Arizona News – Coconino National Forest personnel are in the process of opening numerous forest roads as warmer weather hardens surfaces and roads become suitable for motorized travel.
Even though many forest roads across each district will be open by this weekend, there are still some that will remain closed due to wet and muddy conditions.
On the Flagstaff Ranger District, Ashurst Lake Road (Forest Road [FR] 82E), Marshall Lake Road (FR 128), and Kinnickinick Lake Road (FR 125) are all now open. All campgrounds on the district except Dairy and Double Springs and Lockett Meadow open today. As campgrounds reopen, many fees are changing to coincide with a new contract concessionaire operator, ExplorUS. Concessionaire-
Lake Mary Narrows Boat Launch and Picnic Area and the Upper Lake Mary Boat Launch and Picnic Area will be free until Friday of Memorial Day Weekend (May 26). The Forest will begin collecting $10 fees per day after that date. Local and Interagency Passes, like the America the Beautiful and Red Rock Annual Passes, will also be honored at these sites.
The Mogollon Rim Ranger District opens forest roads north and west of State Route (SR) 87 and along the east side of the Lake Mary Road corridor today. All forest roads south and east of SR 87, and down to the Rim Road (FR 300) will remain closed until they dry out enough for safe travel. Elks Group Campground opens today, with additional campgrounds planned to open the first week of May.
Motorists should be prepared to encounter wet spots, areas of snowbanks and snow drifts on newly opened roads. Use caution before pulling off main roads to camp and refrain from creating deep ruts in areas of the road that are still wet.
Atypical moisture and strong winds have resulted in a significant number of downed trees as well as inaccessible roads throughout the Flagstaff and Mogollon Rim ranger districts.
Personnel will continue to monitor closed roads and will open them as soon as conditions are safe for travel.
Many lower elevation roads, such as those on the Red Rock Ranger District, are primarily open. This excludes roads impacted by recent significant flooding events as well as Fossil Creek Road (FR 708), which is being resurfaced.
Forest visitors are reminded to visit the Coconino National Forest’s Forest Roads Status web page for more information on which main roads throughout the forest are open and closed prior to planning any forest excursion.
The public should remember to only stay on open and authorized roads that are shown on the Motorized Vehicle Use Map (MVUM), which is free at any Ranger Station or can be downloaded on the Coconino National Forest website.