As the snow melts, the San Juan National Forest is working to uncover a wide variety of fun and exciting outdoor activities. Over the past year, many areas in the forest experienced wildfires, heavy winter snowfall, and dead and dying trees.
“Know what you’re doing and how to do it safely,” the U.S. Forest Service said in a press release.
Anticipate conditions that could impact travel such as washed-out or debris-blocked trails. Weakened trees could fall at any time. Be patient with forest officials who will be busy assessing conditions, and working with partners to retain public access. Be aware that because of heavy snowpack this year, normal annual road-opening dates may be delayed.
One of our most popular places, soon to open near Durango, is the Hermosa Creek Special Management Area (SMA), which includes the Hermosa Creek trail system. A map can be found online at www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sanjuan/recarea/?recid=82121.
Because of the SMA regulations, both motorized and mechanized (bicycles) vehicles must stay on designated roads and trails. Where trails are blocked or impassable in the SMA, visitors are not allowed to create a route off the trail to gain access. Creating user-built trails and riding in undesignated areas cause erosion, loss of wildlife habitat and other natural resource damage. You can help balance popular public use with the sustainability of natural resources.
For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov.