. The U.S. Forest Service will continue doing repairs on the Buffalo Pass road later this summer, completing work they began last summer.

The California Park Road

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north of Hayden will open July 1.

Lower-elevation hiking trails are open and higher trails are open up to the snowline.

Forest officials also request that motorists not drive on wet, muddy roads because of the cost to repair ruts.

Visitors to the forested areas are urged to be careful near beetle-killed trees that often fall without warning. An average dead pine tree weighs 500 pounds and can severely injure or kill people as it falls.

Other guidelines forest officials reminded the public of include:

1. Be aware of surroundings. Avoid dense patches of dead trees; they can fall without warning.

2. Stay out of the forest when there are strong winds that could blow down trees. If you already are in the forest when the wind kicks up, head to a clearing out of reach of any potential falling trees.

3. Place tents and park vehicles in areas where they will not be hit if trees fall.

4. When driving in remote areas of the forest, park close to a main road, rather than on a spur or one-way section. If trees fall across the road you may be trapped.

5. Bring an ax or a chainsaw to remove fallen trees from roads in case you become trapped.

6. Do not rely on cell phones for safety as there is no coverage in many areas of national forest.

For more

For more information on recreation areas and wilderness safety, visit the Routt National Forest Web site at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/….