Vail Pass Recreation Area now open to snowmobiles, closed to wheeled vehicles
VAIL — 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.
The Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area opened Thursday, Nov. 8 to over-the-snow vehicle travel 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 (Saturday) Nov. 24, along with grooming and plowing, Ranger patrols and visitor information services which are provided by the Forest Service in partnership with the Vail Pass Task Force.”
For more information, call the Dillon Ranger District, 970-468-5400 or the Eagle Holy Cross District, 970-827-5715. 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.
For more information on Vail Pass Recreation Area, go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/attmain/whiteriver/specialplaces.