With the arrival of snow and wet weather, the Flagstaff Ranger District and Mogollon Rim Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest are beginning to close many forest roads for the safety of visitors and to protect forest roads during the winter season.
Main forest roads are expected to be closed across much of the forest where snow has fallen, and the closures are expected to begin tomorrow (Dec. 14). Forest Service personnel will be patrolling forest roads starting this afternoon through mid-week to inform forest visitors and swing gates.
Each year the Forest implements seasonal road closures in order to protect the roads from damage and to keep people from getting stuck or stranded in the middle of the forest during snowstorms. Seasonal road closures occur at different times each year and are dependent upon incoming weather and conditions of the roads.
Drivers are reminded to avoid driving on open roads that appear to be saturated to prevent road damage, soil erosion and getting stuck. As well, be aware that even though a forest road might start on an open road in the desert, if it begins to climb in elevation the driver could encounter deep snow, four-wheel driving conditions and closed gates in other districts or neighboring national forests. Some of the roads that people experience this drastic change in the winter months include roads such as Schnebly Hill Road, Forest Road 214, FR 618 and FR 229.
The status of main forest roads in each district can be found online, which is updated frequently to keep the public and hunters informed of main roads closed or open throughout the forest.