Flagstaff AZ (April 8, 2017) – Forest roads across Coconino National Forest are opening as warmer weather approaches and the roads are becoming suitable for motorized travel.
The vast majority of forest roads across the Mogollon Rim Ranger District (MRRD) are open or opening, but there are still a few that are closed due to wet and muddy conditions which can cause drivers to get stuck or cause damage to the roads.
The roads north and west of State Route 87 will be open this weekend in the MRRD.
The area around Hutch Mountain, on the north end of the MRRD and adjacent to the Flagstaff Ranger District will remain closed. Roads with access to Hutch Mountain will have physical barricades and roads accessing this area from Lake Mary Road will remain gated and locked until useable. Specifically, Forest Roads 135 and FR 92 will remain gated and locked. FR 82 between the Flagstaff Ranger District and the MRRD will be barricaded at the boundary between districts. In addition, FR 751 to C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir is closed past the Rock Crossing Campground until construction hazards are cleared away. It is estimated it will be open by April 18.
The remaining roads south and east of State Route 87 to the rim (FR 300), and the area around Hutch Mountain remain closed, as there are still large, impassable snowdrifts on many of those roads.
“While the surfaced roads are dry and dusty, we caution forest users accessing the side roads and campsites,” said Officer Andy Pederson, Forest Service law enforcement officer. “Many of these areas have been wet for several months and significant resource damage is likely if vehicles are used over damp ground. This is especially applicable to vehicles pulling travel trailers.”
Most of the forest roads in the Red Rock Ranger District are open. Forest users are cautioned to not go around barricades and gates that are closed for their protection.
In the Flagstaff Ranger District, several forest roads are expected to open in the middle of next week with some roads at higher elevations not opening until later in the month or later.
The public should remember to stay on open and authorized roads shown on the Motor Vehicle Use map, which is free at any Ranger Station or can be downloaded on a smartphone by going to http://go.usa.gov/PEa.
For a list and status of all the major forest roads on each district, please visit www.coconinonationalforest.us and click on Road Status in the right column under Quick Links or call the district office of the forest road in question:
- Flagstaff Ranger District : 928-526-0866
- Mogollon Rim Ranger District: 928-477-2255
- Red Rock Ranger District: 928-203-2900