Summer recreation season starts May 21 on local national forests
E-bikes are limited to trails and roads specified for motorized vehicles
The White River National Forest summer motorized travel season begins May 21 and ends Nov. 22.
There is no motorized vehicle use or wheeled travel allowed on National Forest System roads until May 21, unless those roads are shown as open in the Winter Motor Vehicle Use Maps. These same dates apply to bicycle use. Some higher elevation roads and motorized trails are not scheduled to open until later in May or June due to snowpack and wet road conditions. In the Eagle River Valley, call the Eagle Holy Cross Ranger District, 970-827-5715 for site-specific information, and check current conditions before heading out.
All forest visitors are responsible for knowing when and where they can drive or ride. Visitors using motorized transportation are asked to obtain and adhere to routes shown on the Summer motor vehicle use maps. The maps show which routes are open to motorized vehicles, which types of vehicles may be used, and season opening and closing dates. Paper maps are free and available at all forest offices. Motor vehicle and bicycle maps are also available online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/whiteriver/landmanagement/?cid=stelprdb5328670
It is important to note that e-bikes are currently considered a form of motorized transportation on all national forests across the country. E-bikes may only be ridden on designated motorized routes including National Forest System roads open to all vehicles, and National Forest System trails open to all motorized vehicles. Traditional (non-e-bike) bicycles are allowed on designated trails and roads where mechanized use is permitted. Off-road and off-trail travel is prohibited.
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In mid-May, snow levels are typically at around 9,500 feet. Many gates are still buried in snow and many open gates lead to roads that are extremely wet and muddy. Travel in muddy conditions creates deep ruts that damage roads and trails. Please be patient and find alternate locations to recreate and give muddy areas time to dry out and harden.
Please remember to give wildlife a break. Some road and trail closures remain in place until late spring to protect elk calving areas and mule deer migration rest areas. These closures help protect deer and elk during periods that are critical to their survival.
Please be responsible by following these tips to ensure you protect Colorado’s wildlife and the places you love to play:
- Stay on designated roads, trails and areas identified on the motor vehicle use maps.
- Adhere to site-specific opening dates to protect our wildlife and other natural resources.
- Be respectful of other visitors.
- Be respectful of property boundaries and know what uses are allowed if you enter non-Forest Service property.
- Do not widen trails by going around obstacles and do not create shortcuts.
- Avoid wet, muddy trails.
- Cross streams only at designated fords.
For more information, go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.
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After a sudden stop in March and extended isolation, people may be ready to travel or play. But don’t expect a full-throttle return this summer.