Forest Service asks people to respect closures this spring |

Forest Service asks people to respect closures this spring

Most areas not yet open to mountain bikes and important elk calving areas will be closed, agency says

Everkrisp Trail will opens June 21.
Daily file photo

As people gear up for spring and summer recreation, the U.S. Forest Service is reminding them that the transition to summer vehicles — mountain bikes and other wheeled vehicles — does not happen until May 21 in most areas of the White River National Forest. And areas critical to elk calving are seasonally closed to all uses from as early as April 15 until as late as July 1, depending on the area, the agency said.

“As we start seeing these beautiful spring days, people naturally want to get out and recreate on the forest,” White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said in a news release. “We want people to know before they go and understand what is allowed where they are recreating. We have these established dates and wildlife closures to protect roads and trails from damage during mud season and to protect wildlife.”

According to Fitzwilliams, the national forest is seeing an increasing number of violations from mountain bikers and off-highway vehicles on roads and trails that are not yet open, as well as from hikers, dog walkers and cyclists in areas closed for elk calving. “Please help us protect roads, trails and wildlife by being patient — summer will be here soon,” he said.

Forest visitors are responsible for knowing when and where they can hike, drive or ride. Information is available online at and from local ranger districts.

The national forest said it has worked closely with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to identify the most critical calving areas for elk, which are seasonally closed to all uses to reduce disturbances.

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“Elk return to these areas every year because they offer water, forage and the seclusion they need to survive, birth and nurse without being startled or disrupted,” said wildlife and fish program manager Natasha Goedert. “Repeated disturbance to elk from people and dogs in calving season in these critical areas has led to lowered calf survival rates.”

In most areas, the transition from winter use to summer use occurs May 21. This means wheeled vehicles, motorized and mechanical such as bikes, are not allowed until May 21 in most areas. Specific roads and trails in critical elk calving areas are seasonally closed to all uses. On the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, that includes:

  • Knob Hill #2021: closed currently to April 15, opens April 16
  • Whiskey Creek #2348: closed currently to June 20, opens June 21
  • Eastern Hillside #2347: closed currently to June 20, opens June 21
  • North Trail #1896: closed April 15 to June 20, opens June 21
  • Buffehr Creek #2111: closed April 15 to June 20, opens June 21
  • Everkrisp Trail #2122: closed Nov. 23 to June 20, opens June 21
  • Son of MIddle Creek #2136: closed April 15 to June 20, opens June 21
  • Paulie’s Plunge/Stone Creek #2349: closed May 15 to June 20, open June 21
  • Two Elk #2005 (from west entrance at second bridge to east end at Vail Bike Path): closed May 6 to June 30, open July 1.

Additional, Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park and the Vail Back Bowls are closed to human entry between May 6 and June 30, opening July 1. For information about other seasonal trail closures, open trails and current trail conditions in the Eagle Valley, visit or contact the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District at 970-827-5715.

On the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, Tom Blake Trail, Sequel Trail, and other trails in the Elk Camp and Two Creeks vicinity are closed April 25 through June 20, opening June 21. The Anaerobic Nightmare Trail is closed April 25 through June 27, with it and the surrounding area opening June 28. And the Government Trail #1980 and Sugarbowl Trail are closed May 15 through June 27, opening June 28. For alternative trail suggestions or more information on the seasonal closures, contact the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District at 970-963-2266.

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