Because snow is abundant in the high country, winter closures to protect big game will remain in effect through April 30 at Bodo State Wildlife Area, Perins Peak State Wildlife Area and on Bureau of Land Management parcels at Animas Mountain, Grandview, Sale Barn Trail and Big Canyon Trail.
These areas, which usually open April 15, will open to the public May 1.
“Even though the weather has been warm recently, elk and deer have been more stressed this winter due to difficult conditions and are coming into spring in worse body condition than normal,” said Matt Thorpe, area wildlife manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Durango received more than 48 inches of snow in February, compared with the average of 15 inches.
“While the snow has mostly melted around town, elk and deer are still concentrated in low-elevation winter-range areas because snow at higher elevation remains deep,” he said. “We don’t want human activity to cause those animals to move unnecessarily because they’d burn the energy they need to make it through until spring really settles in.”
Smelter Mountain Trail is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dogs are prohibited.