The Dolores Ranger District temporarily closed the following San Juan National Forest roads to motorized traffic for wildlife-protection purposes effective on Dec. 1:
Forest Road 504: Dolores River below McPhee DamForest Roads 528 and 529D: House Creek areaForest Roads 240 and 241: Black Snag and Ryman Creek areaForest Road 568: Railroad grade near Mancos HillThe nonmotorized McPhee Overlook Trail from the town of Dolores to House Creek Campground is closed to all users during the closure period.The roads and the Overlook Trail will reopen on May 1. Seasonal road closures protect critical habitat for deer and elk in winter and early spring, when temperatures are cold, snow is deep, and food is scarce. During these critical times, human disturbance can threaten the survival of deer and elk, especially pregnant females.
Visitors to the National Forest should be prepared to encounter additional closed gates across the Dolores Ranger District as winter conditions develop. Even if snow levels are not very deep, many roads will be closed to prevent damage to road surfaces during freezing and thawing periods. The roads will open in the spring as conditions allow. Travelers should be prepared for winter conditions and travel with shovels, tire chains and appropriate safety equipment.
Forest visitors can contact the Dolores Ranger District before heading out at 970-882-7296 to obtain up-to-date road information or go online at: www.fs.usda.gov/main/sanjuan/maps-pubs.