White River Forest travel season will begin May 21 | VailDaily.com

White River Forest travel season will begin May 21

Visitors urged to avoid muddy roads and trails

The White River National Forest’s summer travel season begins May 21. Cyclists and motorized users are urged to stay off muddy trails until they dry out. /Daily archive photo

The summer motorized and mountain bike travel season begins Saturday, May 21, in most areas on the White River National Forest.

Some roads and trails are not scheduled to open until later in May or June because of conditions at higher elevations or to reduce disturbance to wildlife including calving elk.

Some roads and trails opening Saturday may still be muddy or snowy in places and susceptible to damage if people drive or ride them.

“We have a wide range of elevations with varying conditions. Some open gates may lead to roads that are wet and muddy,” White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said. “Travel in muddy conditions creates deep ruts that can significantly damage roads and trails. Please be patient and give muddy areas time to dry out and harden so they can be enjoyed all summer long.”

High winds this spring have blown down a higher than usual number of trees across the forest’s roads and trails, and it may take more time for roads and trails to be cleared than in past years.

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E-bikes are considered motor vehicles by the Forest Service and may only be ridden on roads and trails designated open to motorized use. Traditional (non-electric) bicycles are allowed on designated trails and roads where mechanized use is permitted.

Off-road and off-trail travel is prohibited for all motorized and mechanized vehicles on the White River National Forest.

Class 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes are all considered motorized vehicles by the Forest Service, and can be ridden on the hundreds of miles of White River National Forest roads open to motorized use during the summer travel season, as well as the limited number of trails open to motorized and e-bike use.

Summer motorized vehicle use maps are available at local ranger district offices and online at fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

It’s your responsibility to know the rules and regulations regarding e-bikes and motorized travel.

E-bikes may be permitted on trails owned by county governments or local municipalities; however, e-bikes are not allowed on the Glenwood Canyon recreation path or the west side of the Vail Pass recreation path.

All forest visitors are responsible for knowing when and where they can drive or ride. District offices have the latest site-specific information. Summer motor vehicle use maps and mountain bike maps are available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

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