Arizona News – The Coconino National Forest is beginning to close several higher elevation forest roads throughout the Flagstaff Ranger District due to snow and wet weather.
These closures are implemented for both the safety of visitors and to protect forest roads during inclement weather.
Main forest roads along U.S. Highway 180 are expected to close where snow has fallen. The closures are expected to be completed by Friday.
Forest Service personnel will be patrolling forest roads starting today and continuing through Friday to alert the public to this pending change.
Forest road closures will include:
- Along US Highway 180 – 164B, 522, 222, 222B, 151, 794, 418, 245, 193, 760, 514, 191, 191C
- Along Interstate 40 – 506, 518, 171
- Along Interstate 17 – 153 – Schnebly Hill
Seasonal road closures are implemented to prevent road damage and mitigate hazards to forest visitors. Seasonal road closures on each district occur at different times each year, and depend on weather forecasts and road conditions.
While further road closures are expected throughout the coming months, dates have not been set.
Motorists are reminded to avoid driving on open roads that appear overly wet and/or icy, regardless of closure status. Heavy vehicles can cause damage and soil erosion to delicate forest roads. Additionally, winter road conditions can lead to stuck or damaged vehicles, causing risk to motorists.
Drivers are also reminded to be cognizant of changes in elevation. Many forest roads — such as Schnebly Hill Road, Forest Road (FR) 214, FR 618 and FR 229 — straddle both desert and mountain conditions, and motorists should prepare for drastic changes in driving conditions. These changes include temperature drops, snow accumulation and other road conditions that may require four-wheel drive.
The status of main forest roads in each district can be found on the Coconino National Forest website, which is updated daily.