Winter conditions affect Forest Service campgrounds


Because of the recent federal government shutdown, Medicine Bow National Forest officials are encouraging the public to double-check conditions before visiting.

During the shutdown, National Forest System lands remained open and available to the public; however, all campgrounds were closed since services could not adequately be supplied.

Post-shutdown, many of those campgrounds have reopened, but due to the return of winter-like conditions in some areas, others have remained closed for the season. As is typical for this time of year, visitors will find varied access to roads and trails as well.

“While the season is quickly changing, we think it is important to reopen many of our developed sites that are still accessible for the public to enjoy,” said Forest Supervisor Phil Cruz. “During a typical year, most of these sites would remain open through the fall big-game hunting seasons, or until they are not accessible due to snow.”

Since trash, water and restroom services are not available, current use of open campgrounds is free; however, campers will be required to bring water and pack out their trash.

Many roads on the Forest are snow-covered, slick, and/or muddy. Some are nearly impassable due to snow accumulation; others due to too much traffic, which is creating deep, muddy ruts.

Time of year and budget limitations will make it difficult to adequately repair damaged roads this year. Drivers are urged to make prudent driving decisions.

Each Ranger District on the Forest is in a different situation, and specific details regarding maintained recreation areas and some major roads are outlined below.

Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District: All campgrounds have been reopened, except Hog Park and Deep Creek. Several campgrounds are difficult to reach due to snow and slippery roads. All roads are open, including Forest Roads 100 and 500, which were previously closed weekdays for hazard tree removal. Drivers should be aware that log hauling continues on the 409 Road- the Blackhall Road. Please call the District Office in Saratoga at 307-326-5258 for details and the most current information.

Laramie Ranger District: All campgrounds are closed for the season. Day-use areas that are accessible year-round remain open, as well as the Vedauwoo Day-Use Site on Pole Mountain. For the most current information and details please call the Laramie Ranger District at 307-745-2300.

In addition to snow making some roads impassable, official road closures may be in effect for hazard tree removal or other forest management work that is resuming following the shutdown. For more information contact the following Forest Service Offices, visit our website at, or follow the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland on Twitter, @MBRNFsTBNG. One may also contact the Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District, 2171 Highway 130 in Saratoga, 307-326-5258.


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