The U.S. Forest Service recently extended the dates when snowmobiles are banned inside Purgatory Ski Area.
Columbine Ranger District spokeswoman Nancy Berry said the bypass route - to the Hermosa Park area west of Durango Mountain Resort - has been in place for several years but previously was only enforced during the ski season.
Public snowmobiling is now prohibited within the ski area boundary from Nov. 15 through April 15 whether Purgatory is open or not.
"It was assumed that when the area closed to skiers it was open to snowmobiles, but once the ski area closes they still need some time to get everything off the mountain before (the snowmobiles) come in," Berry said.
The bypass route is marked with a sign at the intersection of the Hermosa Park Road and the Pinkerton Toll Road ski run.
Snowmobiles also may be allowed on a section of the Pinkerton Toll Road within the ski area boundary with prior authorization from the Forest Service or Durango Mountain Resort, which operates Purgatory under a special use permit with the Forest Service.
The snowmobile bypass and closure were part of the record of decision for the DMR Master Development Plan released last fall.
For more information, call Berry at 375-3304.