Forest road closures taking effect today as storm approaches
11/27/2019 - 10:17 am
With extreme winter weather conditions approaching, many forest roads across Coconino National Forest will be closed through the weekend, beginning today, in order to keep visitors from getting stranded and also protect forest roads from damage.
This means gates will be swung and locked at the entrance of the closed forest roads, or signed barricades will be installed, letting the public know the road is closed.
Flagstaff Ranger District All forest roads on the U.S. Highway 180 corridor north of Forest Road 222 and south of FR 151 will be closed. FR 420 (Schultz Pass Road) will be closed where it intersects with FR 552, all the way to the west side near the intersection of Mt. Elden Lookout Road. FR 556 and FR 522 will also be closed.
Many roads south of Flagstaff will not have gates swung, but the public should use caution if driving on those forest roads, as vehicles often get stuck and stranded. The Forest Service does not operate tow-trucks and cannot attempt to rescue stranded motorists, so people driving on open forest roads enter at their own risk.
Mogollon Rim Ranger District All forest roads on this district are closing today, with the exception roads north of Milepost 308 on state Route 87. Roads north of this milepost will remain open so people can access the Pinyon Pine Christmas Tree Cutting Area at MP 310 if they have purchased a permit.
Red Rock Ranger District Since this district sits at a lower elevation, many roads remain open. However, as inclement weather arrives and saturates forest roads, many roads are temporarily closed, and drivers are reminded to avoid driving on snow covered or saturated surfaces 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 and 4-wheel driving conditions. Some of the roads that people experience this drastic change in the winter months include roads such as Schnebly Hill Road, FR 214, FR 618 and FR 229.