As winter weather conditions approach and the chance for snow increases, the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest will be closing a number of forest roads beginning tomorrow for the safety of visitors and to protect forest roads.
Because of the rapidly changing nature of winter storms, the Interstate 40 grade west of Williams got so much snow in brief period overnight Tuesday that the freeway temporarily closed.
The Santa Catalina Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest has temporarily closed and locked gates on seasonal roads and day-use sites in the upper elevations of Mt. Lemmon due to weather-related unsafe driving conditions. The main road leading up the mountain, the Catalina Highway, will remain open but may close periodically due to weather-related issues.
State Route 67 between Jacob Lake (US 89A) and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is scheduled to close for the winter season on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
ADOT doesn’t clear snow from SR 67 during the winter since North Rim visitor accommodations are closed. The highway reopens each spring, usually around mid-May. US 89A remains open during the winter.
ADOT reminds motorists heading into snow country to drive with caution and follow this advice:
Recent winter storms brought plentiful amounts of snow to the White Mountains creating a prime time for winter recreation on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. There are plenty of activities to do in the winter to help squelch that cabin fever, but it’s imperative to be prepared and recreate responsibly.
Winter recreation preparation tips:
With recent snowfall transforming much of Arizona’s high country into a winter wonderland, snow-play sites should become busy destinations this weekend. That means travelers can expect heavy traffic and delays around some popular areas.
Those heading to snow-play sites along US 180 should be prepared to spend extended time in winter conditions and be ready for traffic backups returning to Flagstaff that build as the afternoon goes on.
When a highway closes or you’re just looking for possible routes, it’s natural to consult a navigation app or GPS unit. But drivers need to apply common sense to a computer’s suggestions, starting with not taking buses and other vehicles that aren’t up to the task down unpaved roads.
Drivers should be prepared for blowing dust and reduced visibility along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The National Weather Service says gusty winds were recorded in the Casa Grande area today and the Department of Public Safety reported areas of blowing dust crossing I-10 southeast of Phoenix.
Dust along portions of I-10 is just one of a number of weather-related issues motorists may encounter across the state due to the third in a series of winter storms in recent days.
Planning a trip to play in the snow Sunday? Leave prepared for heavy traffic around popular snow-play sites and the potential for more winter weather to arrive as early as Sunday afternoon.
Highway conditions can deteriorate quickly during severe weather as snow accumulates and drivers struggle, and closures can happen suddenly and be prolonged.
With back-to-back snowstorms bearing down on Arizona, know what you’re driving into before heading to the high country.
Highway conditions can deteriorate quickly during severe weather as snow accumulates and drivers struggle, and closures can happen suddenly and be prolonged. If enough snow falls, the Arizona Department of Transportation may close lesser-used highways while snowplows address busier routes.