The San Juan National Forest is opening seasonally closed roads.
Staff members at the Dolores and Pagosa ranger districts have assessed roads this spring and roads will open as conditions allow. The Columbine Ranger District will open most low-elevation roads May 1. The San Juan National Forest will continue to monitor road conditions; upper elevation and backcountry roads will opened June 1 or as conditions permit.
Roads are closed seasonally to wheeled motorized vehicles to protect critical wildlife habitat and/or to prevent damage to road surfaces. Closures offer wildlife herds forage, shelter and protection from disturbance over the winter and into early spring, when animals are most vulnerable.
Seasonal closures also prevent damage to road surfaces during freezing and thawing periods, even if snow levels are not very deep. Spring conditions are variable, and visitors should be prepared to encounter system roads that are impassable because of snow drifts, waterlogged roadbeds, down trees or other debris. Visitors are asked to stay off wet roads and respect road closures, which will decrease long-term and costly damage to road surfaces.