Vail Pass opening early to snowmobile access due to early snow | VailDaily.com | VailDaily.com

Vail Pass opening early to snowmobile access due to early snow

Deepan Dutta
Summit Daily News

Vail Pass is now open to snowmobiles and closed to wheeled motorized vehicles.

Due to the high accumulation of early season snow at Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area, the Dillon and Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger Districts are closing roads to wheeled vehicles and transitioning access for the winter travel season. The Shrine Pass Road (FSR #709) will be closed at Vail Pass and the lower road near Red Cliff; the Resolution Road (FSR #702) and McAllister Road (FSR #708) will be closed at Camp Hale.

Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area is now open to over-the-snow vehicle travel, but permitted only in motorized travel zones. Due to current conditions, the transition is earlier than normal. Typically, the White River National Forest Travel Management Plan calls for an opening date of Nov. 14 to prevent wheeled vehicles from getting stuck in the area and any resulting resource and road damage.

“It’s exciting to see the early snow accumulation,” said Bill Jackson, Dillon District Ranger. “As people head into the area to enjoy this unique backcountry experience, we ask visitors to adhere to the correct travel zones. Normal Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area operations and fee collections will begin on November 24th, along with grooming, plowing, Ranger patrols and visitor information services which are provided by the Forest Service in partnership with the Vail Pass Task Force.”

If you have any questions, please contact the Dillon Ranger District at 970-468-5400 or the Eagle/ Holy Cross District at 970-827-5715. Please check the White River National Forest website for updated information at http://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver and navigate to the “Alerts and Notices” page.